Knitter's Review Forums
  The online community for readers of Knitter's Review.
  This week: Great last-minute gifts for knitters
   > Have you subscribed yet?
Knitter's Review Forums
KR Home | My Profile | Register | Active Topics | Private Messages | Search | FAQ | Want to make Betty happy?
Username:
Password:
Save Password
Forgot your username or password?

 All Forums
 General Chitchat
 Random Knitting-Related Stuff
 Art or Craft, and what's the difference?
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Next Page
Author Previous Topic Topic Next Topic
Page: of 2

ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
554 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2011 :  2:06:42 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do other knitters define hand-knitting, as an art or a craft, needleart, handicraft ...??? How about loom-knitting?

I recently saw a demonstration of knitting with a loom, and for some reason, my brain was telling me it was a "craft" and not an "art." But then, when I tried to determine what I thought this meant, I didn't have any idea about what I was really thinking! There must be a very fine line, which really doesn't matter one iota, provided the knitter is happy.

But I'm still curious.



Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.

Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2011 :  8:52:11 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To me a craft is something that can be learned, art is what happens after you get all your learning done and you get creative. I agree with you that for most of us, it doesn't matter one iota but I've met some people that are driven to find that art in what they do and that's what makes them happy - pushing the envelop and inventing beautiful things. Most of us are mostly replicating what the pattern tells us. I'm perfectly happy doing that. The couple of times where I've created a pattern to solve a specific problem, it seemed no different to me than following someone else's pattern. I don't have that drive and I am just fine with doing a craft. I must say that knitting is probbly a more skilled craft than some other things called crafts. What do others think of these two words?

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
Go to Top of Page

lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2011 :  10:58:49 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Artisan is a word that isn't used very much but is completely respectable. The Arts and Craft movement, in trying to define an Artisan's craft, raised many of the more utilitarian forms of crafts, like furniture design, to an art, a recognizable and distinct school of creative design.

I only separate craft from art by degree. Something that raises design into a level that is so original and awe inspiring as to be called an art form. Arline Fisch in her knitted designs comes to mind.

I agree with you, Donna. There is a very fine line, and it doesn't matter one iota which it is as long as it makes the knitter happy.

Lella
Zippiknits
Go to Top of Page

MMario
Permanent Resident

2211 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2011 :  07:36:44 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some say craft is the process and the mechanics; art is the expression.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
Go to Top of Page

Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 01/21/2011 :  10:52:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm with Consuelo - I'd say knitting is a technique - like painting or photography. Which first needs to be learned, that's the crafts part. And some people get really good at it and they may be called artists. The unfair part is that a painter has a better chance to be considered an artist than a knitter...

And as for the defition of artist, the best one I've ever found is what weaver Peter Collingwood once wrote: "Artist is a title conferred by posterity."

Bye, Klara

http://www.lahottee.info
Go to Top of Page

lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2011 :  3:47:49 PM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since I first heard this quote when I was a fine arts student, I'll include it here first:

"A laborer is one who makes something with his hands. A craftsman is one who makes something with his hands and mind. An artist is one who makes something with his hands, mind and heart."

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/18

Mario, Kade, I agree, there are some very real artists at work in the design of knitted pieces - the amazing lace, both to be worn and to adorn a tabletop or windows, for instance! Gorgeous stuff!

There is yet another very interesting, and evidently much looked at, perspective on what "Art" is in our modern world here:

http://artsofinnovation.wordpress.com/2009/10/17/conceptual-art-vs-craftsmanship/

Hands, mind and heart!





Lella
Zippiknits
Go to Top of Page

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1857 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2011 :  4:18:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Consuelo

To me a craft is something that can be learned, art is what happens after you get all your learning done and you get creative.

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain



Hmmm, I've lately been pondering the science vs. the art of music, and the above definition of "craft" seems to point more to science, because it can be taught. However, "science" sounds, well, scientific, so it doesn't really fit!

