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Project by EPJartisan posted 03-01-2013 10:37 PM 2090 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay.. this post is mostly to add fire to the recent debate on whether CNC carving makes art.

I was visiting the new offices of the marketing company where my partner is Director of IT. The offices are mostly modern and simple in design, but with moments of fine crafted pieces of furniture and company related artwork. The main desk was commissioned of a finely crafted block of laminated walnut, half which was higher into a bar for guests to have a coffee while waiting. And on the desk was a their logo…

A CNC carved 3-D lettering of five sheets of fiber board with a coating of red paint on the front. And I thought… oh.. a CNC carved logo… so, aside to my partner…I commented on the cheap quality.. and he then told me how much they paid for it. I think I burst a blood vessel in my brain… I just repeating $400 for THAT!!! for a cheap put in a computer and pump out a logo with no thought or care… for $400??

Now I understand that CNC machines are not cheap and a place must get it get its costs.. but I was outraged. In this world where people constantly think they can get hand woodwork for the price of Ikea. I actually said “is this what Trisect is??... they want to be fiber board coated with red paint??” and I was asked back… well what do you think Trisect is?” and … well the company is awesome to work for and full of talented people….so, I made this for them so my partner could give it to the CEOs for Christmas.

He comes home and tells me that he called his bosses together and tells them … “You have all met Eric, you know he is a really nice guy, and an artist, so you know he sees things in a different way ….” and proceeds to tell them exactly what I wrote above and all the while they sat kinda open mouthed not smiling at all… and then he gave them my carved logo. They were totally blown away, and one even gave me a hug the next time he saw me. This can only be good for his career… and a bit of marketing for myself.. he he.

So how does this add to the CNC vs art debate… well honestly $400 for the CNC logo is not that bad compared to how difficult it was to produce this. I actually sat back and asked my self.. this is a band saw and router table made logo… of two layers of Bloodwood between 3 layers of walnut… and a bloodwood veneered “3”. Would it have been any different if I made most of it in a CNC machine?... so is this piece art? I think it is just great craft…. and beyond this story and that an artist made it…. I still think I only produced something of fine craft, not art.

Thanks for looking ~ e

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

6 comments so far

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3346 days

#1 posted 03-01-2013 11:36 PM

You produced something of VERY fine craft Eric, and that’s better karma than a CNC-cut piece of crap.
So, all in all: SCORE! :)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Sodabowski's profile


2388 posts in 3346 days

#2 posted 03-01-2013 11:38 PM

(still wondering how on earth one could have pulled this together without cutting the letters separately and then glueing them back to the base after contouring)

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3369 days

#3 posted 03-02-2013 10:49 AM

Eric that is a nice piece full stop
The finished product is what to me it is all about
The CNC machine is a tool that can either produce a finished product
or a component for a product, no more no less.
I would use my teeth to get the final product if I thought the result would be good.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3500 days

#4 posted 03-02-2013 09:49 PM

An interesting story with a wonderful result.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View altendky's profile


169 posts in 2723 days

#5 posted 03-03-2013 12:03 AM

Is a cast bronze statue not art? How about electronic music? Or digital photography? shrug I figure the art is in the person and the result, the craft is in the usage of the tool (whatever it may be). Looks like you exhibited both, though perhaps you are right that it is more on the craft side than art. The veneered 3 (seems the real logo should accent like that as well), the vertical trisection with the lamination, and the contrasting ‘organic’ base are the ‘artsy’ parts for me. Regardless, be proud, it’s a pleasure to look at as far as corporate logos go. :]

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2567 days

#6 posted 03-03-2013 09:55 PM


-- Joel

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