A new project progress build

Leo Voisine

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OK - so this one is going to be WAY outside the norm for a woodworking forum. Even though it DOES go to woodworking, and I mean directly woodworking it is kinda outside the box. It's a carving. Some people with talent - like Toni - would use chisel, knives, gouges to do this job with a skill level I do NOT have. However, I do have a different skill level to achieve something near to the same carving.

Yes, of course I mean on computer using Vectric Aspire to create it. There is a certain skill involved. It also takes some patience and experience to create the carving. I have done a few, but not a lot. So, I am still learning. I will go beck the the Vectric forum to ask questions as I need to on this one. Some of you are on that forum as well so you can look up my posting there and watch my questions.

To date I am not aware of anyone here using Aspire. This would give a good example of what Aspire does, as it cannot be done in any other Vectric offerings. This is Aspire only. This is why I bought Aspire.

So without further adieu here is the carving.


close up from Rennie - small.jpg
 

Ryan Mooney

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I'll definitely be interested to see how it goes! Seeing how the fades work in the acanthus leaves will be especially interesting

This is imho kind of on the edge for CNC value add, if you're doing several of them I can see it making sense, if I needed one done I dunno... I guess it depends on whether you can find anyone left with the manual skills (they are admittedly a diminishing breed). For a good carver this is a few minutes work (I'm not a good carver, I could do it.. but it would take me a couple of hours + maybe a couple test pieces so it's not really even close to practical for production/sale). The beads on the sides would at least go pretty fast with a scratch stock.

Comparing the two methods though is imho pretty cool, so it'll be definitely fun to see how this works out on the cnc.
 

Leo Voisine

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Ryan, yes it is a specialty thing for sure. I do use the advanced capabilities of Aspire often. Need to keep in mind that my shop it heavily weighted toward the techy side of the hobby. With jobs that I have been paid to do, my shop has paid for itself, machines, tools, software, etc. It is not everyone's cup of tea, but it is mine. It would be difficult to cost justify for anyone just thinking about setting up this type of shop. I thought about it a lot before jumping in. Really a LOT to be said about it.

I love woodworking, but also working lots of other materials as well.

Vectric's Logo pretty much sums it up for me -- PASSIONATE ABOUT CNC -- that is where I am at

Untitled.jpg

As to comparing hand carved to what I am doing with CNC - no. They are not the same. I am never going to say that one is better than the other, or that I can make CNC look like it was hand carved. It just is not. Those are 2 different products. I can however recreate something similar. Once I have a carving I can then reproduce it several times, modify it, change the shape change the size, change the depth of the carving, make it raised, or inlayed or whatever you call the opposite of raised.

On my bucket list of things I wanna do is to make Quarterboards

quarter board.jpg

They go back to the OLD days of sailing vessels. Interesting story behind them. Some day I will tell the story. There were hand carved. At Mystic Seaport there is a display store where as they actually make quarterboards for the visitors to watch it being done. They also hold classes on doing the carving. Look up Mystic Seaport. Really interesting. There is a local carver in my area ( 200 mi radius) that makes quarterboards in the traditional way, and he advertises that his are better than CNC. Different, yes, better, no. Quarterboards can be all sorts of different styles. Some day, I will certainly make some. OH - and wood is not necessarily the best material to hold up to the weather. HDU (High Density Urethane) is DEFINATELY better for the weather. I absolutely will have a much more durable quarterboard with my materials and painting strategy. I can still use Cedar or White Oak.

I do not have the skills to do hand carving and I do not have the desire to develop the skills. If I was 30 yes, but look at 70 (2024) around the corner - no. I CAN make them, and they will be REALLY cool.

EDIT IN:
Keep in mind that my shop is no different that any other shop here. Some use Sketchup, I use Fusion 360. Some have a Sawstop and Festool and other high quality and expensive machines. I have a nice CNC machine and a Laser machine. I have a Grizzly Band saw - so do others. I have a contractors saw, New Yankee Router table a couple of Porter Cable hand routers, a pile of chisels and hand tools along with other such stuff. In the CNC world there are many others like me. My shop is just like others nothing special. It's just maybe a little different on this forum.
 
