Art Vs Crafts – A debate with a new twist
Many say that “craft” is a technique, a static, possibly a repeated pattern of steps to achieve a result. Let’s select some examples and see what you think.
A leather worker takes repeated, learned steps to build and complete a saddle. During this process, he must apply his leather tool craft skills to print the chair. In his mind, he created a design using probably a default styling method for his tools. Once this is done, he has completed a saddle that has been “crafted” by hand.
What about the leather tools separated from the saddle base? It was designed, drawn and implemented by this craftsman using the imagination and skills acquired from him. Ultimately, he has created a work of “art”. Are you a craftsman or an artist? Could it be both?
If some describe the craft as a technique that has been applied for centuries, then by all rights the furrier should be classed as a craftsman, correct? But if “art” is a personal creative expression, what classification do we give to your leather tools? They can’t be both, right?
Let’s throw a wrench for fun. Suppose this saddle was the most beautiful and magnificent saddle that anyone has ever seen. It is put up for sale in a gallery and bought by someone who doesn’t know anything about horses or saddles and doesn’t want to. Supposedly it was purchased as “art” to be displayed among his collection. The following week, the owner of the saddle invites his friends over for cocktails and shows them his new acquisition. When friends see the saddle, you say “…wow, you really have to appreciate that craft.” Another says, “Now that’s what I call a true work of art.” Another says “…what the hell are you going to do with that?”
The skill of repairing jewelry is a trade. If a jeweler starts designing jewelry and applies centuries-old techniques to their crafts to achieve an outstanding and remarkable design or style, is it still a craft or has the jeweler become an artist because the jeweler brought thought, expression and emotion to the part while creating? it’s?
A monkey splashes various colors of paint on a canvas. The monkey has a great seller who takes this work to a gallery. It sells for thousands of dollars because it is presented as “art”. Come on, is this considered intent, emotion, or expression or is this the best salesperson you’ve ever met? Please… don’t get me started on the monkey and his possible emotions.
If someone can sell what they produce or “make”, does that make them an artist? Maybe.
The word “art” has a little more credibility than “craft”. We’ve all seen it while attending “craft shows” vs. art shows. It seems that the “art” shows serve wine and cheese and demand higher priced items. Craft shows are where Grandma sells the crocheted toilet paper roll covers, you know the one with the Barbie doll half on top of it? Or, where you see all those wooden craft signs that say something cute and cheesy on them. You won’t find any of those at an “Art” show.
So where does the word “handcrafted” fit into this equation? According to the
The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a “craftsman” as:
1: a worker who practices a trade or craft: craftsman
2: one that produces something (such as cheese or wine) in limited quantities, often using traditional methods
Uh oh, wine and cheese? It seems that this belongs to the category of “art”.
According to Wikipedia;
A craftsman, also called a craftsman, is a skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular trade.
I guess assembly line workers can be called “artisans”? Let’s not forget the “artisan” bread. Is making bread a trade or an art? As much as I like it, I would say that baking bread is an “art”.
Millicentrogers describe a craftsman as; “a person skilled in an art or craft” I like this one, no bias shown here.
What is my goal of this article? It is done in the hope that people will start to think differently. A craft perhaps an expression of art. Being an artist is a profession. You must have the ability to create something to be an artist. The old cliché “Art is in the eye of the beholder” is still true. Whether you love crafts or are an artist, you are here to communicate your skills and hopefully someone will appreciate your creations.