Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art? Craft? Semantics?

Are you an artist?

Do you consider what you create art?

In the classroom, I always received positive answers to these questions from my students. We all aspire to be artists, don't we? The art vs. craft "distinction," however, exists. This is especially true when it comes to fiber - both the product and where one purchases it. To underscore this dichotomy, during a recent trip to my local crafty store's yarn section (where those who buy their yarn only from an LYS or indie producer wouldn't be caught dead), I found a Soho Publishing series of knit and crochet booklets entitled "Get Crafty" that I have not see anywhere else. This, from the same people that bring you Vogue Knitting.

I've had a fascination with this subject for quite some time (for some tangential thoughts, feel free to go here and here), and I'm going to run a series of posts on it between now and the end of the year, including some history on craft. In the meantime, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. What is art? What is craft? Are you an artist? If so, why and if not, why not?


  1. Oooh, I'm excited for this series. :-)

    To me craft has the connotation of being more of a hobby and perhaps less skilled. However a carpenter is often called a Craftsman and musicians often refer to music as their craft. Of course there are those Craftsman Style homes which certainly would be considered art... at least by me.

    On the other side... paintings and sculpture are generally refered to as art, even if created by a pre-schooler.

    So I would have to say that craft and art are synonyms just like farm and ranch when you get down to it.

    On a side note, I find myself surprised that you are a teacher of art. For some reason I thought you were an attorney. Not that attorneys can't also be teachers of art. ;-)

  2. A second thought... perhaps craft is more about the process and art is more about the end result.