Point #3-Art vs Craft and the Explanation of my Persona

21 Oct

The whole art vs craft debate has gone on for a while and I am sick and tired of reading about it. I am sick of pretentious namby pamby art farts arguing that unless it “soars” and means something and is part of some big “vision” it is not art. And I am just as sick of people who stitch a few half-hearted rainbows on some plastic canvas and try to tell me how “artistic” they have always been. Shut up, both of you. You both suck.

Then there is the third category, and I was one of these myself, and that’s the apologists. The folks that are good at what they do, and may be very skilled in a particular or various disciplines, and explain that they realise it isn’t “art” per se, but that folk art and craft have been hand and hand through the years and thus they are artists as well. I will never be one to tell somone how they can label themselves, but as for myself, I am proud to be a craftswoman, proud to be a crafter. To try to persuade someone that what I am doing is art as opposed to craft is to somehow concede that craft is somehow less…less valid, less creative, less marketable, less important. And while we are at it, yes…craftswoman. Not “-person”. Woman. I am proud off that, too. My femininity is part of me and I don’t think I need to apologise for that either.

So I “take back” craftswoman proudly. I am, for the most part, not an artist. I like crafting and I like making things people can use and admire. Which brings me to The Accidental Artisan. If you’ve read my about page, you know where the accident part came in. As for artisan, I like that word. It implies someone who works with her hands, who is a worker as well as thinker, who knows her bread and butter will come from creating some beautiful and functional. What is created goes beyond the basic tool or vessel, and becomes, if not art, at least a thing to be revered for its workmanship. It doesn’t rely on temperment or vision. It evokes days of guilds and apprenticeships. It straddles the beauty of art with the function of craft.

I strive to be an artisan.

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3 Responses to “Point #3-Art vs Craft and the Explanation of my Persona”

  1. Susan October 21, 2009 at 4:29 pm #

    I completely agree with you on the arguing art vs craft. I’ve had people tell me I was an artist for what I create and really I’ve never felt that way. In part maybe because to me art doesn’t often Do anything, it is to be admired and enjoyed for it’s appearance. I’ve always strived to do things that are both pleasing to the eye but serve a purpose. Though I have made many an item that just hangs on the wall, it is often crafted to purposely for that space. But what I do I definitely don’t feel is art but that doesn’t make it less for that reason. Neither is less than the other they just are different and unique categories.

    Artisan is a great world though, hold to it proudly.

  2. Rana October 22, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    Yes. Craftswomen. That is what we are… I love the way your mind works!

  3. Simbelmyne October 22, 2009 at 4:31 am #

    Art is something that makes my spirit soar. Be it a simple woven basket of a masterful painting. The whole debate is wrought of the insecurity of “artists”. Sometimes my stuff does that for me, so I call myself an artist. And yet, it’s the craft that keeps me going.

    Artisan is a beautiful word.

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