In the art and craft world there is a conundrum as to what we call ourselves. To some the tag of crafts-person is a complete insult, opting for artist instead. For others, crafts-person is perfectly fine. Which pronoun best describes what you are and what you do? OR are the words Art and Craft really a verb and interchangeable?
Doctors and Lawyers practice, so is their profession considered a craft? Wood workers in any capacity are typically called craftsmen but are they indeed artists who see beauty in the different aspects of the material? Why would we label a person an artist or a crafts-person based on the materials they use? I have a 5' hand carved from wood, two dimensional Angel in my living room. The raw material used is one solid piece of wood (tree). The carver used a chain saw and finished by hand. As I daily look at this piece ~ to me it is art and the creator a very talented artisan.
I have a friend who sews beautifully; clothing, home decor, and anything fabric. She owns nearly every type of machine available for sewing fabric yet she chooses to call herself and her surroundings, "crafting." I maintain she is an artist as it takes tremendous imagination to make her fabric creations ~ AND ~ I could never conjure the works she produces. Am I an "art" snob by virtue of my inability to label her a crafts-person? Yes she buys her materials in craft stores and fabric shops but what is she ~ verb, adverb, noun or pronoun?
There was a time when I had a large studio with dozens of "art" projects typically working in tandem. For that reason I labeled myself as an artist largely due to the shear volume of material in use. The fact is, I could have been a crafts-person just as easily. My raw materials came from art suppliers, antique dealers, auctions and dumpsters if I was so lucky. But I have to wonder, did I come off as a complete snob to the craft crowd or am I indeed an artist?
I never formally studied art, I was simply surrounded by familial talented people. Some of that talent rubbed off on me. My grandfather was a custom cabinet maker by trade, but created beautiful one of a kind objects from wood. Both he and my grandmother were inducted in the Bowling Hall of Fame so he had easy access to the old wooden bowling pins. I remember the beautiful creations he made from old bowling pins. Art or Craft?
I have cousins, uncles and other family members who create "art" in a variety of soft and hard materials, beautiful in their finality. So I consider them art. But is it really art or craft? I am completely stumped by the difference in the two labels if there is indeed a difference.
From my perspective and after considerable thought, I have come to the conclusion that there is no difference in the two. I make mosaic tiles from antique china and I will call it a craft resulting in art! After all, a locomotive engineer isn't considered an artist!
Check out my work and you be the judge: My Etsy Store and My ArtFire Store