Art of My Craft : Craft of My Art

Because sometimes other people say it best ...
Excerpt from David Gauntlett's Making is Connecting :

The term 'craft' is further complicated by its relationship with 'art'. Somehow the two concepts have become separated, so that 'art' tends to mean the truly creative transformation of ideas and emotions into visual objects (or texts, performances, music or whatever), whilst 'craft'-- having been shoved out of that space-- ends up indicating the less prestigious production of carvings or pots. This view is, of course, most unfair. As Peter Dormer has observed :

"The separation of craft from art and design is one of the phenomena of late-twentieth-century Western culture. The consequences of this split have been quite startling. It has led to the separation of 'having ideas' from 'making objects'. It has also led to the idea that there exists some sort of mental attribute known as 'creativity' that precedes or can be divorced from a knowledge of how to make things." (Peter Dormer, 'The Status of Craft', in Peter Dormer, ed., The Culture of Craft (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), p. 18.)

...

In recent years the status of craft has been helped by Richard Sennett's excellent book The Craftsman-- amongst readers and thinkers, I mean, rather than amongst doers and makers, who may not need such writings to persuade them. Sennett argues vigorously against the second-class status of craft, and is especially good on his core theme that thinking and making are aspects of one unified process. The craftsperson does not do the thinking and then move on to the mechanical act of making: on the contrary, making is part of thinking, and, he adds, feelings; and thinking and feeling are part of making. Sennett emphasizes craft as a unity of body and mind-- in particular, working with the hands as a central part of the process of thinking and making-- and craft as exploration, a process of 'problem solving and problem finding. More broadly, in Sennett's hands, craft becomes a process of making personal self-identity, and citizenship. (Richard Sennett, The Craftsman (London, Allen Lane, 2008), p. 7.)

In Response : Most recently, I have been working on a body of work for my rookie exhibition, Imaginate, at Boston Sculptors Gallery, Boston, MA on view May 4 - June 5, 2016. Imaginate emerges as a fusion between my infatuation for the everyday 'house project' and my instinct to 'create'. Drawing from direct personal experience, my interest in 'hi-fi' (vs. 'lo-fi') DIY culture and investigations of childhood play, I have assigned myself the role of the 'maker'-- the 'inventor'. I have become immensely invested in making objects that hybridize contemporary sculpture / installation, fine-furniture, theater props / sets, craft, and the 'play-things' (toys and games) of my past / 90's culture. I am tremendously focused on making each 'item' with the importance and detail achieved by a manufacturer and their assembly line. I think about functionality, but oddly enough, I am motivated to present a majority of the works formally-- displaying each as a product awaiting its sale and use. Throughout the process and the conceptualization of this body of work (my exhibition, Imaginate), art has become craft and craft has become art. I continue to visualize functional objects with purpose that quickly and intuitively abstract themselves-- only then in time for me to make sense of this transformation and bring the work back to reality. I am perplexed by this process-- this search for purpose in everything I do-- an avoidance of some form of the unknown-- designing a plan ... getting lost in what my hands are doing ... perfecting the product ...