I think machine carving and hand carving are just different tools, there is no absolute difference in artistic level. Their artistic performance depends on the artistic level of the tool user. A high level of hand engraving is better than a lot of low-level machine engraving. Similarly, a high level of machine carving than a large number of low level of hand carving. In terms of productivity, machine engraving has a definite advantage. However, in terms of product personality, hand-carved has a great advantage.
Machine-carved works look uniform, with the same shade marks. Therefore, it lacks the sense of concave and convex, and thus the three-dimensional sense is not strong. On the contrary, the technique of hand-carving is more flexible with undulating and stretching lines. When we touch, we can feel the details of the work, especially on irregularly shaped works. In addition, some of the three-dimensional carvings out of the plane can only be achieved through hand-carving. Mechanical carving technology limited only to the computer can never perfectly simulate this process.
The mass-produced machine-carved works can only be “commodities”, while the works born under the carver’s meticulous craftsmanship can only be regarded as “Art”. Let me take the home furnishing market as an example! In the factory assembly line production model, each piece of furniture through a different mechanical process, according to a fixed template mass production. Finally, it is polished and brought to the market. Hand-carved pieces, on the other hand, come from artisans. They use the pneumatic engraver and according to their own artistic design, the production of solid wood furniture is condensed with the thoughts, efforts, and emotions of the craftsmen.
In addition, why is hand-carved in the collection field generally favorable? Let me tell you the truth! From the wood structure to analyze, hand-carving is easier to protect the quality of wood, so that the toughness and stability of the wood are not damaged. However, machine carving has no such benefits. Whilst machine carving can increase efficiency and reduce costs, it also takes away the soul of the piece.
Whether you machine carve or hand carve, the key is to produce great furniture pieces. Hand saws, push planes, CNC machining centers, etc. are just machines, there is life to manipulating their hard-working hands, and there is the spirit of commanding the hands of the wisdom of the mind. Hand-carved or machine-carved, reflecting the ultimate human creativity.