Home Glass Art Craft or Artwork? You determine.

Craft or Artwork? You determine.



This is without doubt one of the favorite items of glass that I’ve ever made. However is Craft, or Artwork? You determine. And does it matter?

I say “piece of glass”, however I truly make this design in many various variations – the “Oceans Blue” blue and inexperienced as seen above, multi-coloured or black and white as seen under (good for contemporary monochrome kitchens), certainly, I’ll fortunately make a “Woven Fruit Platter” in any color that my prospects wish to go well with their decor.


Woven fruit platter

Is it artwork? Or craft? (And does it matter?)


Black and white woven fruit platter

‘The House Collection’ of black and white woven fruit platters are enduringly well-liked


However simply because you need to use it, does that make it any much less “artwork”?

The woven fruit platter an extremely sensible merchandise.

When you – like us – hate it went you resolve your fruit bowl and discover that the bottom of your (costly) fruit has was a gloopy mess due to the mixed results of humidity/water, touching the floor of the bowl and an anaerobic atmosphere, then you definately’ll love these designs, as a result of the holes within the lattice permit air to flow into round your fruit, holding them recent longer.

However I’ve had gadgets (not typically, fortunately) sneeringly derided by purists who assume that “artwork” which has a sensible function is by some means much less laudable or much less priceless than “pure artwork”. They dismiss it as “craft” – laden with patronising overtones of trustworthy yokels labouring away to end up an merchandise for purely sensible use.

These days, in fact, craft is recognised as being of nice intrinsic worth in itself. Clarice Cliff pottery, anybody? However nonetheless the talk rages.


Clarice Cliff Melon shape vase and Circle Tree Eton shape coffee pot.

Clarice Cliff Melon form vase and Circle Tree Eton form espresso pot. Don’t throw these away in the event that they’re in your cabinet!


So I’m going to place a flag within the floor. I believe it’s a completely synthetic distinction, created and perpetuated by individuals who ought to know higher, in the event that they did simply cease and assume for a minute.

Right here’s an article which seeks to make the argument, and with which I politely disagree. Distinction between artwork and craft.

Now right here’s why I believe the article is a nonsense.

For one factor, any merchandise being produced has to have an intrinsic creative price to draw the attention and transfer the guts. Whether it is then reproduced (both identically, or in selection) how does that diminish the unique intrinsic creative imaginative and prescient? Reply: it doesn’t, in fact.

Right here’s a sentence I discovered in one other article which made my blood boil: “Artwork is primarily a private type of work that expresses the concepts and feelings of the artist.” Properly, sure, for positive.

Soldiers playing dice

Created within the model of Valentin de Boulogne, that is ‘Troopers enjoying cube’. This portray information a misplaced authentic work by Valentin, one of many biggest French artists to inherit the legacy of Caravaggio. Present estimate: £6,000–8,000. Copying nice masters work was commonplace – in truth, it was thought of complimentary.

However that doesn’t imply that an merchandise which is created after which re-created doesn’t “categorical the concepts and feelings of the artist”, does it?

In any other case, to be trustworthy, nice swathes of Renaissance artwork could be dismissed as mere “craft”, as they had been truly copies of labor from nice masters reproduced by artisans.

Certainly, within the seventeenth – nineteenth centuries, travellers doing the European “Grand Tour” demanded copies of well-known work to take dwelling, or work within the model of well-known nice masters. A complete business of “craftspersons” grew as much as service the demand. A whole lot of the “artwork” hanging in galleries and museums in the present day are simply such copies.

The aesthetics of helpful gadgets

The second cause the article is a nonsense is that it doesn’t take into consideration {that a} sensible merchandise doesn’t at all times must be in sensible use to supply a purely aesthetic impact. My fruit platters typically sit on sideboards on their very own, delighting their homeowners and producing appreciative gasps from their visitors.

The identical is true of numerous “craft” gadgets.

An Alessi kettle, for instance, is without doubt one of the most peculiar family gadgets conceivable – a container that boils water – however I defy anybody to say that they don’t additionally provide intrinsic emotional and creative advantage. Is this glorious merchandise (designed by Richard Sapper) any much less a chunk of artwork than the candlesticks it sits subsequent to? I don’t imagine so. After all, some would say the candlesticks aren’t artwork, both …

Is Tapestry mere “stitching”?

And what of tapestry? Finally, in its essence, tapestry isn’t any completely different from a little bit previous girl patiently stitching flowers onto a chunk of silk or linen as she perches in her rocking chair on the verandah of her dwelling. (I believe I watched too many Westerns as a child.)

Not solely that, however tapestries had been often produced in big workshops the place expert craftsmen and ladies would patiently work away to create part of the entire. And but in the present day, of their entirety, these tapestries are revered as “excessive artwork” emblematic of the societies that created them.

Nobody mentions, by the best way, even sotto voce, that they had been truly primarily used as a pretty method of insulating homes from the chilly, or generally to make a strongly political or non secular level. Propaganda posters, briefly.

Consider the Bayeux Tapestry. Historical past is written – or sewn – by the victors.


Apocalypse tapestry

The Apocalypse Tapestry, 1377–1382


Right now we are sometimes requested to consider portray as a central medium of Western artwork historical past, and it’s celebrated as such, however for a lot of the medieval and early trendy interval, it was truly tapestry.

For instance, this formidable tapestry sequence, 100 m lengthy and depicting key scenes from the E-book of Revelation, is the oldest surviving woven paintings in France.

It’s an intensely non secular work, but it surely’s additionally a political one: made in the course of the peak of the Hundred Years’ Warfare, it captures the privations and fears of a nation in seemingly countless existential battle.

So after I make my fruit platters, or my ‘splat clocks’, or my coasters, or my bowls
and platters and sculptures, or sushi plates,platter are they Artwork, or Craft?

What do you assume?

I’ll at all times, proudly, provide the identical reply.


And thanks, as at all times, for studying.

(PS, there’s a transfer these days, to switch each “Artist” and “Craftsperson” with “Maker”. I believe I moderately like that concept, as a celebration of the creativity concerned.)

Sushi, anybody?

picture of the centre of the art glass sushi platter by Jenie Yolland



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here