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May I guess that in order to make that, you used two different bits? A spear pointed one to make the outline and a semicircular tipped one to make the curvature of the leaves?
Here we could start the centuries old discussion between what is an artisan and an artist, or what is an artistic object. Mainly artisans were/are extremely skilled people that get their expertise by repeating over and over the same motives, being them leaves, flowers geometrical borders and so on, and that’s were CNC comes handy. Can an artist use CNC to make art? IMHO yes, CNC is just another tool, the only drawback is that if an artist is working directly on the piece (wood or stone for instance) the artist can adapt on the fly to unexpected problems that may appear like a crack, a vein or a void in the material.
In CNC that is far more complex to do.
 

Ryan Mooney

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I think one of the more interesting things with carving (however done) is capturing the depth and play of light and shadow. Doing it in a design software seems to have some advantages in that regard (for at least some people hah, maybe not super visualizers who can pre-view it all in their head) as you can "pre-visualize" it with the computer and adjust there.

That was mostly where I was heading with the comment on the acanthus leaves, as the definition around the edges and the play of curves in the middle is sort of what defines them in the original. I struggle with this with hand tools, getting crisp edges and the "right amount" of fade in the right places. I think it's differently difficult with CNC carving and while the outcomes are of course a bit different texture wise just because of the cutting tools used and the differences in cutting angles... but seeing HOW they look different is pretty interesting and fun.
 

Leo Voisine

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Toni, you are a very perceptive artist.

I guess the answer is in the definition to the question -- What is art?

ONE such answer as found in a google search
the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
"the art of the Renaissance"

BUT - is that the only definition -- I say NO

You are an artist. I like to think of myself as being artistic in thought. My sister was an artist. I am also an engineer. To me, there is a conflict between an engineer and an artist. I am an engineer, but many people tell me that I am an artist. So, what am I? I have yet to answer that myself. I say I am an engineer with artistic tendencies. I use artistic thought strategies to solve complex problems. This has gotten me in trouble in the workplace where there was not much room for artistic thought.

I sure would love to sit in person and banter back and forth with you on this stuff. I LOVE this sort of philosophical discussion.

So what the heck does that all mean anyway.

An engineer
Straight lines
Mathematical - Step by absolute step
Symmetry
Equal
Rigid in execution
A bit unbending
Analytical

An artist
Curves, splines
Abstract
Colors
Textures
Flexible
Go with the flow.

Oh I am sure more can be added to both lists.

What you described > "Mainly artisans were/are extremely skilled people that get their expertise by repeating over and over the same motives, being them leaves, flowers geometrical borders and so on" < - is what I call - skilled - experienced, but not necessarily artistic. Creating a leave, or flower in order to achieve the desired illustration -> THAT is the art. Creating from nothing?? Hmmm - I don't think so. Making a flower, has already been done, but an artist can REE-create it. I have been told that many artist painters with recreate from a photograph. An artist can paint a beautiful painting of a nude woman - while she poses. Dave Hawksford does spectacular artwork of things that exist. Maybe from a vision in his mind, maybe from some sample. Sure their work is spectacular. It is all recreating. The art is in the expression. The skill is how good it is and how the tools are used. However there is nothing new under the sun.

What I will be showing in this thread progress is for all intents and purpose an artistic expression using CNC.
My tools are many and I will be expressing all of it.

1 The words of the Teacher,[a] son of David, king in Jerusalem:
2 “Meaningless! Meaningless!”
says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless.”
3 What do people gain from all their labors
at which they toil under the sun?
4 Generations come and generations go,
but the earth remains forever.
5 The sun rises and the sun sets,
and hurries back to where it rises.
6 The wind blows to the south
and turns to the north;
round and round it goes,
ever returning on its course.
7 All streams flow into the sea,
yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
there they return again.
8 All things are wearisome,
more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
nor the ear its fill of hearing.
9 What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there anything of which one can say,
“Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
it was here before our time.
 

