Is Woodworking a Fine Art?


Woodworking is both a fun and productive hobby that more and more people are discovering each year. It’s been around forever, but with the level of information we have about it these days, we can spill all of the facts in a digestible, convenient manner. One question about woodworking that gets debated is whether or not it can be considered fine art.

Woodworking is a fine art defined as “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes.” We see beautiful artwork in woodworking all the time, and thus, it can be considered fine art. 

We will be going over why woodworking can be considered fine art and give some examples of projects you can consider doing. Read further if you’d like to learn more!

What Is Fine Art? 

When hearing or seeing the words “fine art,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Many people consider fine art to be paintings; if you google it, you will see almost nothing but paintings. 

So does that mean fine art only applies to paintings? Nope! That’s just one aspect. The definition of fine art is as follows: “a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic and intellectual purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.”

Many things can fall under fine art, from drawing to creating sculptures, but you are here because you want to learn if woodworking can be considered fine art or not. 

Can Woodworking Be Considered a Fine Art?

We’ve established that fine art covers various things, but it isn’t entirely clear to everyone if woodworking can be defined as an art form. It garners lots of questions if it can be considered art, and we are here to tell you that, yes, woodworking can be an art form. 

Woodworking is the act of creating things using wood, the definition is that simple, and because of that, woodworking has a wide scope in what it can be.

Engraving a drawing into a woodblock is woodworking just as much as making a luxurious dining table. The only difference is that one is more “simple” than the other.

Another similarity they share is that they are designed to look aesthetically pleasing and show creativity – which is what art is. 

People can get into woodworking for different reasons; it is to express their creativity for many people. Once woodworking starts to click with you, making things based on your creativity is a joy.

A custom wooden chair built to be aesthetically pleasing is a fine art, creating wall art, sculptures, and trinkets. 

Not only is woodworking art, but it’s also a craft – a two for one deal if you will. You can make functional things that blend well with home decor, and how much you want to style things up is completely up to you. Engraving is one example of wood-related artwork, and it can be applied to pretty much anything you build.

Examples of Wooden Art

You can do almost anything with wood, whether it is to use it for purely practical purposes or creating things that are meant to be admired – or both, as we established above. We wanted to give you some examples of artsy woodworking projects that you can consider for your next creation or learn of their existence and appreciate what they have to offer. 

Engraving and Carving

Wood artwork is an ancient tradition, after all, trees have been with humanity since the very beginning, and with the abundance of lumber, it got used for more than just building homes and creating fire. 

Wood carving is an excellent example of woodworking being a fine art because it is done with the sole intention to express creativity and be aesthetically pleasing.

The kicker here is that you don’t even have to buy expensive equipment to do this. You can get yourself a set of Hurricane Chisels (Check current price on Amazon Here)Opens in a new tab. for under $20; from there, you need some lumber and the drive to create. 

Next is engraving, which is essentially drawing or writing into the wood, and as you may guess, this has infinite possibilities. Many people like to use CNC routers for this purpose, but you can also use hand tools to accomplish this. 

If you need any proof that woodworking can be art, look at this model Ford Raptor being built. When we say you can do practically anything with wood, we mean it!

Wall Art

You can create pieces of wood art designed to be hung on a wall just like a painting would. And just like a painting, there are endless possibilities for what you can make. You can create flat art, 3D art, abstract art; you name it. There are many examples of gorgeous wall-hung artwork, and you can make it fit right into any home decor, whether it be modern or rustic.

Furniture

Furniture can be art, and it is a great example of art and practicality coming together beautifully. Many woodworkers start off building basic furniture such as a standard chair or stool, but once you become more accustomed to the hobby, you can focus more on unique styling

Let’s take a table, for instance. It seems basic at first, with four legs with a flat surface on top, but a lot can go into designing this piece of furniture. What type of wood do you want to use? What theme do you want to go? Are there any patterns you want to use? How do you want the table to stand? 

A table can influence a dining room’s vibe and is one example where you can turn something that is initially a craft into a project that becomes an artwork. 

How to Start Incorporating Art Into Your Projects

If you would like to start getting into the artsy side of woodworking, you don’t have to go out of your way to learn how to carve or be amazing at drawing. Art is subjective, and if you want to make things that you think will look nice, then there are some things to consider.

You can almost always style up something in your own way and while creating things that look nice is the goal for many woodworkers, think about how you can take things to the next level. 

Think about what type of coloring, if at all, would work great with your project. Many people prefer to apply a finish that enhances the natural wood appearance, but as we said above, art is subjective. There are many examples of gorgeous wood projects that have sleek coloring applied to them. 

Next, consider how you can tastefully add some engravings into your projects. This can be tricky if you aren’t used to doing this since you can’t exactly erase mistakes, but a router can make your results more consistent.

You can also add some stylish shapes, designs, and patterns to your project. Don’t be afraid to try something new if it means you can explore new twists!

Conclusion

Woodworking is not only a craft, but it can also be fine art. It fits the literal definition of art and woodworking is such a broad topic that covers strictly practical projects to ones that are designed to be art pieces. 

Some woodworking art examples are sculptures, carvings, wall-hung art, and beautifully crafted furniture with unique designs. You can use woodworking as a means to express your creativity. 

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