Searching through my past blog entries I found an undercurrent theme. I found that I love craft. Not just any craft. I love a well-made, masterful crafted project.
The blog entry about bamboo is an example of my interest in understanding a material and crafting it to its fullest potential. Miya Buxton, the architecture graduate student in charge of the workshop, did her studies in Indonesia where she was grounded by her newly found interest in bamboo. She was able to work and learn from the last master bamboo builder in the town. He built traditional peaked bamboo roofs, but these had evolved from being merely structural to being the symbolic heart of the structure. The work that Miya showed that came out of that intense understanding and exploration of the material was inspiring to me.
I am so inspired by Gamper Martino’s project of 100 chairs in 100 days. Watching a video how he worked on one of the 100 chairs was amazing. He went back and forth shaving down the pieces so that they could match up as though they were made to be together. The chairs have a seamless appearance. I can see that and appreciate that because I know about craft.
What about the boundaries of things that I’m ambivalent or confused about. For example, I keep looking at the poly chair by Max Lamb. If it was in a setting of an art gallery, would I turn up my nose and move on? Placing myself in that situation I think that I would like the process but feel like there could be more of an exploration in the form study. That chair does fall into his exploration of trying to create industrial products without the use of an industrial factory.
But after looking at Max Lamb’s piece it makes me wonder, how would I feel if the project by Gamper Marti no was in a different context? If it was not well crafted would it hold the same appeal? I had already stated that honesty was a layer in his idea for the project, but I feel that as an artist he also holds a great deal of skill. If these chairs were not made with a careful approach to blending and matchmaking, the series would not hold. No matter how interestingly the different pieces were matched or put together, it could easily miss Gamper Martino’s overall vision. It could still be interesting, appreciated and beautiful, but it would be a completely different project.
After talking about these projects again, I wonder if I tried on too strong an opinion at points in my blog entries. Do I have to have a set idea now? During my freshman year in Rhode Island School of design, I took Wood Working with Hand Tools as a winter session class. I took this class in order to get a feel of what industrial Design would be like. I enjoyed sharpening the tools and using my eyes to literally see how flat I was making a piece of wood. I entered Industrial Design perhaps with the notion that I would further explore making well crafted kinds of pieces. Now, as a junior, I have to consider if I belong here in ID if I am looking for a craft outlet? Can my desire for craft be fulfilled here? Am I in the right major? Is it really craft I am attracted to or if the piece is well crafted is it just easier for me to appreciate? What is it really about? I try to appreciate projects for what they are and my peers’ viewpoints are interesting to read. I’m only 20 years young and still absorbing. Maybe I don’t need to state exactly where my lines fall but I can tease and question them before they do.