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TOPIC: Art vs. Craft

28 Jan 2010 08:02 #42955

  • eileenkny
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Check out this blog: http://blog.leniwiener.com/?p=546

Leni is an artist, author and teacher. She's also a friend.

eileenkny

from the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY
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24 Jan 2010 08:09 #42796

  • PosyP
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No, not everyone in the world is an artist by the phrase 'artist at their trade' I mean that for instance in the building trade some builders can build an adaquate wall or even a good wall an 'artist' will build an excellent or beautifully constructed wall, their pointing of the cement is a delight to behold - when you know what you are looking at. I use the analagy of building because my father in law was a builder, which rubbed off onto my husband (who is an engineer in metal work), which in turn has slightly rubbed off on me.

Personally I am a tailor, so I look at the fit of clothes on people! I can see the difference between an off the peg suit that is worn as bought, to one that has been altered to fit, to one that is bespoke. The first does the job, is ok-ish, the second is better, the last is the work of artists.

An 'artist' is someone who puts that 'extra something' into their work, call it love, call it heart, call it a heartbeat, it might be something in the preparation that is not visible immediately or at all, but it affects the end 'product', that when you see it you say 'yes that is right/that tastes right to my mind' even though you don't know why.

Apologies if I am taking this thread off course or too deep, I suppose it comes back to how you answer, 'what is art?' and what is an artist?' and how much you actually think about the questions in the first place.

Rosemary


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23 Jan 2010 20:17 #42770

PosyP- By your definition, then everyone on the planet could be considered an "artist". To quote a famous movie, "And when everyone's special no one is."

We have a concrete wall around our house along with closed circuit cameras at the door and security doors because our neighborhood is "questionable" at best. We've been broken into 4 times in 3 years, the yard has been vandalized once, my car has been keyed and both our vehicles have been broken into twice.
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23 Jan 2010 18:52 #42756

Why do you have a concrete wall around your house? Inquiring minds want to know......
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23 Jan 2010 10:13 #42727

  • PosyP
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So would the guys who built the concrete wall around our house be artists? After all, they did a very good job. Or is a teacher of Algebra with a very high pass rate an artists? No.

You could argue that YES they are artists, they are 'artists at their trade', because they have achieved a high degree of skill and excellence in their specialist 'trade', whether as builders or teachers. It can all come down to What/How do you define art and/or an artist?

Some 'artists' make the most amazing things, but you wouldn't always want to live with it, if quite frankly to you it looks dreadful; but that does not take away from the fact that they have put a lot of time and effort and skills to achieve the end effect.

Rubens and Picasso were both painting artists, but I would far rather look at a Rubens painting than one of Picasso's (especially with a hangover :) ) 'You pays your money and takes your choice!' every one likes something different and everyone has their views on what they like or define as art.

Rosemary

P.S. since the afore mentioned artists painted on canvas does that make them 'textile artists? :lol:


Embroideress Extrordinaire & Mad Hatter
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22 Jan 2010 18:31 #42687

  • ajclapp
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Ok, so I have an old Webster's dictionary and some of the definitions might be obsolete. This is a better definition from yourdictionary.com. A person who does anything very well, with imagination and a feeling for form, effect, etc.
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22 Jan 2010 15:58 #42681

Art is also:"Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation".
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/art
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22 Jan 2010 14:50 #42678

ajclapp wrote:
According to my dictionary an artist is also a person who does anything very well.

Seriously? What a unique dictionary that must be. So would the guys who built the concrete wall around our house be artists? After all, they did a very good job. Or is a teacher of Algebra with a very high pass rate an artists? No.

I would argue that the definition of an artists is ever-so-slightly redefined for each show, each gallery and each instance where a definition is needed (as with the work of a 4 year old).

