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Further to my previous blogs on my wood piercing class and subsequent wood piercing attempts, I am making very slow progress on the wood piercing side of things, but find myself very inspired on the airbrushing, drawing and painting aspects of my turned bowls, so I guess the lesson here is that even out of frustration, good things can grow!

Below is a photo of a Madrone bowl that I pierced in a dandelion design, I think the piercing is still pretty rough and ready, but practice can only improve things, there is only one way to go with this "skill" and it can only be in a positive direction! I strongly suspect that the bowl that I started with was a tad on the thick side too, which I am sure did not help anything, but as always with Madrone, it warped into a very pleasing organic shape and turning thinner bowls is a great goal, so all is not lost!

Of course, there are those that will look at what I have achieved and scoff and tell me that I have a long way to go. A different group will "be blown away" and tell me it is "gorgeous, fabulous" etc. etc. I think it has more to do with one's personal benchmark, what do you want to achieve? Sometimes setting realistic expectations can be an issue, I am thoroughly guilty. Undoubtedly setting one's sights too high can be a source of constant irritation, but if you don't look to the stars you are never going to get there. Aim unreasonably high and you just never know where you will find yourself! That is my theory and I am sticking to it!

It is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I believe that it also depends on one's perception and expectations. It has occurred to me that the difference between something good and something exceptional may be in the level of detail, the care taken in the completion of the piece.

I ran this concept by my husband and he suggested that some of the most beautiful things actually lie in their zen-like simplicity. I can't argue with that!

Rather obviously my next thought went to overworking a piece and how that could so easily totally destroy it and cause it to be very ordinary! An enormously generous art teacher used to say that the trick in producing a great work of art is knowing when to stop!

So, I guess that, like all the biggest secrets of the universe, there is not one simple answer! Do what you love, do it with enthusiasm, do it with an aim to improving and producing something that pleases you. Beyond that, who knows?!?

This is a short blog as I am running off to airbrush a whole herd of bowls, have fun and see you at the lathe!

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