Sunday, March 20, 2011

Thinking as a Consequence of the Word Craft

A few weeks ago an artist I know pissed me off by telling me that my means of creating held no worth. I've been stewing ever since. With my pen in hand I had set out to disprove that statement with this monumental writing that would point to the fact that while yes my chosen mediums have always been deemed applied arts, artisanry, or crafts,  the motives to my making have never been less than Aristotle's best definition, conceptual and autonomous. My work was about my thoughts and existed because of my thoughts, not because the world needed another vessel or body ornament. I have proven I can draw, paint, sculpt but there is something about going after that perfect object that both satisfies my need to express and my need to have my art be a portable reminder of my statement of the moment.

So I set out to write this crushing article and I admit I have hit massive roadblocks all over the place. Am I doomed to be labeled an artisan, essentially the steerage class of the art world? I set out again today with all the time in the world to read Glenn Adamson's book Thinking through Craft and after 50 pages or so set out on a long hike through the snow with wool socks and clogs on hoping that my trudge the wet and cold ground would jar something in my brain that would rock the world...I am stuck I admit, but interestingly enough my thought process is evolving and digesting all the same. New socks, a cup of tea, a milk-crate to sit on to read in the glorious spring sunshine has helped me reframe my sheer anger to contemplative thought. I had to separate my feelings from my work. My writing is getting there...I just have to remind myself that in a democratic society we have freedom of speech and expression and doing those things well are a product of education. SO, I will turn this around, reframe my own thoughts, and deliver an educated answer to the world about the nature of  this particular WORD eventually. All I can say is that I am working on it.

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