Re: Charcoal Prints

From: Richard Sullivan ^lt;>
Date: 03/08/04-10:35:35 AM Z
Message-id: <>


I think we do agree, I just didn't go far enough with my analogies.

I agree, it is not just the labor involved or the uniqueness of the piece.
A artwork unworthy of the name "art" does not in fact rise above a well
made machined work just because it is hand made. I've always wanted to have
an Eames leather lounge chair and would prefer it over many "handmade" ones
of lesser quality.

And I agree, high quality is just not done in manufactured pieces as it is
done today. Agreed.

But I didn't quite make it clear on this point. I am not referring to
current manufacturing methods but what is possible with high end computer
driven machinery. I think most would concede the point that joinery with a
computer driven machine working off a 3D drawing would far exceed what one
could do by hand in both quality and complexity. Especially complexity. For
what is worth, the program I saw on the staircase company had the
technicians saying that they could computer design staircases that would be
impossible for any human to >calculate< and construct by hand.

My point is that if one starts to argue precision, quality, or permanence,
as selling points for handmade alt photographs over digital prints, one is
on very shaky ground. For me the piece is more a celebration of
human >vision< and human >craft< than any of the above. Ellen Kahn used to
have a company called Fakesimile, yes, "fake." She made paper and
reproduced important historical documents that looked like the originals,
legally! She made platinum duplicates on the paper. They were used in
displays where the originals would have been subjected to deteriorating
effects. No matter how closely the duplicates match the originals, even if
they could not be scientifically distinguished from each other, one gets
wobbly kneed holding a document penned by Jefferson while the duplicate is
a mere curiosity.


At 04:57 PM 3/7/2004, you wrote:
>I take it back, we do disagree; but only to the extent that your
>definition of the benefits of hand-made just does not go far enough. In
>short, it's not just the labor involved nor the uniqueness of a piece.
>The kind of precision you mention means nothing when dealing with wood
>that moves a lot as humidity levels vary; however it's fine when dealing
>with fake wood/wood products that for the most part don't move. Besides,
>it's not the precision I'm talking about, nor the lack of precision, it's
>all about quality joinery for pieces that last centuries, and are built to
>accommodate that movement. Dowels into round holes are not quality joints.
>High quality is just not done in manufactured furniture, regardless of the
>price; and the reason it's not done is that quality joinery does not lend
>itself to machine processing, of whatever precision. Think about this when
>your kitchen cabinet doors fall apart or when that spiffy, expensive new
>entertainment center falls apart before your eyes, from moisture seeping
>into the wood product edges or the stub tenon in cope and stick joinery
>used for the door panels or ...
>I don't know of another Pam Niedermayer. We don't know each other. Must
>have been someone else.
>Richard Sullivan wrote:
>>I have done some amount of fine woodworking. I am no expert however. I
>>won't disagree that hand cut joints are superior. But I would say it is
>>for the reason that they are not as precise as machine cut ones. True,
>>working with a hand router and a Leigh dovetail may not be a precise as a
>>mallet a hand chisel job though I find it hard to believe that anyone by
>>hand could come as precise as using a jig, but just maybe. There are
>>fancy machines that are precise to the 10,000th of an inch and that is
>>hard to beat.
>>It is precisely for the fact that the handmade is not as precise as the
>>machine made and the fact that the imperfections generated in the
>>handmade product seem not to be as onerous as those generated by machine.
>>In fact it is the subtle differences in the arms of a handmade rocker
>>that project it beauty. When your inkjet printer goes on the fritz, even
>>for one moment, the errors are usually glaring.
>>BTW are you the same Pam Niedermyer that I knew at CamerVision back in
>>the 80's. I recall seeing a studio showing of someone's work with a
>>similar name years ago. In an area south of LA? memory is the first to go.
Received on Mon Mar 8 10:38:25 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : 04/01/04-02:02:04 PM Z CST