Although I consider myself a skilled woodworker, I don’t consider what I make to be art. I leave that to those better than me. But there’s another interpretation of the term that can apply to anyone.
I doubt that anyone reading this would disagree that woodworkers like Sam Maloof, George Nakashima and James Krenov were true artists. While most of us will never be as good as them, we never stop trying, nor do we stop enjoying the process of using our skills in the process of being creative in the woodshop. But what about those who don’t have our level of talents and skills?
In my experience, they enjoy creative pursuits just as much as we do, something that became clear to me when I recently dropped by a large arts and crafts store. The one we have here is Crafts 2000, but I’m sure you have something similar, perhaps a Hobby Lobby or a Michael’s, where you live.
I often drop by for odd supplies I use either directly in my woodworking or, as I did recently, for prop accessories for woodworking photography. If you’ve ever been in one of these large stores you’ve probably noted the same thing I have: the parking lot is always full and the store always crowded.
Although these stores have supplies geared toward craft-type woodworking, their larger market is geared toward painters, sculptors, scrapbookers, interior decorators and, in general, crafters of all kinds. The bottom line is that everyone in there has a similar purpose. They enjoy the process of artistic creativity.
It’s doubtful that a future Rembrandt would be ahead of me in the checkout line at one of these stores (although they do have a huge selection of extremely excellent – and expensive – artist’s brushes and oils). But when it comes to the enjoyment that crafters get from their work, does that make the woman in front of me with an armload of scrapbooking supplies any less serious in her creative pursuits?
I think not.