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Art or Craft? What Do You Call Your Work?
Posted by Erin to Articles
Am I the only one in this quandary? I look back at most of my pieces and I don't see art. No matter the time spent, the reworking, the morphing vision, the feedback from others... I think of art as something that other people do. "Art" seems like a *really* lofty label. It's appropriate for someone with more insight/inspiration/skill/passion/innovation.

At the same time, the term "craft" makes me feel like I should be using more toothpicks, glue, felt cutouts, and safety scissors. All this in spite of the fact that the terms "craft" and "craftsmanship" are becoming mainstream and "handmade" and "handcrafted" are watchwords for many consumers.




I did some thinking and chatting around the concept of art vs. craft. My *very* limited pool came to the following conclusion: "Craft" implies an object that can be held, used, or consumed. Things that are crafted can also be art, but aren't necessarily. Art, on the other hand, exists beyond its function. It is the creator's exploration of theme, space, material, self. Art goes beyond the decorative or functional.

Based on that definition, I can own that a limited number of my pieces are art. Even after some pretty deep soul-searching, I still feel like "craft" isn't the right word for me either. While I was deep in procrastinating, I opened up Instagram and saw a friend sharing her first large-scale commercial venture. She's always identified herself as a "maker". This term I like for me. I create jewelry because my hands want to move, because I like seeing order come from chaos, because creating things that weren't there before gives me joy.

Maybe, sometimes, I'm an Artist. And sometimes, wrapping 28 gauge wire in perfect loops, I'm a Craftsman, drawing on years of skill. Most often, and always, I'm a Maker. That's my constant, consistent, most honest impulse: to make.




To keep this blog from being just me pontificating, I've shared a few pictures. These projects were concocted with the the express intent of keeping my mind free and my hands busy. I wasn't invested in a fantastic outcome or mind-blowing design. I just wanted to idly fiddle with some wood beads (available from RoundBeads.com) and some Dakota Stones Plated Hematite that had been sitting untouched for too long.

- Erin, Dakota Stones
________________________________________________________

Get the look: Wrap bracelet with ds hematite.



white silver hex chips
matte green cubes
white silver flat square
copper nuggets

hematite squares
dk gold cut cubes
copper hex chips
lt gold hex chips

 
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