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Thread: Are you a perfectionist?

  1. #1
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    Are you a perfectionist?

    Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your woodworking? To what extent do you think this affects your hobby?

    Whose standards are you working to?

    Whats you take on this?


    How do you deal with it if you are?
    cheers

  2. #2
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    Rob I was thinking about this the last few days. I lost a nice gilding job to another gilder who dose only gilding. I should have had the job but what did I do wrong. I have everything in order as far and my abilities go. But my shop is not the cleanest. So I started on a cleaning KICK and that is rare
    Being a perfectionist is like my my anal friend, it's OK for some things, safety mainly, keeping your books in order, but I find most will lose creativity thinking to much.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  3. #3
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    Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your woodworking? To what extent do you think this affects your hobby?
    Perfectionist is a strong term to me. I like things to be done to the best of my current ability and I will burn something rather than say it is "close enough". I have learned over the years though to not let that personality trait freeze my forward motion the way it used to. I would say I have a healthy concern for quality bordering on anal ;-)

    Whose standards are you working to?
    Mine, I hope.

    Whats you take on this?
    We are who we are but, we don't have to stay who we were.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
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    Glenn mind if I answer; I always see my faults in work I do, all artist, craftsmen do. One thing I learned about being an artist Is a real artist can fix his mistakes. Which I do very well.

    But one thing I can not hide is how I feel about my work from a good customer. A friend so to say. They will always know when I like my work and when I do not. Because I can not hide displeasure on my face.

    So I work till I am pleased with what I have done. Their is no greater critic then yourself. It is not anal to be critical it is anal to be obsessive. You need to know your limitations and practice to over come them but never try to deceive someone with something that is not. That puts way to much gilt on you which creates obsessive behavior. I seen this over and over with craftsman who are not skilled.
    Last edited by Dave Hawksford; 09-23-2010 at 01:13 PM.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

  5. #5
    I have to agree......I am my own worst critic. For example...After finishing the Colonial Bed, I noticed that one of the 1 x 4 supports under the mattress was about 3/4 of an inch short.

    I knew that it would not matter in the least, but it bugged the heck out of me. The LOML told me to forget it, but I couldn't. Ended up replacing before we moved it in.

    We are all probably our own worst enemies because we notice things that most people would not.

  6. #6
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    Same here - way too critical of my own work. It is one of the things that is freezing me out of selling my work - "How can I ask good money for that? Look at all those mistakes!"

    When you know what the errors are, and where to look for them, they will scream at you, "Hey. Look at me!" every time you see the piece. It can be debilitating. If any of you have found a detour around this little roadblock, please enlighten the rest of us.
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk
    www.wrworkshop.com

  7. #7
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    I find working with wood rewarding.
    I find working with wood soothing, relaxing, releasing, and most of the time challenging.
    I would fool noone thinking Im going to make anything perfect.
    I try my best and hope my tables are flat and straight, and my chairs dont fall when someone sits on them.
    If my cabinet doors close squarely, Im happy.
    Ill leave the perfectionist work to all you guys, noone is paying me and I cant handle the stress of trying to do perfect work.
    But as far from perfect as my work is, you can sit on it, throw things on it, use it, and I know in 50 years from now it will still be in decent shape.
    Id like to improve my skills over time if possible, but perfection seems a bit too high a goal for me at this point.
    Last edited by allen levine; 09-23-2010 at 02:34 PM.

  8. #8
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    I can't say it any better than Dave did.

    I tend to be (probably) too much of a perfectionist at times, though. I've been known to spend days working on a project, then look at it, dislike it, and actually throw it on the burn pile rather than use it or even give it away.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  9. #9
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    Sounds like we all have a common thread to varying degrees. I am comfortable with the occasional tooling or handling mark on a piece. These things should look hand made (not home made). However, like Dom, I would've had to fix that slat even though no one would ever see it. Dave is spot on about error recovery. Fixing my own boo-boos has been one of my best teachers.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    I can't say it any better than Dave did.

    I tend to be (probably) too much of a perfectionist at times, though. I've been known to spend days working on a project, then look at it, dislike it, and actually throw it on the burn pile rather than use it or even give it away.
    Jim my very 1st class in painting back in college, ole Alan Marsh stated "we learn from our mistakes" so I worked frantically, Alan said; Dave slow down your making to many mistakes! I said well you said we learn from our mistakes and I want to get them all out of my system. He smiled and we had a 20 relationship as artist and good friends.
    He also said Lesser is more. So If you do it right the 1st time then I have learned to leave it for a day of 2 and return and then look my work over, especially the critical ones.
    I dream a lot. I do more painting when I'm not painting. It's in the subconscious.
    ::: Andrew Wyeth :::
    colonialrestorationstudio.com

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