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Qotw: Is It Craft Or Is It Art


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#1 Pres

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:02 AM

This weeks question of the week comes from Yappystudent, in Idaho. She is at this point the only one who posted questions in my question bank. So I am honoring her participation with the first question from that bank. At the same time, conversation in the Quiz of the week dealing with "erroneous information" will be used some time in the near future.

 

So from Yappystudent directly as posted in the question bank, with no editing from me.

Is it Craft or is it Art?

You and I may have one idea about a piece of ceramic, while trust me, the oil painters in the gallery/art school/art faire may have another. (Personally, if it's non-utilitarian IMO it's art. But some utilitarian work is so artistic it crosses the line into Art as well. Also, it's a bit like defining God, I feel a bit full of myself just trying. Your opinion may differ.)

 

 

 

This is an age old question, and one that is often argued whenever one is in a group of artists, or heaven forbid artists and craftsmen. It is not solvable in my mind, as it really depends on the eye of the beholder, the personal tastes of the person, the day, the society. So have at it folks.

 

 

best,

Pres


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#2 Roberta12

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:18 AM

We have had this discussion before. It is always interesting when it comes round again.   

I can still remember how surprised I was the first time I was told only painters are artists.  I suppose that because I came to clay a little later in life, I was simply excited about making things!  My friend (photographer) and I spent 3 years trying to organize a group of makers here in our little town.  Lots of good events and friendships have come of this, but we could never get the painters to join in on anything.  Last year a painter pointed out that only painters were artists and we as "makers" (my word) were diluting the art base and giving the public the wrong idea about what was art.  So that is why the painters would not participate in any gatherings.  I was also told by a painter that painters (true artists) wouldn't participate in our events because they want prizes.  Money, ribbons, trophys, accolades.  I have always just been happy to sell something or get feedback on my work or to make new friends!!  Apparently that is not true with painters. I do know via Instagram , potters who are painters.  I wonder how they feel about this?  I may have to ask. 

When people tell me I am talented, I just cringe.  I really don't feel that whatsoever.  I consider myself a craftsman(woman) who has devoted a great deal of time learning a craft.  And I will always feel that way.  Not an artist, but a craftperson, learning a craft.

 

Roberta



#3 GEP

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:31 AM

Pres, I agree with you that this can't be answered in a way that satisfies everyone.

My personal take is that craft is subcategory of art. All craft is art, but not all art is craft. When I talk or write about my work, I use the words interchangeably.

It's the same as saying "oil paintings are art, but not all art is an oil painting."

Utilitarian work can contain so much creativity and self-expression. Oil paintings can contain very little. And vice versa for both.

While I don't spend much time thinking about the difference, I admit I am highly grateful that some people do. Groups like the American Craft Council, the Pennsylvania Guild of Crafts, the Smithsonian Craft Show, the PMA Craft Show, CraftBoston, etc .... I wouldn't exist as a business if groups like these weren't working hard to develop interest and appreciation of craft, and providing venues for buying and selling. Non-craft artists shouldn't feel left out, there are plenty of venues where craft is excluded. Every subcategory has its advocates.
Mea Rhee
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#4 Pres

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:32 AM

Hmmmm! Roberta, an interesting take on the problem. I remember Rembrandt, who is by many considered to be The Painter. He produced/created a much greater number of etchings that following your Painters philosophy would be considered-not art. I guess the entire art community begs to differ, as his etchings are as prized as his paintings. I guess just because they paid for his bread and butter so that he could paint on, they were not art?

 

 

who knows?

