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bciskepottery

Craft Is Good; Crafter Is Not -- Cerf+ Survey Results

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Yup, I'm right there, too. "Crafters" have become synonymous with hot glue guns and glitter and making everything out of mason jars and burlap.

 

Good to know that someone else dislikes the term foodie! I can't place my dislike on that one....it just makes me twitch.

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My older sis once she learn i make pottery suddenly was gifting me stuff with gingham print and such...it was very odd as i am not a country decor kinda person...seems somehow she saw pottery as a country craft, she was picturing bean pots and crocks. She is the only one to make this assumption tho. I don't use crafter, craft or any such term...i use potter, pottery and clay art because craft and crafter seems to have become a term for those making stuff from patterns and pinterest. Its like locally you can't call your pottery ceramics because that is what the cast ware at the paint your own pottery shops call the stuff from molds. Craftsman and craftsmanship is still good, tho round here it tends to be used by wood workers instead of potters.

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I don't use the term ceramics for that very reason. Growing up, people said they "did ceramics" if they went to the paint-your-own place down the road from my house. To this day, in my head, ceramics = baby-buggy shaped planters.

 

I actually think the tide has turned on using the word ceramics in place of pottery. Definitely some people have the connotation that "ceramics" is the granny in the church basement stuff but since slip casting has made a comeback the term now seems to be used for the more current style of work being produced. If you put the search term "ceramics" in  Pinterest a fairly modern looking collection of pots comes up. Don't know if Pinterest is a touchstone for the general populations opinion but that's another post. To avoid confusion I usually just say that I'm an artist that works in clay.

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I had a mother in law who "used to do ceramics" ... she was a warm, loving woman who enjoyed every second of her evenings glazing green ware. So when someone taps into that as a way to start a conversation with me, I tend to go with it in a friendly way. It doesn't take much to get them looking at your work and maybe buying a piece or two.

 

Many, many, many people have been told by others that they are not creative so who can blame them if they go crazy at Michaels once someone shows them they can indeed make creative crafts ... A whole different animal than a Craftsperson.

 

But I'm down with Matt on this one ... Don't care what you call me as long as the check clears. : - )

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Chris, I often heard "I'm not creative or artistic" when dealing with adults. Often times these folks are professional, educated, have inquiring minds, and solve problems. I have found that after a few classes in the adult class they come up with all sorts of ideas, some of these I hadn't even explored. So in the end, I find that maybe it takes the right medium(not just paper pencil or paint), a fostering environment, and social interaction with others heading in the same direction. Who knows?

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It is not surprising to me at all that the survey clearly shows "artist" being preferred to "craftsman/craftsperson".

So there is definitely still this thing between "art" and  "craft".

 

It seems to me the term "craft artist" is an attempt to avoid the destinction between art and craft.

Who uses this term? No-one I know refers to himself/herself as a "craft artist". (But who do I know anyway?)

Could it be that some crafts people feel that adding the word "artist" adds a bit more status ?

Could it be a genuine attempt by people whose work is a mixture of art and craft ?

 

"Crafter" is just a stupid word, in my humble opinion.

 

I respect craftmanship and I appreciate art, but I do not respect the rubbish that is often presented as "art".

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I have no problem with the term CRAFTER--so long as it isn't applied to me.

 

I really dislike ARTISAN.  That's a type of bread, right?  Some people seem to think it's an extra-fancy word for artist.  For me, it means somebody came up with one idea and repeats it over and over.  Sounds like hell.

 

Unfortunately, I'm not comfortable calling myself an ARTIST, either.  It seems presumptuous to announce "I am an artist!"  Maybe because so many of the people who have said that to me were talent-less hacks.

 

For example, I used to do art welding, and I was making a lot of bugs--mosquitoes, dragonflies, butterflies.  I ran into a recent art school graduate I knew at a garage sale.  He pointed out some hardware and said, "This isn't good enough for my art, but it would work for your crafts."    A few months later, I found out he had started making welded bugs...how original.

 

I usually say, "I do... (whatever I happen to be enamored of at the moment).  For the most part, I don't care if people think what I do is art.  I do it because I have to, not to make anybody else happy.

 

Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius 

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Huh. I've always liked the term Artisan. To me, it means that the person has taken the time to really learn an art form that speaks to them, and has let themselves run with it to a degree that their work is reliably reproducible. Yes, that can mean good bread. It can mean beautiful towels woven cleanly and consistently in an original pattern. It can mean pots in consistent and pleasing forms.

I think I'm far more drawn to the work of passionate and consistent artisans that I've ever been to the work of those who call themselves artists.

clay lover and Stephen like this

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I'm one of the repetitive work people. Definitely not an artist :)

 

My delight is finding the most efficient way to reach a consistent form that is just how I want it. The fact that I get bored with a particular thing and move on to a new challenge doesn't make me any less a repeat-worker :) I do that with everything, too. Creating sewing patterns or a piece of clothing, spinning a fine thread, forming a pair of faerie wings to completion, throwing a bowl exactly how I think a bowl should be shaped and sized, working out a knitting pattern.... None of it is art. But I take the process to Artisan level, working for intimate understanding of the process, efficiency, consistency, and beauty.

Stephen likes this

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Labeling my pots is easy; labeling myself, far harder...  In public discussion I just fall into whatever terms the others are using, but when someone gives me money for a piece I always say something like 'thanks so much for supporting my work.'  Not as b.s. but because it is a feeling that comes.

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Much of the time (not all the time) when I meet people who describe themselves as an 'Artist', I find that they are the type that dabbles in lots of different media, but doesn't necessarily excel greatly in any of them. They have a 'creative spirit', but haven't focused on any one media or method enough to really hone their craft. Most artists I meet who do have a high level of craftsmanship describe themselves with more detail, such as 'painter', 'wood sculptor', 'portrait artist', 'fiber artist', etc. I think they have a great sense of pride in their craftsmanship.

 

Personally, I describe myself as a 'potter'. I make pots, so it's a simple, easy to understand description. I have had people say that it's not an adequate description, that I should say 'ceramic artist', but I feel no shame in making functional pots. I'll let my customers decide whether or not I'm an artist or just a craftsman. It doesn't really matter to me.

Stephen and bciskepottery like this

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