ARTform or CRAFTform
I have often pondered about whether I consider jewelry making a form of art or a
form of craft. Or more personally, the jewelry I make, is it a craft? Am I a crafter? Or
can I call myself an artist?
Most of the time I just end up calling it “work”… or “my work”. When in doubt … find
a replacement! LOL!!
Having said that, I am guilty of calling myself both … depending on process. There
are times when I feel profoundly satisfied with a piece of jewelry that I have made …
these are the times when I feel that “yes!” factor. And for those few moments, I feel
like an artist.
turns out beautifully crafted … I am also guilty of smugly thinking … “ahhh excellent
craftsmanship dorlin’ !” ;P
How do you make a finely crafted piece of jewelry turn into a work of art? Well,
impeccable craftsmanship definitely, and perhaps, ingenuity and creativity? Your
ability to create something out of the norm that is uniquely you. Work that people
can tell from miles away that it belongs to you. Experimentation is so important
here. It is not unlike an alchemist looking for a way to make gold out of base metals.
Trying and re-trying to create the best concoction out of your (limited) stash. Not
just the act of plonking everything together, but a thoughtful and lyrical assemblage
of elements and objects. (oh btw … did you know that the Japanese have found a
way to make gold out of base metal already? But the process is so expensive that it’s
cheaper to mine the gold instead!!)
And maybe, making the work “official”? What I mean is, many of us make
jewelry “on a part time basis”. Our full time job is being a mom. Well … at least that’s
me. So if I get to do this full time (say … when my kids are all grown and I have a
REAL studio!! Not my 29x29 inch space!!) … should I feel like I’m more of an artist?
Real work as opposed to just a hobby? Does it make me a REAL artist, or is this just a
state of mind?
All factors considered, I do genuinely think that to label a piece of creation “art”,
there is no other more important factor than the element of SOUL. Now coming
back to my “yes!” factor. I find that I get more “yeses” when the piece of jewelry I
create feels more than just a piece of finely crafted adornment. It feels like it has a
soul, it has a story to tell … my story. Perhaps art is such. It has to come from within
the psyche of its creator. It is the manifestation of bits and pieces of the artist, her
experiences in life, her inspirations, her aspirations, her stories … her world(s).
I came across this quote by St Francis of Assisi which made me smile … guess I’m not
that far away J
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
I would love to know what other jewelry artists think … what are your thoughts?
Is jewelry making an Artform or is it a Craftform? Or is it such a subjective subject-
matter that not in a zenmillion years anyone would have the true answer to it.
thank you so much luthien -
you can learn more about luthien here...
if you didn't already know, we are having a double giveaway this month with work from erin prais-hintz and jean wells...
looking forward to seeing the art spark creations inspired by 'gratitude'...