Thursday, July 14, 2011

Art, Craft or Both?

This summer I am taking one of my humanities requirements, and I chose Art Appreciation. I've always liked art, even when I don't get a chance to actually make it.

Anyway, I digress.
Let me say first that I think that the author of this particular textbook* is a little biased on certain things, and I don't agree with him completely. I personally like my textbooks to be like the news should be, unbiased, but I know I can't always get it, especially with something as subjective as art.

I was reading the chapter on "The Crafts as Fine Art" and he mentions "many artists feel insulted if their work is described as being 'craftful.'" His major point was that usually the line between Art and Craft is drawn by intention - if something is intended to be functional, it is a craft, but if it is made to be looked at, then it is Art. And then goes on to say that if a consumer buys something functional to enjoy looking at it, the artist's intention winds up being irrelevant.

Of course, being a crafter, I had to consider this in terms of my own work. Usually I don't consider my crochet or knit or sewing to be art because everything I make is functional to me. I can't really make a drawing that functions as anything other than a drawing, so I kind of default that to art. There are sweaters and scarves that I've seen in Ravelry projects that are functional, but also breathtakingly beautiful. Then there is crocheted art like the work of Olek while skillful, is butt ugly, in my opinion.

So where do you stand? Do you craft or do you craft art?

*Textbook is The World of Art, Henry Sayre

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