Craft vs Art

Craft vs Art

Main craft debates


Decca Aitkenhead and Christian Bennett


Grayson Perry on crafts vs art


Grayson Perry-“craft can be taught to someone else, and they can become as good at it as you. Art-it is linked to an individual and their vision, and is hard to replicate,

Notes from the radio Newzeland broadcast talk July 4 1990-

Mechanically produced items can not be craft as they are mass produced (i.e thousands of items an hour) where as craft implies the application of the human hand and creativity.

Viewed- 30/09/12

Miranda- Art or craft once concurred and created remain the same regardless of what label we affix to it. words will not alter it, all you can alter is your perception. Craft can be art and art can be craft. Ultimately if you enjoy what you create, or love what you acquire from those who make it. art is whatever you perceive it to be.

notes from the radio Newzeland July 4 1990

mechanically produced items can not be craft as they are mass produced(i.e thousands of items an hour)where as craft implies the application of the human hand and creativity.

Lethaby-“once more let me try to make it clear that by art, instructed thinkers don’t only mean pictures or quaint and curious things, or necessarily costly ones. Certainly not luxurious ones. They mean worthy and complete workmanship by competent workmen.

Lethaby states-that a well made chair is a work of art.

W.R. Lethaby 1922

My thoughts and feelings-How can we say that craft is not art. there can not be art without craft, and craft without art, I’d say that with both art and craft you get examples in which, the artist or crafter has demonstrated that craft can be art and art can be all depends on the way you look at I, and your individual perceptions and interpretations.

The craft reader(manifesto of the Bauhaus)-Professional art- there is no essential difference between the artist and the craftsman. The artist is an exulted craftsman.

Manifesto of the Bauhaus and education and the Bauhaus

W.Gropius and L.Moholy-Nagy, manifesto and education of the Bauhaus

Page 555, chapter 68, paragraph 1,.


My thoughts and feelings.

I went to a craft fair this week and looked at some of the exhibitions.some of the pieces that were exhibited under craft were so beautiful and full of individuality,that I would have said they were works of art.

I don’t think it matters what materials you use,if the final product invoices an emotion in you and inspires you it is art.


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What is craft?

Craft – noun- an activity involving skill in making things by hand

27/12/12    3pm

Mark jones(director,V+A museum)-Craft is remembering that art is seen, felt and heard as well as understood, knowing that not al ideas start with words, thinking with hands as well as head.

Rosy Greenlees(director, crafts council)-contemporary craft is about making things, it is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects.

Christopher Frayling(rector, royal collage of art)-making close contact with materials, technical skill plus imagination, tangible results in the form of things, sometimes pushing the limits of function, taking the material for a walk, objects for contemplation as well as objects for use.

Amanda Game(director, the Scottish galley, Edinburgh)-Human imagination can use craft to invent freely in the world of ideas, materials and forms, thus are the worlds of design, art, engineering, science and architecture all born of craft

Paul Greenhalgh(director, Corcoran museum, Washington d, and editor of(‘the persistence of craft’)-‘craft has changed it’s meaning fundamentally at least three times in the last two centuries, and it means fundamentally different things from nation to nation, even in the western there can be no one liner that identifies larger single meaning, as it doesn’t have one.

David Revere Mcfadden( chief curator and vice president, museum of art and design, New York. )-Craft connotes the profound engagement with materials and processes that is central to creativity. Through this engagement form, function, and meaning are made tangible.

Caroline Roux(acting editor,crafts magazine)-A practice in which the very time it takes to make an object becomes part of it’s value in a world that often moves to fast.


27/12/12      3pm

Arts Council England- Definition of contemporary fine craft- work that must not seek to reproduce or restore, but rather must be innovative in it’s use of materials and aesthetic vision. Work that not only reflects the signature of the individual maker, but also demonstrates investigation of the processes and critical enquiry.

Careers+lifestyles of craft makers in the 21st century -Andrew Mc Auley +Ian Fillis,in culture trends-vol14(june 2005,routledge.

Craft is taken to mean an object which must have a high degree of hand made input.

