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

  1. #1
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I've just spent two days at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (UK), and as ever was totally amazed and awed at the standard of work displayed there. Some beautifully made traditional quilts, and many, many highly original, expressive and creative pieces. That's started me musing on creativity and originality. I suspect that my work is craft rather than art - I follow patterns and my original input comes from choices of colour, quilting stitches and threads - and is limited by my skill level. Many of the works on display in Birmingham were original pieces of art.
    Now, I'm not in any way putting down the craft approach - I get endless enjoyment and fulfillment from what I do, and was in awe of the standard of some of the traditional work on display. But how to move into the more original work? I wonder if I just lack some artistic, creative spark that gives the artists who produce these stunning pieces their imagination and vision.
    Would love to hear people's thoughts on this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    I consider myself a crafter also. I think art can be learned to a point, but after that innate talent takes the lead. Anyone can expand their abilities, but I do think everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities and no two persons are the same. But, when we love what we do, it shows :-)

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    That is definitely food for thought...however, to me it is all art. Whether following a pattern, or designing our own, our input or individuality makes each quilt different and unique. Unless it is a kit, and even then, no two would be exactly the same, we all add just that little bit of spice to the projects. So whether it is a child's finger painting, a popsicle stick birdhouse , a wool penny rug or a quilt, as long as we are making something that we really enjoy doing, I consider it art. From the most basic to the most ornate, it is still art.

  4. #4
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I consider myself a crafter also. I think art can be learned to a point, but after that innate talent takes the lead. Anyone can expand their abilities, but I do think everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities and no two persons are the same. But, when we love what we do, it shows :-)
    But, looking at your avatar, Nance-ell, I'd say your were an artist, with that inspired use of colours!

  5. #5
    Senior Member nance-ell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annesthreads
    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I consider myself a crafter also. I think art can be learned to a point, but after that innate talent takes the lead. Anyone can expand their abilities, but I do think everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities and no two persons are the same. But, when we love what we do, it shows :-)
    But, looking at your avatar, Nance-ell, I'd say your were an artist, with that inspired use of colours!
    Aww, thanks!

  6. #6
    Senior Member sew_southern's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annesthreads
    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I consider myself a crafter also. I think art can be learned to a point, but after that innate talent takes the lead. Anyone can expand their abilities, but I do think everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities and no two persons are the same. But, when we love what we do, it shows :-)
    But, looking at your avatar, Nance-ell, I'd say your were an artist, with that inspired use of colours!
    I agree! I think of it as art, we cut up fabric so we can put it back together in a different pattern and use many colors. :)

  7. #7
    Power Poster blueangel's Avatar
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    I agree with Sew southern we are all artist to some point.

  8. #8
    Super Member litacats's Avatar
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    when you think of it we paint with fabric not so much on fabric.
    tho I am going to try my hand a painting on fabric. I have a few ideas in my head I just nead some time to spare to do something about it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SparkMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nance-ell
    I consider myself a crafter also. I think art can be learned to a point, but after that innate talent takes the lead. Anyone can expand their abilities, but I do think everyone has a unique set of skills and abilities and no two persons are the same. But, when we love what we do, it shows :-)
    I agree with this. Technique and practice can go a very long way, but it takes an inborn talent to really elevate it to art. I can wield a paintbrush, I can learn about the proper way to hold it and move the paint around the canvas, but I will never, ever be Rembrandt or Van Gogh.

    I'm not diminishing what anyone does. I agree that every quilt we make is very personal and unique, whether the pattern is published or original. However, I can't compare anything I make to, say, one of Jinny Beyer's. Some people just have a unique vision when it comes to composition and design.

  10. #10
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    I feel most people have it but are afraid to try using it. When you sit with fabric, do you never get those little ideas I could make this and put on this material? Then you go settle for a pattern and forget the idea. Today, try something different. Cut a circle and put it on any old leftover square. Just see what that might trigger. Remember, that circle does not have to be perfect, we are doing art. Add a triangle. Listen for the little voice in your head and play. Suddenly you will see something you like, sew it down and you will have created your first art square. Artists play, throw logic and symmetry to the wind,just try.

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