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Thread: Paul Sellers an amateur woodworker

  1. #1

    Paul Sellers an amateur woodworker

    Sellers labels himself in youtube or instagram (?) as an amateur woodworker, not a fine furniture maker or instructor. I wondered for some time why he does so. For a guy (from the UK) who has done work for the White House, I would not believe humbleness alone accounted for it. I think his latest blog post explains it. Check it out if you're interested.

    For one thing, in my dictionary, professional woodworkers don't exist. The adjective "professional" carries a special meaning for recognition subject to accreditation requirements, etc. Some people like to refer woodworkers who do woodworking for a living or have been in the trade long enough as professional woodworkers. Sam Maloof, recognized with a MacArthur “genius” Grant, had simply "Woodworker" on his business card.

    Many excellent furniture pieces seen in FW Reader's Gallery pages are done by amateur woodworkers. Sellers nails it right this time.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 11-09-2018 at 5:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    Definitions are as plentiful as belly buttons, and hardly any one worth arguing over. Much pride seems to be taken by the belief that one's own definition is the correct one though.

  3. #3
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    How about from a dictionary?

    Definition #2: engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as a pastime
    It says nothing of the quality of one's work or ability.

    Does Paul Sellers have an occupation outside of his teaching woodworking and doing woodworking as a main paid occupation?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    I like the word Amateur woodworker. To me it means for the love , to work with a passion.
    I also like the word craftsman and often call myself the Unknown craftsman.
    Some will call me a artist or a carpenter.
    Im see myself as a Amateur woodworker unknown in my craft.
    Aj

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    But is he still eligible for the Olympics?

  6. #6
    Well, some of the dictionaries of today are just guides to modern use. Amateur has always defined a person who did
    something out of the love of doing it. Not for money.

  7. #7
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    It's not the 1980's anymore, professional athletes are allowed in the olympics

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    But, then Sherlock Holmes was also known as an "Amateur Detective.."

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Wilkins View Post
    But is he still eligible for the Olympics?
    Given the way Chinese athletes are trained (on more than a full-time basis) and they are still allowed to compete in the Games, I more than suppose so.

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 11-10-2018 at 12:30 PM.

  10. #10
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    As others have mentioned, amateur carries a few shades of meaning, but professional implies that you make you living off of the trade. Amateur may, in some context, imply the quality of work, but may also simply imply non-professional.

    Quality and skill is better designated by the apprentice-journeyman-master system of development (unfortunately nearly extinct in modern society).

    Regardless of the range of opinions of Mr. Sellers and his presentation, he certainly qualifies as a 'master woodworker'. However, there are certainly those who have mastered various aspects of the craft to a higher degree and would better be described with additional qualifiers by their respective skills -- 'master joiner, finisher, chair maker, marqueteur (made that one up), etc.'

  11. #11
    When I need a professional opinion or any kind of professional advice on serious matters (medical issues, for example), I certainly would not trust the definition of any dictionary to guide my choice of advisor. By the dictionary definition you quoted, even my neighbor's son, a new grad., who works full time with pay more like a banking trainee can call himself a professional banker.

    Simon

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by steven c newman View Post
    But, then Sherlock Holmes was also known as an "Amateur Detective.."
    Wiki classifies the fictional figure as a consulting detective. But as we know, anyone can call themselves a consultant. It is an occupational term widely misused to the extent that no one takes a business consultant title with any seriousness, unless a) the employer is one of the noted consultancy firms, and b) the business card includes qualifications such as an MBA or a CPA or the like.

    Of course, some of the business cards that I have come across from very top executives or very rich people have nothing on them other than a name. No titles, no honorary qualifications, and some even with no contact info. (you are supposed to make contact through their personal or executive assistants first).

    Simon
    Last edited by Simon MacGowen; 11-10-2018 at 11:31 AM.

  13. #13
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    I wonder what Sellers' profession (occupation) is. I guess "definition" is a choice, as a lot of people think truth is.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    I wonder what Sellers' profession (occupation) is. I guess "definition" is a choice, as a lot of people think truth is.
    I would say his occupation is a woodworking instructor. He doesn't make a living selling woodworking projects.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Mikes View Post
    It's not the 1980's anymore, professional athletes are allowed in the olympics
    Yes. But they still discriminate against professional wrestlers !

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