27 April 2006

craft research

craft researchJanet Abrams comment "call me a Luddite" started me thinking about tradition and craft. The American Crafts Council have many quotes published on their website and I thought I would share a few.

" in its broadest sense craft refers to the creation of original objects through an artists disciplined manipulation of material. Historically craft was identified with producing objects that were necessary to life. Today the word craft in America has new connotations. Modern industrialised society eliminates the need to make by hand essentials for living. As a result craft has transcended its traditional role and meaning. The term craft now must be defined in the context of a society that focuses on greater efficiency by technological achievement". Paul J.Smith. Craft Today: Poetry of the Physical, Weidenfeld & Nicolson,1986.

It is interesting that Smith identifies craft as necessary to life and that he feels that is has now transcended its traditional role. I find the reference to makers and materials, something that is voiced continually in crafts writing: is this worthy of greater discussion? For instance how do we define materials? Is there a historical meaning and is it now changing and evolving into something new.

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