Leo Voisine

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I think one of the more interesting things with carving (however done) is capturing the depth and play of light and shadow. Doing it in a design software seems to have some advantages in that regard (for at least some people hah, maybe not super visualizers who can pre-view it all in their head) as you can "pre-visualize" it with the computer and adjust there.

That was mostly where I was heading with the comment on the acanthus leaves, as the definition around the edges and the play of curves in the middle is sort of what defines them in the original. I struggle with this with hand tools, getting crisp edges and the "right amount" of fade in the right places. I think it's differently difficult with CNC carving and while the outcomes are of course a bit different texture wise just because of the cutting tools used and the differences in cutting angles... but seeing HOW they look different is pretty interesting and fun.
Ryan I could not agree more.

Trouble is. Anything on the screen is flat and lifeless no matter how you can rotate it. It still takes imagination and vision. The carving is never quite the same as the screen. I find myself often times using a dremel, chisel, file, rasp, sandpaper, glazes, stains, paint and any number of things to get a desired result.

I have this footer at the bottom of all my Vectric Forum postings

Imagine the possibilities of a creative mind combined with the abilities of CNC
 
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I think one of the more interesting things with carving (however done) is capturing the depth and play of light and shadow. Doing it in a design software seems to have some advantages in that regard (for at least some people hah, maybe not super visualizers who can pre-view it all in their head) as you can "pre-visualize" it with the computer and adjust there.

That was mostly where I was heading with the comment on the acanthus leaves, as the definition around the edges and the play of curves in the middle is sort of what defines them in the original. I struggle with this with hand tools, getting crisp edges and the "right amount" of fade in the right places. I think it's differently difficult with CNC carving and while the outcomes are of course a bit different texture wise just because of the cutting tools used and the differences in cutting angles... but seeing HOW they look different is pretty interesting and fun.
I fully agree with you Ryan. Carving is mainly playing with volumes and the effect of light and shadow. Your comment is right on the spot.
 
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Ryan I could not agree more.

Trouble is. Anything on the screen is flat and lifeless no matter how you can rotate it. It still takes imagination and vision. The carving is never quite the same as the screen. I find myself often times using a dremel, chisel, file, rasp, sandpaper, glazes, stains, paint and any number of things to get a desired result.

I have this footer at the bottom of all my Vectric Forum postings

Imagine the possibilities of a creative mind combined with the abilities of CNC
Hi Leo, I take a rain check on that discussion about art with you, it will be a pleasure. Together with that we could discuss who is the artist; the one that ideates or thinks the piece or the one who makes it.
Thank you for considering me an artist, but I still have a long way to go.
 

Leo Voisine

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Hi Leo, I take a rain check on that discussion about art with you, it will be a pleasure. Together with that we could discuss who is the artist; the one that ideates or thinks the piece or the one who makes it.
Thank you for considering me an artist, but I still have a long way to go.
None of us "really" thinks they are an artist, myself included. In the passage I posted earlier. If there is nothing new under the sun, how on earth could anyone conceive in their mind that they created in any way - something new. I have no answer to that question.
 
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It is significative and strange at the same time that some of those who keep calling themselves ”artists”, even if what they make is mediocre if not pure crap, are the ones who sooner or later are regarded a such and thrive on that world. Maybe it is a matter of believing in who and what you are and the you perceive yourself rather than having objective abilities... More food for thought.:huh::huh:
 

Leo Voisine

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OK, please forgive me for expressing "my" thoughts and opinions.
I meant no offense by it, but rather it is "my" opinion about the subject of art.

Kinda like - how far does space go, or when did time start or what came first - the chicken or the egg.
I will refrain from expressing my philosophical thoughts.

So back to the regularly scheduled program.

I have screen recorded the steps taken in the process so far. That screen shot video needs a little editing before being posted.
 

Ryan Mooney

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I will refrain from expressing my philosophical thoughts.

