Art vs Craft Debate Redux

Fit of Pique “Flower Dog”

Is it “Art” or is it “Craft” and what defines each?

Remember the classes we took in high school decades ago? I do. “Arts & Crafts” tended to attract the girls, while “Shop” attracted the boys, though some of the items made in Shop would have qualified, in my opinion as art, and some of the schlock produced in art class was, well, schlock. I have seen a lot of crafts which were just that — functional items made by a process specific, usually in wood, ceramics or glass. But just as Tiffany made craft art, and Warhol made the ordinary extraordinary, the lines are not straight and true.

I have had many call my Fit Of Pique mosaics “art.” To the extent that they are an expression of some inner emotion or spirit, even though made with the usual materials associated with craft, I would have to agree. Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

But it is not a comfortable tag for me. It feels rather pretentious. “Art” to me is an oil painting, such as my mother used to create, requiring extraordinary skill as well as expression that is unique. My Fit Of Pique pieces are functional — a photo frame, box, mirror — which might assign them to the craft category. Yet to me, they are more. Much more. In fact, though I sell them, parting with each is emotional for me.

There are certainly some who feel it cannot be art unless the maker is starving or coughing up a little blood. And certainly how others perceive an item or its maker is an important gauge. I remember when I painted my first oil painting — a still life of an apple and knife on a soft cloth. I entered it in my 7th grade’s “Art Contest” only to have the teacher eliminate it because it was, in her opinion, so obviously a Paint-By-Numbers production which was prohibited (it was not). When I came home in tears, my mother let that teacher have it! But the impact on me was severe. That “art” teacher had quelled the spirit. I didn’t attempt “art” again for years, until a drawing class at the Corcoran drew me out once again in my twenties.

I would prefer to think of my Fit Of Pique pieces using the Swedish designation of  “ArtCraft,” with elements of both in each piece. Some are certainly unique and artistic, such as the Flower Dog frame shown above. Others are more craft than art, but still beautiful, such as the Playing Cards box shown below.

Fit Of Pique Playing Card Box

Fit Of Pique Playing Card Box (Interior)

So, does that make me an “Artist” or a “Craftsman” or an “ArtCraftsGal” — I vote for the latter. But let me know what YOU think. And please visit my Fit Of Pique section at www.CherryGal.com to see all my artcraft mosaics.

Wonderful day with my new booth at the Warrenton Harvest Festival!

Fit of Pique Mosaics featured!

So happy with my new larger booth!

One of my favorite customers inspects a FOP mini pot with cat grass

I had a wonderful time with CherryGal‘s new larger white booth at the Warrenton Harvest Festival! Great feedback and sales of my new Fit of Pique genuine pique assiette mosaics line which were featured. I had frames, mirrors, boxes and garden pots. We also had Lucky Like organic and all natural premium biscuits, CherryGal’s Organic Do It Yourself Gin Kits and gift vases of Paperwhite Narcissus. I made new friends and new customers! So I will continue to produce my Fit Of Pique and other special CherryGal and Lucky Like items, which are all available on my website, CherryGal.com and in my Etsy shop. I am also open to commission requests that are color and/or theme based. These make unique and wonderful gifts! And after a few customers suggested it, I am considering creating a Fit of Pique pique assiette class event locally, where you will be able to learn the art and create a frame, all supplies included. Let me know what you think about that idea! Thank you everyone for your friendship and patronage! Looking forward to seeing everyone again at the Spring Festival in April!