Art Craft and a contradiction?

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Art Craft and a contradiction?

Posted in : Uncategorised on by : Brendan Walsh Comments:

What defines art?  When is craft art and when is art craft and what is the  difference?  Many people struggle with this problem and usually settle with a less than adequate answer.  This is hardly unusual given the changing fashion in the visual arts.

In my case I am an old time trained  blacksmith,  my belief was always  that  we were known as craft workers  or in certain cases artisan. The name artist was never used,  that name belonged in another category. Today the term “artist blacksmith”  is the favored term used.

Well the world is changing and the lines between the different arts and craft is more gray than black and white.

The world may be changing  but good and  creative hand made work will  always be valued.

Firstly,  I will try to explain the difference between mass production and one off unique hand made product.   This is not as obvious as you might think. The mass produced craft pieces can be  perfect and the ‘man made’ piece is not. The craftsmen and craftswomen are trying their best to be perfect and is the nature of the human, this is not possible. The  result is no two part in the work are the same, despite the best effort.

This seems to arrive at a contradiction and perhaps it is?  The genuine, honest and well trained craft person will produce a style which is theirs  alone .

It is hard to define what is so attractive,  and maybe it is not possible,  that is embedded in the finished work of the craftspeople.  One more aspect,  not everyone can see the beauty in this ‘struggle’.  This is not a judgement, rather a fact . The craft person usually arrive at this fact and often the criticism  is enough to hurt the creation,  and they quit.

This is perhaps a bad explanation and I hope the reader gets the basic idea.  Over time this theme will appear in my blogs and for  those interested I hope can get a fuller understanding of this age old question.






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