Lately, I've been enjoying Vickie Howell's Craft-ish podcast while I weave. It's a fascinating look into the lives and careers of makers of all types.
One of the themes Vickie touches on frequently is the difference between art and craft. It's a touchy subject for many, as things that are perceived as "craft" are often valued less - particularly crafts like knitting that are seen as women's work. Vickie often asks her guests to define the difference between art and craft, and one of my favorite definitions is that a work of art is never really done, while a craft has a set point at which it's finished.
That definition acknowledges that there is often a fine line between art and craft - a technique that is considered "crafty" doesn't have to be limited to crafts and can be used for fine art. And I think that something Vickie is hinting at is that so many more of us are artists than we allow ourselves to think.
Lately, I've been working on my Noro Log Cabin Blanket, which has been in the works for more than three years now. All the knitting is done, and I've decided it needs to be like a "real" quilt - with a backing and binding and everything. Partially this is so the knitting won't stretch out, but it's also because I keep thinking of ways to make the piece better, like a work of art.
Naturally, the blanket is too big and heavy to quilt on my sewing machine, which means I'm doing it by hand. The backing is a wool blanket I picked up at the Pendleton Woolen Mill on my travels last summer, and I'm enjoying the weight of it on my lap while I quilt away on it.
Once the quilting is done, I'll bind it with some of my handwoven tape. But that's a long way off still.
What about you? Do you have projects that toe the line between art and craft? Do you have your own definition of the difference?
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