Art vs Craft

Part of what we’re looking to do here at Rabble & Twine is shine a light at what it means to be an artistic/creative real live person in the ever changing landscape of art in our society. Myth bust what it means to be creative in this crazy world.

Almost none of the creative people that we interview and talk to define themselves as artists. And if they do, they do so begrudgingly. It seems that artist is a label we put upon others that’s reserved for something special and extraordinary. Otherwise you’re claiming to be an artiste.

Recently, I was listening to The Fresh Rag Show’s interview with Lisa Solomon At the Crossroads of Art and Craft“. Lisa’s work toes the traditional art vs. craft line; she sometimes uses craft materials (yarn, etc) in an artful way. This discussion got me thinking: so often things get put into one bucket or the other. Is it art or is it craft? (is this a West Side Story – when you’re a jet, you’re a JET situation?).

At Rabble & Twine, we want to encourage everyone to make something and it doesn’t matter to us how you define it. A lot of labels that get thrown around, Art/Craft/Artist/Crafter/Craftsperson/Maker/Creator/etc. Whatever, dude. You might see art, I might see craft. You might hear noise, I might hear music. It’s the whole ‘you say po-TAY-to I say po-TAH-to’ thing. You need to see it, experience it, and react to it to decide for yourself. And either way it’s worthwhile, unless you’re doing it wrong.

History Lesson (Hint: damn the man!)

Check out this TED-Ed talk by Laura Morelli to learn all about the labels ART and CRAFT, and how the hierarchical differentiation between the two came about.

Our Take

There’s been plenty written about the differences between Art and Craft, so we decided to present the dichotomy in chart formchart style shamelessly inspired by xkcd and Indexed. Unless otherwise noted, this is not real data (obviously).

    2 thoughts on “Art vs Craft

    1. This is an interesting juxtaposition of ideas. We all know that the validity of art is defined by the viewer more so than the artist. I wonder if the same goes for where something fits on the scale between art and craft? I may see a crocheted tea cozy, functional in it’s mundaneness, but someone else might see it as artful expression in an otherwise commonplace item.

      Are tea cozies commonplace still?

      Thanks for sharing my chat with Lisa here.

      1. Hey Dave! I’m sure in some circles tea cozies are still commonplace! You’ve got a good point. But perhaps intention plays a role as well. Was the artist trying to say something? We’re they just making it ‘just because’? Was it a political statement? I’m not sure what a political statement tea cozy would look like, but I would love to see it.

        Thanks for bringing creative conversations into the world on Fresh Rag!

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