Tag Archives: origin story

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.

Point #1: In which I appear fully formed upon the web!

21 Oct

Greetings. I could write a long winded introduction and explain what I am about, or I could hit a few main points and let you get on with your day.

This is a blog about craft. Not just “crafts” as in “arts and”, but the act of craft, of crafting, the meaning behind it, the wonder of popsicle sticks and the joy of pipecleaners, art vs. craft, crafting spirituality…any number of things that have to do with why crafting is something I don’t just want to do, but rather need to do. Three things to remember and that will be recurring themes in this blog:

1. I like to make stuff out of shit. And shit out of stuff. In other words, I am a trashionista and like to reuse, recycle, upcycle, etc.  I am as likely to make a pendant out of a bread tag as beads or other jewelry making implements. Seeing the next step of usefulness in an object destined for the bin is not only green and cost conscious, but fun as hell.

2. I don’t do it by the book. I don’t think I have ever taped off a damn thing in my life, and if I measure once, cut once, and it turns out to be too short, I find a different way to use it. Which is not to say that I don’t admire folks that are technically precise and skilled- I do. But this is what works for me, and I know I always wished I could find someone with the same fly by night approach.

3. I am Pagan. The craft world used to be dominated by folks that didn’t think, act, or craft like me. This is not wrong or right, it is just the way it was. It was frustrating, though, to never be able to find a cross stitch pattern with a Green Man or Moon Goddess featured, or scrapbook supplies for a big ol’ heathen like me. Nowadays that has changed, and it is fantastic. I think it helps bring people closer, too, that may not have had much in common otherwise. I don’t say any of this to alienate Christians or people of other religions here; rather I want people to know right off that is something that makes me who I am, and that I have always thought that crafting is something that can take you closer to God, whatever form you believe Him/Her/Them to take.

So that’s me. Other stuff about me will make itself known, like mice sneaking out when the lights go out, as time goes on. I look forward to shocking, awe-ing, and occasionally horrifying you.

Jessica

The Accidental Artisan

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