My take on the meaning og craft-An item which has been hand made, not by robotic machinery on a production line.

An item which has some function,(use, look, beauty)it can be pleasing to the eye, or the sole purpose can be use.

Is a once off or a small scale batch production, with a high human element to the  manufacturing process.

My thoughts and feelings-

I found this very hard to put down on paper, how do you define craft? You see it around you daily but it is very hard to pin point what makes it craft.

I on a personal level take craft as a big umbrella, or a river with lots of tributaries. most things humans have made, invented started of by where do you put the line? Look around you craft is envelopes you. 13/01/13


‘My least favourite outcome is the beautifully crafted ugly thing’ … Grayson Perry (above) and a brooch by Josef Hoffman. Photos: Lindsay Parnaby/PA, Asenbaum Collection

I see the craft world as a kind of lagoon and the art world in general as the ocean. Some artists shelter in this lagoon, because their imagination isn’t robust enough to go out into the wider sea. Although there are some very good things being made, the craft world at the moment is set up to preserve something that can’t look after itself.

quote by grayson perry

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session 1 and 2 notes

Ideas to look at- what is art, reading the visual, the rise of visual culture, assignment launch, reading material, archiving and conservation.

Main craft debates–What are they? -Issues of gender. The place of women in craft. Pricing-one off-affordable. Craft verses art(functional), funding.


(craft we agree with) (craft we don’t agree with)

O-is craft defined by what it isn’t?

(what craft isn’t)

O-what is craft? Craft is art but art isn’t craft. Small scale artisan production. Machine made large scale(not craft). Not industrialised. Making stuff by hand. Craft-skill.

Clare Twomey /dale chihuly

O- master crafts.



Session 2-notes


O-visual culture-sturken+cartwright(2001pl)book-(practices+ looking)book

O-signs+pictures have a cultural identity-you need to already understand the sign/picture to know what they mean.

O-Where does big brother come from? Big brother 1984 gorge orwel /being watched by the thing they are watching.

O-Intertextuality -one text is the t.v show also relates to the book by gorge orwel.

O- Image concurs an absent person/Photo .

O- Kitchener(your country needs you)the power to calm ,insight ,bring you to action.

O-The power to mystify(twin towers/falling man)you project your own interpretation, feeling onto this image.

O- Madeleine makain smiling on a beach. Different  meaning if you know who it is and different if you don’t.

O-Pic of shopping mall cctv/young boy holding hand of a toddler(if you knew the boys killed the toddler a different story)

O-Megan  stamers/went off with teacher(child abduction)(15 years old)debate(abduction or not.)

O-Susie from Rochdale/regularly picked up from school gates and sexually abused/south Yorkshire sex ring/social workers say-life style choice to be a prostitute.(a lot younger than Megan/totally different reaction in these 2 cases)

O-women once a bird(Leviolin D ingles 1924)Berger 1972(ways of seeing)Barthes(philosopher)

O-Denote-what the image is .  O- connote(connotation)-suggested by the image/rely on myth brought into this room.

O-Polycemic-many meanings.

O-Coca cola+ Vietnam (look at American common policy in2003).

O-Gillian Rose(visual methodologies)

O-connote analysis (coca cola+ Vietnam)

O-semantic meaning(toilet sign)

O-psychoanalysis(big brother eye)

O-images have the power to invoke emotions,  media favours the negative/depressing/sad(bad news sells)

O- Gate keepers of knowledge- newspapers, media, editors.

We buy what agrees with us/different newspapers different story/news cleansed by the government/BBC  are they the same thing?

O-Kate Middleton, privacy news/100%  of story is not data/anecdote -story/plural is not data.

O-Julia Gilard/ news from all sources, trustworthy -not trustworthy /the people will want to have a news they can trust.

O- things we believe – freedom is an important thing

O-in class we argue different points of view

O-statistics can be manipulated

O-academically  credible sources (Wikipedia is not credible)pier review-getting reviewed by experts.(Athens moodle library account)journals.

O-Ghrayson perry

O-Goal posts can be moved with debate.

O-the rise of visual culture


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