Monday, January 21, 2013

Crochet: Art vs. Craft

It's flurrying on this Martin Luther King Jr Day.  The kids are home, it's cold outside. It's a great day to crochet for me, sew for Chickee, and I don't know what Chief will do? Play Minecraft and TempleRun? 

When I was in college, my friends, Aimee and Becky and I had a little apartment. One Martin Luther King Day we were off of school and it snowed something crazy like 22" of snow the night before. Their boyfriends came over and they were sled-riding behind the apartment building on whatever homemade sled they could find in our kitchen.  I think more than one cookie sheet got mangled that day.

Well, we are all grown-up now!  Aimee is an award-winning illustrator for the Cincinnati Opera.  Here's her Illustration for La-Traviata

The Illustration was done by Aimee Sposito Martini and is owned by the Cincinnati Opera.

Yesterday, Our Alma Mater opened an art show with a reception for distinguished Alumni. Aimee's work was on display and I was thrilled to go give her a big hug and congratulations!  I dragged Chickee along too.  I made her look at all the classrooms where I took ceramics and figure drawing (I'm still terrible at drawing).  She met ALL my professors! I can believe ALL of them were still there!  It was so much fun.  I wore a rather eye-catching wrap that is going to be in a publication in the next few months. 

I'm rambling, but I'll go on.... It made me think again of the old Art vs. Craft debate.  If it is yarn, is it Art or is it Craft?  What about quilt-making? I've seen some one-of-a-kind quilts that are clearly ART.... but is a yarn project where the instructions are given freely so others can make the identical item (and therefor not a one-of-a-kind) ART, or does the element of instructions make it CRAFT? Does it matter?  I'd like to think of myself as an artist. I'd also like to think of myself as a craftsperson. To me both and artist and a craftsperson work deliberately with effort and skill to create something that wasn't there before. Any thoughts? Is Crochet ART, CRAFT or both?


Mereknits said...

You are an artist that molds and paints with yarn. and you are amazing.

Vikki Hooks said...

HI just want to say I read your blog quite regularly, although I don't comment often. I believe that crochet is an art, but the act of crocheting is a craft. I would like to think myself a craftsman when the hook is moving. I take pride in my work, as much as the painter, sculpterer, jewelry smith, woodcarver. Even if I use a pattern not of my design, I am the creator..the craftsman. Blessings

Anonymous said...

when one takes colors and creates it is art, but the act of learning, and making is mastering a craft,

I find when i am doing at lot of needle work I do not draw or paint as much, so it must be an artistic outlet.

your creation of patterns is your art, your making them into clothing is your craft, enjoy both worlds in one


Jodiebodie said...

Your questions are pertinent to my world this week as it is something I think about regularly and still haven't come to a solid conclusion. These are my musings so far:
I certainly believe quilt-making and crochet can be art. In fact, I have a friend who makes landscapes and other scenes with quilting techniques and it is definitely art. (One of them hangs on my wall).
I agree with previous comments.
To me, the skills of making are the craft aspects, but the creativity and personal expression of a project is the artistic component.
To me, art is more than just choice of yarn colours; it is evocative; it is the mastery of the craft skills, whether it be quilting, painting or crochet which enables an artist to fully express their interpretation of the world, their feelings, etc. It is said that Art is a reflection of the world and society in which the artist lives.
The craft is a medium for artistic expression, but I wouldn't say that craft in itself is art.
Thank you for the stimulating questions. Crochet is as much an intellectual pursuit for me as a practical one.

Unknown said...

Ellen, you are an artist. You have always had the passion and the eye for it. It doesn't matter if it's photography or crochet. It's all about creating. It doesn't matter how you get there, or what medium you use. It is about the outcome. It is skill and craftsmanship. It is good composition, whether you are dealing with color or pattern, positive/negative. You create designs with fibers. You take patterns and stitches and turn them into beautiful works of art. It doesn't matter if you wear them or hang them in a gallery (which you could do.) You are a master of crochet.