I also think it's important not to dillute the term "artist" as a category that anyone/everyone falls into. After all, if every quilter is an "artist" then where are the artisans and crafters?
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22 Jan 2010 14:33 #42677

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I don't think it really matters as long as you enjoy what you're doing. Even though I've designed most of my own patterns I called myself a crafter for many years. Now I know that I was really an artisan. Since I changed from making crafts to mostly quilts about 10 years ago, when my son asks me if I'm working on my crafts, I like to correct him and say I'm making quilts. I think they belong in a completely different category. According to my dictionary an artist is also a person who does anything very well. So even though you may not be considered an artist by others, if you make prize winning quilts you can consider yourself an artist.
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22 Jan 2010 09:11 #42665

A few years back a jury was looking at a lot of paintings and had to deside what paintings would go in the exhibition in the art museum, it took some time, but they reached a decision. They contacted the artists to let them know that their paintings was in. Guess they was quit suprised when they realized that a 4 year old had made some of the paintings :lol: :lol: :lol:
I do think that what we consider art is our eyes, heart and our feelings.
If using others pattern you are a craftswoman/man
If jusing your heart, mind and soul to make the patter yourself you are an artist.

I create, therefor I am an artist.

And...sometimes I feel this disussion would never take place in a mans world. They would look at eack other with aknowledgement in their eyes and say: Wow, what a greate artist you are!
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21 Jan 2010 20:22 #42657

BTW, Florence, are you still out there? Haven't heard from you in a long time!
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21 Jan 2010 17:49 #42654

  • Lorchen
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Miles, may I suggest you join this group:

http://www.quiltart.com/

Lorchen
From the edge of Sherwood Forest, home of Robin Hood
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21 Jan 2010 13:28 #42641

I tend to be a stickler for details so suffice to say the aforementioned quote doesn't jive with me- after all, to say a laborer is just a pair of brainless hands is pretty ridiculous.

One can be an unskilled laborer, whose contribution to the community or gross national product can be seen as a simple equation: work>knowledge. In other words, the work or effort produced exceeds the knowledge it takes to perfor the work. For instance washing dishes would be considered an unskilled labor since there is far more work involved than knowledge needed to do the work.

A person can be an artisan or craftsperson. That equation would be seen as knowledge is = or > than the work. This is where I believe most quilters fall into. Let's be honest, quilting (in the physical sense) is not a labor-intesive process. There's a lot of sitting and standing and that's about it. The bulk of the work is knowledge-based (cerebral), requiring a great deal of thought and reason. In other words, anyone can wash dishes, but not anyone can quilt.

Art can be perceived as intent, skill, knowledge, labor and perception- all in varying degrees but very fluid. A laminated bag of refuse may raise question as to the quality of the art, but one cannot argue the intent; the artist intended to make an artistic statement and therefore the art is legitimate. It thusly become the repsonsibility of the viewer to try to understand the intent. All too often the viewing public of art is lazy, demanding to be spoon-fed the origins of art and artist. This is why I rarely name my work beyond abstract terms and I never provide an "artists statement" when I'm in a show.

True story: When I entered my very first quilt show I left the line for "Title" blank. I was told that the quilt in question HAD to have a name. I told the woman in charge that I would have to think about it. Of course, I had no intention of naming the quilt so I never "got back" to her. The day the show opened I discovered my quilt had been named for me! Imagine that. So I went to a desk where raffle tickets were being sold, borrowed a pen and scribbled out the title.

But I digress. Most of the work I see by quilters falls under the "artisan" category, for it certainly isn't "art" nor the result of unskilled labor.
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20 Jan 2010 23:07 #42622

  • Libbi
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Considering that I have seen laminated bags of garbage (yes, actual waste materials, vegetable peels, etc.) displayed in art galleries as "contemporary art," :shock: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that quilting is an "art" form.

As with all artistic endeavors some are considered better than others and some achieve levels of brilliance, some set out to create "art" and some create it accidentally. Often "art" is just a matter of personal or cultural taste that is subject to change over time.

Sometimes people think way too much about the obvious. :P

PS. I wasn't a very good philosophy student :oops:


Looking out the window at Lake Leman in beautiful Switzerland
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