What’s the difference between an artist and a craftsperson? Is the difference connected to a skill acquired through repetition versus the intent to interpret something using a new approach? Is the difference found in the reason for creating something – to perfect a skill or to communicate an idea? Or does the value a culture places on the piece or skill determine if it is art or a craft?
The definition and use of a word evolves over time, with the current understanding incorporating the historical context of the era. In Western culture, the apprentice and guild traditions of creating beautiful objects within a workshop began to be replaced by a focus on an individual innovating to create art. Other cultures and times valued maintaining traditional skills in the creation of useful objects. The difference between art and craft may have something to do with formal training and the transfer of previous knowledge, but there is no agreed upon difference.
Defining art v. craft continues to be a topic of debate and some may find the intellectual process of identifying the differences to be useful. We believe the joy of creating, and the challenges of learning and perfecting a traditional hands-on skill, will make the debate seem less important. Whether you are looking for an antidote to too much time in front of a computer, or if you are hoping to make connections with others who share a similar interest, make some time for yourself. Experience the joy and satisfaction of working with your hands to create art…. or develop a craft…we leave the semantics up to you!