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Thread: Craft or art and how to get from the one to the other?

  1. #11
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    One of the best comparisons of art vs. craft I have seen over the years is this.

    Art:
    Creative, unique original
    Comes from within
    Open-ended, end results unknown
    Process is valued over finished product
    Self-expression

    Craft:
    Similar, or identical, to the work of others
    Directed from others
    Closed, directions-oriented, end results known
    Finished product is valued over process
    Copying and imitating

    I believe that when your creative decisions are based on the principles and elements of design, whether conscious or intuitive, the result is art…good or bad. The artist follows rough trails along the way often branching off in new directions, and there is joy in the exploration.

    When your decisions are chop, cut and rebuild according to provided directions, the result is craft…good or bad. The crafter sticks to marked highways with Trip-Tiks from the auto club, and the joy is in reaching the destination.

    Artists, craftsmen, crafters, there is room for all and a need for all. Follow the path that suits you best, just as you do with the other aspects of your life. :D

  2. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I'm more of the art type. The few quilts I've made according to the pattern all had my fabric/color choices, and most were modified in some way. Right now I'm working on two "originals" - one is a landscape, the other is/was based on the "Omigosh" pattern but I'm going to change it so drastically that the only resemblance to the original pattern is that I used a double nine patch in 4.5" finished squares as one of the blocks.

    I had a bit of a let down at the Paducah show this year. I saw one gorgeous quilt that was awesome and won the AQS Longarm Award - a top award. It was a letdown because upon further research I found that it was almost identical to a previous Paducah BIS winner! Even down to the "signature" Sharon Schamber's unique binding. In fact, when I first spotted the quilt I thought it was one of Sharon's. The previous BIS winner was Sharon's, this one was one of her students who pretty much copied the quilt with only a minor adjustment to color. While it was indeed a gorgeous quilt and exquisitely done ... I was a bit disappointed that it was almost and exact replica of a previous quilt. I personally place a lot more emphasis on originality. While OK and indeed encouraged to borrow ideas from other quilts, an exact replica was not my idea of a show winning quilt.

    The "craft" to me is the execution of the item, the art is the originalality - even if it's a traditional pattern the colors etc must be pleasing. I look at a show the caliber of Paducah as an "art" show as much as a craft show. Something about it should be original.

    Just my two cents.

  3. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    DH and I go to a lot of art dept. shindigs. Seems to me if the dept needs a show or ticket boost anyone local with enough works to display will get an exhibit.

  4. #14
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    One of the best comparisons of art vs. craft I have seen over the years is this.

    Art:
    Creative, unique original
    Comes from within
    Open-ended, end results unknown
    Process is valued over finished product
    Self-expression

    Craft:
    Similar, or identical, to the work of others
    Directed from others
    Closed, directions-oriented, end results known
    Finished product is valued over process
    Copying and imitating

    I believe that when your creative decisions are based on the principles and elements of design, whether conscious or intuitive, the result is art…good or bad. The artist follows rough trails along the way often branching off in new directions, and there is joy in the exploration.

    When your decisions are chop, cut and rebuild according to provided directions, the result is craft…good or bad. The crafter sticks to marked highways with Trip-Tiks from the auto club, and the joy is in reaching the destination.

    Artists, craftsmen, crafters, there is room for all and a need for all. Follow the path that suits you best, just as you do with the other aspects of your life. :D
    Spot on!!

  5. #15
    Senior Member sall's Avatar
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    I have found over the years when going to shows or listening to a speaker, that the majority of the "names" have had an art background,many of them have a degree in some form of art.I love the FOQ, this is the 1st year since it started that I have not attended. Over the years another thing that I have noticed is that there is more and more what I would call textile art in the show.Brilliant event though, hope not to miss it next year.My friends and I usually go for three days, staying in a hotel.

  6. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    It's true that the big names have art training, but that training did not necessarily come before the quilting bug bit them. For many it was the love of quilting that sent them in search of art training as a means to improve their work.

    It doesn't take an MFA to learn the basics and it can make a huge difference in the way you see things and in the quilts you design.

  7. #17
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
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    I consider quilting to be both. With art, we are creating visions, colors, layout...the craft part, we are taking a medium (fabric) and creating our visions

  8. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    A painter can paint a bowl of fruit in class... her or his interpretation may be to make it look life like (identical) or abstract. But each painting will end up being unique in it's own way.

    We call the painter an artist, even though his subject matter is the same as everyone else in the class, or maybe the subject being used is one that has been painted hundreds of thousands of times before such as the Mona Lisa. They are copying something, basically using a pattern.

    Being quilters, we may choose to follow a pattern. We may choose to make the quilt look identical to the pattern or have subtle or bold differences. It doesn't matter how many hundreds of thousands of times a pattern has been recreated, each quilt will have it's own subtle to bold differences.

    Artists who paint, have tried to recreate famous paintings to no avail... there is always atleast one aspect that distinguishes an original from a copy :wink: and yet we still consider them an artist :D
    The same happens when we use a pattern for quilting, even using the same identical fabrics. There will still be differences...

    A bowl of fruit to a painter, a pattern for a quilter...
    We all create in ways that are pleasing to us individually. We may be more traditional, more abstract, or falling inbetween.

    So in my mind, we are all artists. Some of us may be accomplished famous artists and others of us not. But all of us are artists just the same :D:D:D

  9. #19
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. Plenty to think about here. I feel at the moment as though there may be some original creativity in there somewhere, but I can't access it - probably the lingering effects of childhood messages that I was no good at anything like that. I've overcome a lot of that (was told my sewing was rubbish, believed it for 45 years, then discovered I could make quilts!), but it still has its effects. I think I need to go and play!

  10. #20
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    One of the best comparisons of art vs. craft I have seen over the years is this.

    Art:
    Creative, unique original
    Comes from within
    Open-ended, end results unknown
    Process is valued over finished product
    Self-expression

    Craft:
    Similar, or identical, to the work of others
    Directed from others
    Closed, directions-oriented, end results known
    Finished product is valued over process
    Copying and imitating

    I believe that when your creative decisions are based on the principles and elements of design, whether conscious or intuitive, the result is art…good or bad. The artist follows rough trails along the way often branching off in new directions, and there is joy in the exploration.

    When your decisions are chop, cut and rebuild according to provided directions, the result is craft…good or bad. The crafter sticks to marked highways with Trip-Tiks from the auto club, and the joy is in reaching the destination.

    Artists, craftsmen, crafters, there is room for all and a need for all. Follow the path that suits you best, just as you do with the other aspects of your life. :D
    This is indeed spot on. I feel the shift came for me from crafter to artist when I began to enjoy the process and actually feel a sense of loss when a piece was finished - so thanks so much for putting this into words. To add to that I would also say that I believe an artist starts with an idea or concept then manipulates the materials and techniques she has at her disposal to interpret that idea.

    I too was at the F of Q this weekend and the standard was incredible - so may different textile artists from all over the world, so many ideas and ways of looking at the world then use of established traditional quilting techniques, alongside more contemporary textile manipulations to interpret these ideas. I came away with my brain buzzing and bags full of stuff. So inspirational! :-D

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