Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Artist grade materials in the craft world...building a bridge

On the heels of the CHA winter show in California, I have been thinking more about the arduous process of building a bridge between the craft and the fine art world. When did they become such separate entities?

I'm too tired to get into researching that particular question, but more to the point, how to begin to knit them back together? I have long toyed with the idea of writing an acrylic based craft book, and that may eventually come to fruition as I'm full of ideas. I would just have to be careful not to turn the thing into a big rant on the validity of being a successful craftsperson, regardless of the end product. It seems that to assign function to a work of art inevitably reduces it's monetary and artistic value. If you hang it on a wall, it costs thousands, but if it has a useful purpose it's relegated to the $68.95 bracket.

Does this seem wrong to you?

Perhaps it's the fault of the big box retailers, who spend more energy promoting the economical craft brand materials than fine art materials, that many crafters and artisans are unaccustomed to working with and understanding the merits of working with quality materials.

Its true in all fields, quality materials yield quality results. The foundation of the work holds up the end product. It's just common sense.

More on this later....


  1. Rheni,

    I just discovered your blog (in case you're wondering why the delayed response to this comment). I was looking for color books on Amazon and like a good internet guppy, I was led here. BTW, I've placed your book on my wish list.

    I was prompted to write because I have given thought to the very same issue, that of Craft vs. Fine arts and I suspect that the division between the two is becoming less apparent. More artists seem to be employing craft techniques and the opposite is happening as well. I believe that we may be living in one of the most exciting, liberal and excepting art periods in history. Granted, the dollars appear to be more generous to fine arts but the division of art forms, proportionately less defined. Me thinks that addressing the division without exploring how we arrived at this bias will backfire and create more division, but that's just my take on the situation.

    The crafters that I've been fortunate to meet appear very happy to be doing their work, no hang-ups, nada. Fine Artists seem to get (our) panties more in a knot when our work is considered CRAFT and we get cranky about labels. Personally, I don't view my art work as exclusively one or another, I'm just happy when it shows up for me and when someone can be effected by the work. Smiles.

  2. I love your positive attitude! Thanks for your comment. I will endeavor to be less cranky about labels....:)