Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Take Offense To That

I was talking with Karie the other day and we were discussing some terminology.

Don’t click the close button!

This isn’t anything deep…you should know me by now.

We were discussing the term “Craft.”

Is one craft more artsy than the next, or is it in the eye of the beholder?

What distinguishes craft from art?

I really don’t find the word offensive in itself, but when you use it in the context of describing what you do with your fiber…it begins to grate at me and becomes demeaning. But why?

Does the difficulty level, indicate the artsy level? If something is more difficult to do, does that make it art?

Or is the amount of time one spends in a project the indicating factor, distinguishing it from craft to art. More time = more love = ART!

Or is this just silly nit-picking at a word that I am giving a bad rap?

I am guilty of this, stereotype. If I perceive a project as more difficult I tend to view the “doer” as more of an artist. But let me defend myself.

Not that there is anything wrong or lesser in a knitted square…if I see a garment that is lacy or filled with cables, I find it more artsy.

If I see an asymmetrical shawl, it appeals to me more than a rectangular cloth draped over your shoulders.

The spinning industry even goes as far as describing a type of yarn as “art yarn” not craft yarn.

Art yarn is different…and I am jealous of those that can spin these yarns well, I question the usefulness, practicality and the staying power of these yarns.

Because I have this strong utilitarian gene embedded in my little brain, I usually want my “crafted” items to be useful and easy to maintain.

…blah blah blah.

Now I have attended many craft fairs and while the venders are selling “craft” items, some of these venders are real artist.

They don’t hold a palette and brush, but have a talent and really do create art.

Have you ever seen a woven rug that draws you in and you just stand there stare.

So my pledge is as follows:

I do solemnly swear to try and lower my nose the next time I see a craft that isn’t of expert level…and I solemnly swear to apply this to my own crafted items.

It is called fiber art and we are called fiber artist, so don’t get too caught up in the descriptive terminology and let’s just create.

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