Art vs. Craft

I’m not one to take sides in this debate–what is art vs. what is craft–but I’ve always felt that what I do (knitting, crocheting, dyeing, working with fiber) is craft. To me, craft is more useful while art is more decorative, but many others blur that line (and I’m more with them). Over the years, I’ve listened to both sides of the argument, most often when some fiber folks (mostly weavers) take an “art” stance on their work, while dismissing more needle-based forms as “craft”. But that’s not what this is about, and all sides have valid points…..

I stopped by one of my local libraries today to renew a DVD that I’m using in my summer teaching, and I perused their non-movie/documentary section to find another one to possibly use next week with some of my incarcerated adult learners. While there, I found a lone DVD from the PBS series, “Craft in America“, took it home, and watched it tonight. It definitely left me wanting more, but the two local libraries I checked have no other physical copies of other episodes (I believe the series is in the fifth season). So I did a little digging around with search tools, and I came up with THIS LINK, where you can watch ALL EPISODES, plus previews, footage not included in the regular broadcasts, and more.

I highly recommend watching these programs, even if you aren’t involved in the fiber arts, other art forms, do crafts of any types, or just appreciate getting inside the artists’ mind or enjoy the creative process. Tonight I watched Season Two, which covered “Origins” (FASCINATING) and “Process” (very informative). I plan on spending a lot less time with the TV on in the coming days and watching every single one of these episodes via my laptop and strong internet connection.

For one, it’s interesting for me to watch, as I’ve always said I have almost no artistic ability and I find it fascinating to listen to artists and art students talk about their work, their inspiration, and their voice when it comes to artistic endeavors. Plus, it has TOTALLY inspired me to explore some alternate forms of creativity, both within my chosen expressive forms of needlework (knitting and crocheting) as well as to continue to make/sell/gift works of my hands. It’s extremely important to keep various forms of art/craft alive and out in the public eye. And for me, marketing/selling my handwork has just become more important–not from a cash standpoint, but to increase the amount of handmade good things out there in our ever-increasingly mass-produced world.

Just some food for thought……..CHOW DOWN!

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