Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53

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

  1. #1
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    South Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    1,095
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    830
    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 :-)

  3. #3
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Small town south of Ottawa, Ontario
    Posts
    1,702
    Blog Entries
    1
    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
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    South Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    1,095
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    830
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chattanooga, Tennessee
    Posts
    871
    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
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    20,481
    I agree with Sew southern we are all artist to some point.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    western australia
    Posts
    1,794
    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
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Plainfield, IN
    Posts
    391
    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
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boonsboro, MD
    Posts
    2,724
    Blog Entries
    1
    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.

  11. #11
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,660
    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

  12. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713
    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.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    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.

  14. #14
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713
    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!!

  15. #15
    Senior Member sall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    404
    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.

  16. #16
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    4,660
    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.

  17. #17
    Super Member EagarBeez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Eagar, Arizona
    Posts
    1,685
    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

  18. #18
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Out searching for some sunshine :-)
    Posts
    59,092
    Blog Entries
    1
    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

  19. #19
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    South Yorkshire UK
    Posts
    1,095
    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!

  20. #20
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    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

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    DC area
    Posts
    419
    As you study the work of any artist you will note that they return to an idea-rendition- to perfect it. Years ago at the National Gallery of Art there was an exhibit that demonstrated this method. It would be called growing, focus, thinking about the piece, thinking again what might be better. They really build in their own method of developing a "show piece". Some artists keep a painting around for years adjusting it. I for one an working on color theory. I just have to pound it in to my head by informed practice. One day I may be set free with this knowledge. I saw a quilt brought into my local shop that blew my mind it was so creative...however, I do believe that this was not the first time the quilter used the pattern, but this time she had her own brilliant inventive color concept added to a traditional block along with excellent quilting skill. My reaction to her was not to let it out of her sight-it was enviable.
    A lot of the quilts on display are intimidating. I resolve to be happy developing my skills and enjoying the feel of my quilt when I wake up in the morning.....hate to get up out of the coziness. But I do. I feel my growth in quilting and am so pleased to feel the growth. That is my happiness.

  22. #22
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,664
    The next time you see a challange or a contest (usually sponsored by fabric line) sign yourself up. They usually have either a fabric line or idea to work from and you have to create to show it off. This will stretch your creativity and you might surprise yourself.

  23. #23
    k3n
    k3n is offline
    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Somerset, England
    Posts
    10,712
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan
    The next time you see a challange or a contest (usually sponsored by fabric line) sign yourself up. They usually have either a fabric line or idea to work from and you have to create to show it off. This will stretch your creativity and you might surprise yourself.
    Great idea - also, work from a photo of the physical world or a piece of art in another genre (obviously respect copyright at all times). This gives you clues to line, perspective, scale etc - the design 'rules' and you can begin to see what works artistically speaking and then you can begin to explore the reasons why something works then translate it into your own work. :-D

  24. #24
    Senior Member dewie45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    351
    My daughter was a fine arts major in school and was told by one instructor that if a project was in any way useful, it was not art. So pretentious! Sometimes I think definitions are just meant to limit instead of clarify.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    696
    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan
    The next time you see a challange or a contest (usually sponsored by fabric line) sign yourself up. They usually have either a fabric line or idea to work from and you have to create to show it off. This will stretch your creativity and you might surprise yourself.
    Great idea - also, work from a photo of the physical world or a piece of art in another genre (obviously respect copyright at all times). This gives you clues to line, perspective, scale etc - the design 'rules' and you can begin to see what works artistically speaking and then you can begin to explore the reasons why something works then translate it into your own work. :-D
    That's what I want to do. I have an aerial photo of the farm my mom grew up on. I would like to make that picture in a quilt. The buildings are all gone now. I can't quite get my head around it yet, though. I guess I need to gather fabrics that will work, just start cutting them and placing on a background. This is a whole new thing for me and it is kind of scary. I usually just do scrappy quilts or a traditional pattern in traditional fabrics.

Page 1 of 3 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.