cybik: (boots)
Craft is a dirty word. My degree was called "Three Dimensional Design", but "Craft" would have been more accurate. In fact, I think they're changing the title so that is does involve the word "craft" somewhere - but they're keeping the word "design" as well.

In the perceived hieracy of the art world, it goes something like this: fine art > design > craft. When did you last hear of a massive exhibition of modern craft (other than via me)? Probably rarely. There are such exhibitions - Origin (formerly the Chelsea Crafts Fair and oh look, it has changed its name so as to not give an idea of what it contains), Collect, New Designers.. And yet the exhibitions that are reviewed in the papers and which are talked about on TV are always the ones which are Fine Art or Design based. Craft is the forgotten step-daughter. If you name famous craftspeople of the last hundred years or so most of their names receive blank looks. Bernard Leach? David Watkins? William Morris? Jane Adam? Malcolm Appleby? Wendy Ramshaw? Hands up who'd heard of more than two of them (okay, there's a bit of a metalwork bias, but that's to be expected from me). I find it shoking that I don't know the names of more than about two modern potters and probably only one glassmaker (apart from the people I went to uni with and was taught by, obviously).

When I go into a bookshop and go to the craft section (which of course I do), there are very rarely any books on actual crafts. It's all about bloody beading and cross stitch. Beading is easy. You don't need a hundred different books about it, telling the reader how to make something that is EXACTLY like the one in the picture. Where's the creativity in that? I hate those books because they make people afraid to try new things, to make up patterns, to trust their own creativity. Everyone has some ability. We're not robots.

April 2017

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