Saturday, November 28, 2009

How to create versus How about trying this idea? Art or Craft

I was working with one of my students tonight showing her how to make Christmas trees in clay. An interesting thought happened. She is a good student and has come a long way as she becomes more of an art professional vs more of a craft student.
We were talking about "How" to make the Christmas tree and I kept suggesting "what if we do this or that." I explained that each tree must be looked at individually and we think of the possibilities of things to do with the surface and the shape. I explained that there is no right way to make it. We just look at it and think of new ideas that might make each tree more individualistic and interesting. And that is when I realized that one difference in art and craft approaches is with art you usually have the know how technically, assuming you are somewhat proficient. With craft, you want to know how to make it. This is only a small part of it. I am not wanting to confuse craft with craftsmanship at this point.
It is just a small difference in approach. And, I recognize with practice, a person approaching the same idea as a "crafts" person would also begin to reach out.
When does it become art not craft? I don't know. Maybe craft is about "how to make it" and art is "How about trying this or that."
This sounds a little too simple but is worth thinking about.

1 comment:

  1. My art is what I make; my craft is the skills I have learned in order to make it well. I read this somewhere and I liked it. Tofuannie