28 May 2006

Fine Craft?

In the link that Mike posted some time back, there is an item of basket making made by Brian Jewett (see below). In this 'traditional craft', I see someone who has taken basket making a step further, and has experimented with materials in order to produce something new. Although it is beautifully crafted, and aesthetically pleasing, it is the beginning of interrogating materials, but not interrogating the process. Fine craft it is neither art masquerading as craft nor vice versa. Other people have experimented with traditional skills but have pushed the boundries of their skills, techniques and materials and produced items no-one has made before.
The picture I have added is a small fragment of Coptic Cloth about 182x55cm in size. the weave is exquisitly fine, beautifully executed, using new techniques in order to weave the stylized faces and demonstrating considerable thought - intellectual process. I consider this a piece of Fine Craft.

Extreme Craft: Compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

That's the Ticket!
Brian Jewett's background is in manufacturing. He left the world of widgets and wonder to start his own small business, thenstarted sniffing around some community learning courses in welding, which led to classes at the Otis School of Design. At Otis, he discovered....Basket Weaving! Rather than getting right with nature and making some really sweet birchbark berry baskets, Jewett turned to what he knows best...industrial materials. His baskets take largely traditional forms, but utilize material like rubber tubing and cable ties to achieve some seriously stunning modern effects. People in the basket making community have largely embraced him--it's been my experience that many people in traditional crafts don't think of themselves as artists or creative people, but craftspeople are anything but playa haters--they love to see people push the envelope. He's studied with some of the masters of the form, and continues to develop baskets, vases, and beautiful bowls made out of tickets!
Liz Donald,
PhD Student Researcher,
Past Present and Future Craft Practices

1 comment:

  1. Great Work!!!
    this is a good link you can refer Art Collection