Aesthetics SIG

Have you ever wondered why something that you have made is more appealing than another similar object? Does your well-built project not live up to your expectations? Do you wonder why? We have all seen some things, be it a wooden spoon, an end table, a turned bowl, etc. that immediately strikes us as a magnificent spoon, etc. Why is that?

Aesthetics Defined

  • Outward appearance: the way something looks, especially when considered in terms of how pleasing it is
  • Idea of beauty: an idea of what is beautiful or artistic
  • Study of beauty: the branch of philosophy dealing with the study of aesthetic values, e.g. the beautiful and the sublime
  • Wikipedia has a long discussion of aesthetics. See


Over box lunches on the first free Saturday of each month, we will gather at the Clubhouse and discuss and analyze club member's wooden objects. Possibly an object or objects could be proposed for discussion at the next meeting. Then at the next meeting, people interested in discussing this object or preparing their own interpretation of the object can bring work to the meeting. Potentially, such discussions, comparisons, and analyses will help each of us understand how to build wooden objects that are more beautiful.


Reading Library

Golden Mean

Keith Tompkins on Design

Todd Hoyer on Vessel Orientation

Designing With Grain

Grading Lumber

Hardwood Lumber Grades

Selecting the Right Board Outline on Evaluation and Improvement
Dutton on Art and Craft Craftsmen Discussion on Difference of Art and Craft



The Aesthetics SIG met on Friday, February 14th. We discussed the meaning of Craftsman and Artist and if there was a difference. I think we concluded there is a difference but maybe of no significance. We recognized that an Artist must also be a Craftsman. Some of the differences at this fuzzy boundary between Craftsman and Artists are utilization of serendipity and trial and error and playing with ideas. A fine Craftsman is indistinguishable from an Artist; but the two vague terms are still useful.

With some concepts of these value terms, we then discussed the following questions:

1. How do you evaluate the quality of woodworking education?

2. How do you improve your quality of woodworking?