If you clicked on this, you must be interested in woodworking and maybe you also have one of those confusions: Does laser cutting count as woodworking?
Some may say woodworking is all about skilled manual labor, however, some may say technology has progressed, and sometimes manual labor is unnecessary.
Here are some thoughts we would want to share with you:
As with any industry, there are changing trends and evolving technology. The definition of handmade is becoming blurry.
For example, like the difference between forging and milling, both use metal as a medium but get the same result. Therefore, no matter what you want to do, engraving, cutting, labeling, and no matter what you want to use, a circular saw, table saw, jigsaw, or a laser cutting machine, it is just different pathways to achieve the same goal.
We can reach an agreement that the idea of “skill” is more based on how much someone put themselves into a project. So if someone uses a 3D printer to print out an “artworks” he/she downloaded, then it should not really be praised as craftsmanship, regardless of how fancy it would be.
CNC laser cutting is a different skill set. A considerable part of the wooden creation is from the skill and ability in operating the CNC laser cutting system.
Therefore, as long as you put the time in your woodworking, whatever is learning how to run a CNC laser cutting machine or using a jigsaw, even without the design work, just takes a certain amount of skill that should be appreciated.
Some musicians faced criticism for their use of synthesizers or electronic devices. Witnessing the success of Giorgio Moroder, Pink Floyd, etc, still and all, some people felt this was unskilled or unmusical.
Same idea with woodworking. Using CNC does not mean that the user lays a board down and CNC will give you a completed piece of work. It is just a tool to shorten your working hours and realize your creativity. There are more high-tech productivity tools yet to come. As tools evolve, unique and brand-new ways to express your artworks will also evolve.
Fortunately, the art world now is including “digital art” as a respected and well-developed genre.
If you have an idea to create, then you are already miles ahead of most people. Do not let anyone ever dull your sparkle!