I had kept my art and craft activities separate, thinking that they were two different entities. However, my art is me and my craft is me. They both require skill and creative energy. I will confess, at one time I had a dislike for the word ‘craft’, it held the image of the terrible padded photo frames that my sisters and I made as young teens. Now craft is hip again, but that’s not why I’m at peace with it. I’m okay with it because I appreciate how much skill is required to create an item that is aesthetically pleasing and has a purpose.
The fact that my craft activity is feverish at present also gave me time to consider how I am an artisan, whether I am creating something for its aesthetic value or a practical purpose, (thesaurus check gave these results for the word artisan: craftsperson, artist, artiste, artificer, handicrafts worker, crafts worker, skilled worker……..). There is also a cross-over of skills from one to the other. Printing (a manual craft that requires a technician) has afforded me the opportunity to create prints on paper and fabric, and to produce items that have practical applications such as tote bags or labels for produce bags; as well as fine art prints.
During 2013, my challenge was to put together a ‘body of work’, my first proper collection of fine art prints. All the while I was also devoting time to craft projects, the two activities were running side by side. The process of creating “Fine Art” for me is slow, thoughtful, a time of musing on composition, process and execution. I don’t want to rush an outcome, and therefore may take many months to reach a conclusion. My craft on the other hand can be like a lightening bolt, I may see a “waste” item (such as bottle caps) and dream up a way to utilize that item. The process also requires costing and assembly line considerations, as ultimately I create crafted items en masse and usually sell in a market setting. One always gives me a break from the other.
I think, as a general rule, artists are also excellent recyclers (and also hoarders!) We find things that have a certain appeal, and we collect them, not really knowing how or when they will be used, but knowing, all the same, that they will be useful. This is where my art and craft crosses over and one facilitates the other. Test prints or experiments are not usually thrown away. They are stored for another day / use, sometimes for years and then one day (usually during a ‘clean up’) their purpose is realised and new life is breathed into them. It is not only materials that cross from art to craft, or vice versa. Skills learnt in the printmaking studio work their way into craft, for example the images in my bottle top brooches are now screen printed first before being hand coloured. Sewing skills taught to me by my mother are used for making tote bags and the like, or for binding an artists’ book.
Redesigning my website is now a consideration, though for the time being if you want to check out my etsy store follow this link http://www.etsy.com/au/shop/LittleAngiePresents
I also invite you to sign up to my email list, as 2014 will be an exciting year as I make and create new works on paper, printed fabric and beautiful, useful items. It’s going to be a great year.