Thursday, April 30, 2009

ART VS CRAFT (In This Corner...Craft)

Art vs. Craft: Is it an issue / non-issue and how do you feel about the argument? This is the subject of the current Blog Carnival at Etsy Bloggers.

By definition (thanks there is certainly a correlation between the two.

Craft can be defined as “an art, trade, or occupation requiring special skill…”

Art “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinay significance.”

This suggests (I think) that the difference between craft and art is not the medium of the work but the level and quality of the work.

You could give me the a fine canvas, the highest quality paints, and the paint brushes previously used by Rembrandt and set me free to create. I guarantee the result would NEVER be called art. But look at the work of some of the wonderful beaders, paper crafters, chainmaillers and the the word art would certainly apply. It’s in their choices of colour, balance, design…

But just as with paint and canvas, I cannot create art, neither do I accomplish it with Fireline and beads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud and even in awe of some of my creations. However I have not reached the level of art, and I’m not likely too. I struggle with colours and have few totally original works. I’ve just never been artistic but I have always happily been crafty. It’s enabled me to make jewelry bags out of fabric scraps, gift boxes out of old paper, and given me an excuse to never throw anything away.

So my answer to the Etsy Blogger question is yes…and no… and sometimes. But who really cares? Just go out there and create!

Addtitional thought: There was a bit that the Kids in the Hall did on their show which featured a line apropos to all this and I've used the line many times..."Is it art just because you hang it on the wall? Don't get me started."

Perhaps art is simply in the eye of the beholder.


  1. so right ... it's not about the labels but about the creating! =(^_^)=

  2. I wouldn't call a lot of what I do art because I use pretty classic styles and just add sparkle. I just like making pretty things.

  3. I think of myself as an artisan...not a crafter. I've jokingly said I'm an artiste but please don't call my work "crafty". Ewwww.

  4. I was once turned down to do a show because I wasn't a "fine artist!" I never claimed to be, but they let in a tie-dye artist. So what is "fine art"? I feel I'm creative and I try to come up with artsy creations. I didn't do that when I first started but have evolved over the last three years. But I still don't think of myself as an artist. My son, who is an animator, is a true artist in my mind. He creates but has a special ability to draw. Now that's truly art! I'm not out to define myself in any way. Keep up what you are doing. It makes you feel good and also makes others feel good. Isn't that what's really important. I love your work!

  5. Art has always been in the eye of the beholder. People sometimes have unique ideas of what is called art! Creativity takes many shapes and forms and it's all good, whatever the label. Your work is wonderful, you have a fabulous eye for color and your pieces put smiles on faces of others. Kudos!

  6. Thanks for posting such an interesting topic! There is a fine line to walk for sure in how we catagorize our work. I agree with Laura, it's about the creativity!

  7. I wrote about this on a few months ago. Great topic!

  8. Interesting--so it seems like you're drawing the line based on how original the end product is? If it's breaking some kind of new ground? That's a very interesting way to think about it...I think i have a similar idea in mind too, but I also find it hard to see a clear boundary.

  9. i'm glad you enjoyed the anna lee's interview :)...and thank you! i wanted to give my blog a new look but still stay within the color skims of what was there before...i'm really happy with the new look :) because it has my 2 favorite colors lol

  10. I struggle with this all the time. I like the word "artisan" but I get blank stares if I use it. And I haven't reached the level to where I feel I can call myself an artist.

  11. Great article! But still wondering what a Blog Carnival is???
    Maybe I'm just too new at all this stuff.

  12. I love this ring multi color!
    It is beautiful!