Art or Craft

It seems most of the markets that I want to be a part of on 1000 Markets are not currently accepting applications from knitters. I was getting bummed about it the other night when I thought if they won't let me into their little club then I'll just have to start my own. There is not a market yet for fiber artists while the fine art, glass, and jewelry folks all have their own home. So I started thinking about what I could call it that would encompass all the fiber folks including knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters, needlepointers, and quilters.

I thought about the Fabulous Fiber Arts but I generally don't think of my self as an artist. I know there is a whole debate between the terms art and craft and the difference between them. I found this quote on Mary Rayme's blog and I think it sums up my thoughts better than I could:

"Art is a work that transcends it's humble materials to create an original statement or expression in a meaningful and enduring way. Crafts CAN transcend their humble materials as well to become art but it takes an experienced and determined crafter to do this."

When I am cranking out a scarf in a couple of hours I really don't think that I'm creating something enduring and meaningful but when I really take the time to choose my yarns and put them together in a new and interesting way I think that it can become art in a way. Does that make me sound like a pretentious twit, I don't know.

Honestly, I really don't think it matters whether we call ourselves artists or crafters as long as we respect our materials and take pride in our finished work. Part of that pride should be reflected in the price we set for our products. I consider myself in the mid-range of knitters on Etsy. There are some people that can command as much as $100 for a scarf that is truly an amazing work of art. And then there are others that have so little respect for their work that they barely charge enough to cover the cost of materials.

I don't know how I would put it but if I do decide to start a market for fiber folks, I want to only have people that regard their work as special and unique. I plan on putting my higher end work in my 1000 market shop this year so I hope that I can come up with some work that reflects what I'm trying to say.

I made some scarves this year that I called Art Scarves that I named after the artist that I felt "inspired" it. I combined many different yarns of different colors and textures in these pieces. The one above is available in my Etsy shop and I named it after Gustaf Klimt since the color combination really came from his Kiss painting that we have a print of in our living room. The other one I named Waterlilies. It sold at the Mad Art Gallery show but I had this picture from the last photo shoot I did with Anh.


CastoCreations said...

I've pretty much settled on the word 'artisan' to describe most folks even if their work is more 'craft'. It's just easier and sounds better.

I don't think all knitted things could be considered "art" ... I mean ... a dish rag? Art? Not so much.

But I see a lot of your work that leans towards and into the category of art.

Not everyone can put together, artfully, yarn and fibers to create a beautiful piece.

I'm surprised there isn't a wearable fiber arts marketplace on 1000M. You should definitely start one!

Meekiyu said...

hmm that's a very insightful post... I do a lot of artwork and crafting I say I'm an artist. I agree what casto says about fiberarts having a sort of limitation on what you can call art... the dishrag is a great example but your thoughtful and colorful scarves would be considered art to me... I can see where the Waterlilies are coming from.. captures the colors and feel perfectly... I think keep on going with paintings inspiring your work.. that sounds like a great niche and place to start =D

MySweetThree said...

So...are you toying with the idea of possibly creating a marketplace specifically for the fiber folks?

Um...I think that is kind of...awesome! I mean start your own club, right?

And a definitely interesting post..I don't question what I call what I do...I whole-heartedly without a doubt know it is a craft. Although..now that I think of it..My blog is called, "My Art and the Mom in Me".."My craft and the Mom in Me" doesn't seem to flow very well, so I will keep it anyway! Geesh...did any of that make sense? It has been a long day..

Body Natural Soap said...

I go with artisan. I like to think of myself as an artisan. I know the traditional arts are sculpting and painting and so forth but really you paint a lovely picture with your knits using a combination of colors and textures.

Lindsey said...

Looks like art to me! Beautiful, by the way - I would be thrilled to have a scarf like that. I've got to show my friend who just started crocheting (I taught her) - this is totally her style, too. :-)

Looking at that - there's nothing plain old "knit" about it. I mean, it doesn't look like it could be mass-manufactured, and it's totally unique-looking. Art, definitely. :-)


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