User:MarjoleinStassen/Chapter 2

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Chapter 2 Philosophies of Craft

A craft is often associated with 'traditional', or even a newer, cool approach on 'making things yourself'. The term craft is further complicated by 'art'. Art & Craft are seen as separate. Art tends to mean the truly creative transformation of idea and emotions in visual objects. whist Craft end up indicating the less prestigious production by less creative people. Popular believe suggests the craftsperson does not do the thinking and then moves on to the mechanical act of making: on the contrary, making is a part of thinking. Craft is exploration, a process of 'problem solving and problem finding'.

The essential dimensions of craft:

  • The inherit statisfaction of making
  • The sense of being alive within the process
  • The engagement of ideas, learning and knowledge which do not come before or after but within the practice of making.

Craft is more about creativity and the process of making at a vibrant, grassroots level: proud of it grounded , everyday nature, and not insecurely waiting fro an art world critic, collector or curator. Craft seems to be about a drive to make and share things no matter what anyone says. This comes back in the part about [Ruskin]; He admires the 'savagery' and 'rudeness' of the Gothic style since he sees it as the loving embrace of humanity's imperfections. The craftspeople who contributed to a gothic building put in thoughtful work, even though it is imperfect. Ruskin therefor welcomes the collaborative mishmash, the combined construction of imperfection, imagination and 'do what you can'. "Do what you can, and confess frankly what you are unable to do; neither let your effort be shortened for fear of failure, nor your confession silenced for fear of shame."

So rather than thinking [William Morris] was a man who ran a craft business, and who also happened to be a writer of poetry and novels, and who also founded time to produce political critiques and pamphlets, we instead come to the realization that Morris was a man who projected a vision - a vision of great fundamental hope and optimism - through a striking number of different channels. 'Hope' was a keyword in Morris' vocabulary. By 'hope' he meant all that gives worht and continuity to human endeavor, all that makes man's finest aspirations seem possible of achievement in the real world.

Highlighted terms

Craft - Art as Superior - Making is part of thinking - Engagement - Drive - Thoughtful - Environmental - Sustainability - Pleasure in the work itself - Web - Digital - Individualism


What would Ruskin's political views have anything to do with 'craft'?

How did this separation between Art and Craft start? (Industrialism?)

Unknown Words

  • Connotations - An idea or feeling that a word invokes person in addition to its literal or primary meaning: the word "discipline" had unhappy connotations of punishment and repression.
  • Curator - A keeper or custodian of a museum or other collector.
  • Endeavor - Try hard to do or archive something: he is endeavoring to help the third world.