Art vs Craft – part one
As the studio glass movement has matured, the debate over what is craft and what is art seems clearer.
My perception of this divide has influenced my approach with sculpture and working with glass as a medium.
I’ll start with the craft end of things since manipulating a material is usually the first thing one does while learning something like glass blowing or woodworking.
Craft – Technique driven, it’s that simple… or is it?
Making an object that is driven by the pursuit of perfect technique will usually result in a decorative object without much underlying substance. This does not imply there is a lesser value in this approach.
There is value in the demands that it takes to acquire the high level of skill needed in the pursuit of making a ‘perfect’ object in form. style, and design.
The process, however, becomes the driving force. You can almost compare a glass blower with great technical skills to an athlete that has developed great dexterity. A baseball pitcher is concerned with throwing a perfect pitch… that is the goal for the outcome. The pitcher is not concerned in having people find a deeper meaning in how the ball is thrown.
Technique is cheap…
Or some may say. But without a certain level of craftsmanship or good technique, the concept behind the work suffers or is even lost. If there is not much concept behind the work, then the craftsmanship is all there is.