How to describe work

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How to describe work

Postby Makingtoothpicks » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:23 pm

I have a question about how to describe my work.
Do I call it hand made
Do I call it original work of art
Do I call it crafted works of ??

It is made by a machine so I think hand made is out. Made on a machine but not massed produced so
what to call it. Hard for me to define if I want to sell something but not give the idea it is easy or not
artistic and not really handmade.

Hope this does not confuse.

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Re: How to describe work

Postby Rcnewcomb » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:30 pm

Custom crafted
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Re: How to describe work

Postby mtylerfl » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:31 pm

Precision Made, Hand-Finished Products for Your Home or Workplace
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Re: How to describe work

Postby Jozua » Fri Jul 20, 2018 7:16 pm

Makingtoothpicks wrote:I want to sell something but not give the idea it is easy or not
artis and not really handmade.

And your question is????????????????????
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Re: How to describe work

Postby Leo » Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:07 pm

WOW - that is beautiful, did it take a like time to make it?

Ya know, you would not believe it if I told you.


I see no reason to hide what I make or how I made it.

If it was make on a table saw, band saw or whatever "?conventional?" machine, I would not say - oh this was made on a table saw. So likewise I don't say - oh this was made on a CNC machine.

I may say it was shop made in my shop by me.

I might say it is a custom made piece in my shop by me.

I might say it was made by me and hand finished by me.

I try to stay away from a discussion about CNC, but if it does come up, I may say yes that is one of the many tools in my shop that I use, along with a hand plane or band say or a variety of other tools.

If they say they wanted "hand made" I would probably tell them I may be able to recommend someone, but the cost will be a lot higher. I may go on to say that hand made would mean NO power tools were used, not even a table saw.
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Re: How to describe work

Postby potzmannwoodshop » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:23 pm

Leo wrote:If they say they wanted "hand made" I would probably tell them I may be able to recommend someone, but the cost will be a lot higher. I may go on to say that hand made would mean NO power tools were used, not even a table saw.

I usually give them a description of what hand made means then up my price accordingly, haven't had anyone take me up on it yet.
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Re: How to describe work

Postby 4DThinker » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:47 am

I don't know. Despite many parts may be cut using a CNC, it takes a creative mind, skilled hands to type and draw using a PC, hands to fasten work down on a CNC, hands to control the controller to set the origin on the work, then hands to initiate the cut. After the CNC is done it takes hands to remove, clean up, sand, and finish the parts. For most of what I make all the CNC did was work a few other tools would have previously done. Without input from my mind and my hands all my CNC would be doing would be sitting there like every other tool I own.

Now I won't claim something is hand carved if my CNC carved it, but if the design is a product of my crafty mind then to me the final product is personally crafted by me.

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Re: How to describe work

Postby Mobius » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:57 am

I try to let pictures do the describing for me. Like they say, each one is worth at least 1000 words. How it gets made is my problem, not theirs.
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Re: How to describe work

Postby Xxray » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:16 am

At my campground there is this Grizzly Adams type guy who thinks he is the grand messiah of woodworking, his trailer and covered patio is festooned with all sorts of hand made things - I personally think most of it looks like junk, something a kid might have made, I would be embarrassed to admit I made any of it. Some of his concepts are valid and he has a modicum of creativity, lets just say his implementation is lacking.

Anyhow people at the campground sometimes stroll around from fire to fire and talk, I went by there one night, there were about 8 people sitting around the fire. Talk went to woodworking and some guy brought up CNC, to which Grizzly condemned to high hell saying any monkey could cut anything with a machine but it takes a true craftsman and artist to make things like him. I let him ramble on, didn't bother me plus it was his firepit, I tend to avoid being confrontational on other peoples property. But I started talking to the other guy about CNC and it was apparent this guy didn't know anything, but Grizzly started trying to bait me and piss me off about how I just churn out mass produced junk.

Just so happened I have quite a few things I have made hanging in my trailer, so I said Ok, I'm going to get another drink and I'll bring back some of my mass produced junk and let the crowd be the judge. I came back with 2 of my favorites, a tribal mask cut into a block of zebra wood and a crucifix in walnut. People were amazed, and didn't seem to care if it was whittled by hand or machine. I wasn't trying to make any sales pitches but I ended up selling them both right then and there, and Grizzly was chagrined into silence, I doubt if he has ever made $5 from the junk he makes.

Of course obviously there are actual skilled craftsman who make stunning works of art by hand, I don't feel I am in competition with any of them, I don't feel that they are better than me or me them. To me the ends justify any means, if a machine does all, some, part or none of the work, doesn't make any difference to me, and I'd say a majority of folks. They still are unique works of art with alot of labor put into them, I will accept no derision from anyone with what I do.

To address OP, I like the suggestions so far, "Custom designed & made in the USA" sounds about right to me. I don't think "machine" or "hand" has to enter the equation at all, unless potential customers specifically ask.
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Re: How to describe work

Postby newmexico » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:20 am

We all know about TEMPLATES that can be purchased.
At almost every craft show in my area, we see wood and metal made from those same templates.
Show organizers and customers also see those products.
Those template based products are giving us a bad reputation.
Suddenly, it is NOT hand made. It is mass produced. The same old thing.

Also, those vendors who sell that stuff can act like they are making and selling original artwork.

IMHO, templates give us a bad reputation. It can be difficult for customers and show organizers to differentiate our work from those templates.
We make our own vectors (artwork) and use machinery and electricity to produce our work. But that may not translate to customers and show organizers.
I try and talk with show organizers about this. I try and point out the difference between my original artwork (produced on my CNC) and the templates bought and sold all over the internet.
I can usually get the show organizer to quickly see the difference.

Also IMHO... I can be my own worst enemy. Once I make an original vector and start repeating it over and over again on my CNC machines, I also become suspect to show organizers. "Did you buy that template?"
I carry all my original artwork files on my ipad as proof of my originality for those discriminating art show organizers. I also use ZAPP for juried shows which helps provide proof of my original artwork.

((Some of the shows around the country have adopted a new category for their events. Machined art can be allowed if the artist can show authentication of his originality (not a purchased template). Hooray! Finally! A few smart show organizers are finally getting it!))
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Re: How to describe work

Postby Phil » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:32 pm

Ask if they like the material, do they like the design, do they like the finish. Tell them it was made by you, in your shop. What difference does it make what tools you used to turn out an item they like. The CNC method is simply another way to control a router, many carpenters, cabinet makers etc. use jigs and fixtures to control a router.

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Re: How to describe work

Postby sharkcutup » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:03 pm

Unique Woodcrafts or if it is not all woodcrafted -- Uniquely Crafted Designs

No need to explain how an item is crafted just as long as the customer is 100% satisfied with the outcome!

Just my opinion/thought!!!

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Re: How to describe work

Postby Leo » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Hand Made ???

Please give to me a definition as to what hand made means. I cannot define that.

Generally, whenever that comes up it is in terms of --- Did you use a CNC to make it? Well THAT does NOT define what hand made means - not even close

Hand made means - made by hand without use of machines. Pottery can be hand made. Cookies can be hand made, but please do not use a mixer, as that is a machine.

A table saw, Drill Press, Band saw is machinery, so that is not hand made.

An egg beater drill, a hand saw, hand plane, hand chisel can be questionable.

So, what is hand made? What does that mean anyway?

If a prospective customer start out by asking a question like that it is most likely just a poke at the process and not a serious customer. I will ask - what is hand made, and challenge the answer. I would not commit very much time to the conversation - maybe 1 minute or less.

If there is a serious customer, most likely they don't even care about the process.
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