If not us, then who :unsure: :)

I think it's an intrinsic or at least interesting part of this discussion. I'm firmly on the side that CNC work can be art, as can hand whatever work, but neither are necessarily so (or even necessarily need to be so depending on what you're trying to do..). Also that often the person doing it is often not fully qualified to judge (in either direction.. because of inherent beliefs or insecurities or vice versa or whatever) but shouldn't let that dissuade them either.

Looking forward to your screen shots (y)
 

Leo Voisine

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Ryan it just seemed to me like the discussion was beginning to go in the wrong direction, and I did not want to get a "flame?" going.

1) I know it is not popular to call ones self something like an artist, expert, skilled, experienced. Makes it seem like boasting. I don't take it that way. I believe we should know who we are and accept it.
2) The CNC in itself is inherently NOT capable of art. It is run via a computer program.
3) There is some vast discrepancy as to a definition of what an artist is. Personally, I think there are several artists here, even though they don't want to admit it.

I am all in, for a philosophical discussion, but I don't want to foster a forum argument.
Sitting in comfy chairs on my back deck on a beautiful day like today with cheeseburgers, and iced coffee is an entirely different setting.
Trying to accurately type words on a keyboard to express a thought, or paint a picture takes a special sort of artistic talent.

So I ask the question:

Can we establish what an artist is, as opposed to skill or experience. Those are different things. How would you define an artist.

One can be a skilled auto mechanic, but that doesn't make that person an artist. One of my friends was an experienced photographer, but to his own definition didn't have an once of artistic talent.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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Ryan it just seemed to me like the discussion was beginning to go in the wrong direction, and I did not want to get a "flame?" going...
OK, I'm just a fly on the wall here, but I'm not seeing anything even coming close to "flames" in this thread. I humbly suggest that you may be misinterpreting some of the comments by others here. ;)
 

Ryan Mooney

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Can we establish what an artist is, as opposed to skill or experience. Those are different things. How would you define an artist.

I'm unconvinced it's strictly definable (or even that it's entirely desirable to be strictly definable). I'm also not an art or art history major so take my opinion here with whatever sized grain of salt you want (I do drink with several though, and so far have found no clear agreement..).

I suppose you could argue intentionality but I'm not sure that fly's as I know some folks who self identify as "crafts" when their results clearly transcend (supported by at least many independent observers). So I'm unconvinced that the maker always knows if they're an artist regardless of how they self identify.

On the other hand I've also seen some of what Toni was talking about where folks consider themselves artists but the general public (and .. well.. a lot of curators as well hah) would tend to disagree. This is perhaps a bit fraught as well though as there are a lot of things I don't "get" that are clearly accepted as art, and there are artists who were not well recognized during their life. So just because some observers don't think it's art doesn't strictly disqualify it either.

So what does that leave us? Some people somewhere think something is art seems to be the minimal baseline. I'm generally disinclined to argue with that too heavily because I don't currently have a better baseline that doesn't fall afoul of some contrary evidence.

I'm also willing to accept counter arguments because as noted giant grains of salt... :)
 
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OK, please forgive me for expressing "my" thoughts and opinions.
I meant no offense by it, but rather it is "my" opinion about the subject of art.

Kinda like - how far does space go, or when did time start or what came first - the chicken or the egg.
I will refrain from expressing my philosophical thoughts.

So back to the regularly scheduled program.

I have screen recorded the steps taken in the process so far. That screen shot video needs a little editing before being posted.
?? Sorry Leo, But I do not understand your comment. Of course you can express/have your opinion/s like anybody else, and as I said I always have pleasure in discussing these and other matters with anybody, I believe that only by comparing and confronting opinions one can grow and enhance one’s knowlegde.
Have I crossed or offended you in anyway? If is that so it has never been my intention so please accept my apologies. English is not my mother tongue and it wouldn’t be the first time that I do not convey what I think properly creating misunderstandings to the person that reads what I write.

BTW I have started a thread on the Off Topic section to follow on this debate, for those who want chime in.
 
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