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Lesson Plans

Re: The craft/art/"folk" thing again.

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
henry (taylorh)
Fri, 30 May 1997 07:47:04 -0700 (MST)

On Thu, 29 May 1997, betti longinotti wrote:

> I still think that there is more to "Craft" than process or skill. I
> also think that the craft medium or what may be classified as a craft
> can be closer to pure 'Art' than some paintings or other traditional art
> mediums found within the commercial world.


> Part of my own perspective comes of course from my own experience. As a
> young art student in college I just could not understand why there were
> differences and lines drawn between art and craft.

Actually I can understand that differences are perceived. It's the
"hard-edged" boundries and the exclusive or exclusionary values associated
with the perceived difference that eludes my understanding. I'm always
glad when someone points out some difference between, things, that they have
noted. My only problem is when there is an insistence that I share or
accept the values or meanings attributed to such differences.

> To me everything I had learned as a painter I could convey in stained
> glass, as my room-mate could in a weaving. My first departures in stained
> glass were interpretations of my paintings. Sometimes I still think
> people think craft objects have to function in a certain way. Why does
> the medium of a visual creation define it as Art or Craft?

I have noticed that for quite a while now there has been a group of crafts
people producing works, in many ways, indistinguishable from "art" but
insistently labeled as craft. Also I've known an artist or two who chose
to "switch camps". I'm tempted now an then to assume the label to just to
distance myself from pop images of "the artist". I settle for being an
Iconoclast, and attempt to break down such fixed imagery.

I agree, once points of view are framed its easy to return to them when
they seem useful even if you abandon them most of the time. "Generally I
say things are this way, but sometimes I say that they are that way."
Frustrating as it can be for those looking for firm answers, it seems to
be typically human. Even particle physicists have indulged in it when it
seemed necessary.

Wasn't it William Blake who prayed to be preserved from "Newton's sleep
and single vision"? (or something like that)