 

 

best,

Pres


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#5 RonSa

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:39 AM

Q: Is it art or craft

A; Yes

 

Its all in the hands of the potter or the beholder


Ron


#6 JBaymore

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:41 AM

Oh boy... the 'can o worms' is opened.  ;)

 

best,

 

..................john


John Baymore
Adjunct Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

Former Guest Professor, Wuxi Institute of Arts and Science, Yixing, China

Former President and Past President; Potters Council
 

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http://www.nhia.edu/...ty/john-baymore


#7 GEP

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 09:50 AM

After reading Roberta's response, I have also met those types. But honestly it seems like the only people trying to make a distinction using a negative or superioristic tone are non-craft people. I think that type of attitude is based on insecurity. I also want to emphasize that I have friends in the art fair world who are painters, sculptors, photographers, etc, who have zero inclination to be superioristic towards craft.
Mea Rhee
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http://www.goodelephant.com

#8 Pres

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:02 AM

Yes, and how many of us Craft people, act or presume ourselves inferior when in the presence of "artists"? Think it doesn't happen, I've seen it. I seen people at craft shows humbly go to the booth next to them excusing themselves for setting up to the painter. Of course this was in the 90's, but the way I looked at it, we were all there, all juried in.

 

 

best,

Pres


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#9 Joseph F

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

Some of the best art consist of beautiful buildings, well designed parks, flower gardens, etc etc. These are all utilitarian objects, yet they are some of the best art ever made. 



#10 Mark C.

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

Never will be resolved.

 

In art school we where just lowly potters-takes about a lifetime to master this field.

Painters who could draw mastered it in 3 years and where artists.


Mark Cortright
www.liscomhillpottery.com

#11 JBaymore

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 10:53 AM

I just ignore it and make my art.

 

best,

 

................john


John Baymore
Adjunct Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

Former Guest Professor, Wuxi Institute of Arts and Science, Yixing, China

Former President and Past President; Potters Council
 

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

http://www.nhia.edu/...ty/john-baymore


#12 Joseph F

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 11:05 AM

I just ignore it and make my art.

 

best,

 

................john

 

This. 

 

TBH. I never knew pottery wasn't considered an art by some until I came here and we had these discussions. Every time I go to an "art" gallery I see some sort of pottery. Maybe I don't go to the fancy enough ones.  B)



#13 LeeU

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 01:22 PM

Wouldn't touch this query with a hazmat suit. 


Lee Ustinich

 

 

 

 

 

#14 RonSa

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:10 PM

I'm on a woodturning forum where if you called someone an artist it would be met with a very negative response.

 

I had a friend that was horrified that his daughter was going to attend college as an Art Major.

 

I could go on with more examples but my typical response to these people is that I am an artist with an art degree.

 

To all the other artists on CAD, "What a breath of fresh air this site is, Thank you for being here":


Ron


#15 glazenerd

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 05:39 PM

The skill sets, the tools, the equipment, the kilns; along with the clay and glaze all fall into the category of craft. Those everyday functional mugs, plates, and bowls fall into the craft category as well. However, there is a point where creativity extends into craft and the pieces produced are works of art. Craft is what I drink coffee out of every morning, art is hung up on my walls. Art pulls you into the work visually and emotionally.  I would pay $30 for a well crafted mug to drink from, but I would also pay $150 for a mug that stirred my soul to look at.

 

Nerd



#16 Stone Spiral

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Posted 04 April 2017 - 08:45 PM

I consider myself both an artist and a craftsperson! We do form, we do function. We make beautiful things by hand.

I believe the term is "Artisan" :)


~* Roxy *~


#17 Fred Sweet

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 03:06 AM

Don't wish to be overly picky, Stone Spiral, but the definition of "artisan" according to Webster is:
1 : a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : craftsperson
2 : one that produces something (as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional

#18 RonSa

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 07:49 AM

    An artisan (from French: artisan, Italian: artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates things by hand that may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative arts, sculptures, clothing, jewellery, food items, household items and tools or even mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.


Ron


#19 karenkstudio

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:04 AM


"only painters are artists"
Consider the following scenario:
A collector has several pieces of pottery by well known potters prominently displayed in her home.
A friend paints a still life of that collection and the collector hangs that painting in her home.

Question: In this scenario is the painting the only work of art?

I know. Answering a question with a question is the chickens way out.

#20 RonSa

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Posted 05 April 2017 - 09:20 AM

Teapot by Pablo Picasso

 

 pablo-picasso-fish.jpg

 

Is it art or is it craft?


Ron





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