I don't know that I would say that craft is exactly "technique" either.

Somehow "craft" sounds to me more like a collection of sensible how-tos, that include technique but isn't limited to only that. For example, which increase do I choose in this place and why? I have a knitting friend who calls any increase a m1. (What?) To me, each increase is distinct from the next, and the effect of each is different. It's understanding which one fits in terms of overall construction wherever it happens to go.

Another example is the use of percentages for sweaters in light of texture or color patterns. Making two elements work together well describe "craft" to me.

I tend to think of my own knitting in terms of craft, because I'm after the details within the overall look to be just right. I hope I do the craft of knitting justice.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Go to Top of Page

Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2011 :  5:19:25 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hey, Ceil. Your description of your friend calling every increase m1 vs understanding where that increase goes and what it's suppose to do for the item being knit is EXACTLY what I meant when I said there's a difference between knowing the number pi and understanding the meaning of pi. I love it!

My grandfather, who was an architect, was the originator of that quote and now we havfe a knitting version of it LOL

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
Go to Top of Page

Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 01/22/2011 :  8:15:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If a painter uses paint by numbers and follows the instructions to the letter then it is a craft, same with the knitter who is following pattern instructions exactly as written. Once they start putting their own imagination and design into the finished product I think it art.

Wen


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wen1965/sets/72157623175907664/show/ 2010 FO
http://wenswoolgathering.wordpress.com/ My blog
Go to Top of Page

Kade1301
Permanent Resident

France
1438 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  10:48:46 AM  Show Profile  Visit Kade1301's Homepage Send Kade1301 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think I'd put the painter-by-number and knitter-by-pattern (remember the discussion we had on THAT comparison?) in the laborer category (no - or not much - mind required). Somebody who can paint a decent picture, or knit something without a pattern would then be a crafts(wo)man. And artists are craftspeople whose works are still admired a hundred years from now.

Happy knitting! Klara

http://www.lahottee.info

PS: Lella posted a link to an excerpt from the N.Y. times - the original is here http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/16/opinion/16dutton.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&em and on the second page are some points that are very relevant to our discussion
Go to Top of Page

ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
554 Posts

Posted - 01/23/2011 :  3:27:08 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Interesting discussion. I think sometimes my knitting comprises all of these elements, and at other times perhaps is only labor. But I almost always love doing it!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.
Go to Top of Page

hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 01/24/2011 :  3:41:29 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm with you, ikkivan! Most often I follow patterns - painting by numbers - but I like to paint outside the lines. :-)

Jan
Go to Top of Page

pjkite
Permanent Resident

1198 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2011 :  2:50:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit pjkite's Homepage  Send pjkite a Yahoo! Message Send pjkite a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
"A laborer is one who makes something with his hands. A craftsman is one who makes something with his hands and mind. An artist is one who makes something with his hands, mind and heart."



I've always adhered to the same quote. First you learn your tools and techniques - your craft. Many people are perfectly content to stay craftspeople, and it's a honorable and coveted designation from an historical perspective. Those rare people who take their tools and techniques and break new ground are definitely artists in my opinion. They've put something of themselves into their work.

I love this sort of discussion!

Pamela Kite
East Tennessee
http://fiberlife.blogspot.com/

Go to Top of Page

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1857 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2011 :  4:04:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My first sweater, a pullover knitted in oct. 2009, was from my head--no pattern--and seamless besides. In fact, the next 10 sweaters after that were all like that, and no two of them the same: cardigans, pullovers, Moebius, round yoke, plackets built in or applied, you get the picture. The beauty of knitting from a pattern (first one in August 2010) is that I didn't get hung up if the numbers didn't come out right. I felt like I had learned enough from the sweaters before that I could fudge a little. I feel like I have met craft because I can do that.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
Go to Top of Page

eldergirl
Permanent Resident

USA
1812 Posts

Posted - 01/31/2011 :  7:40:41 PM  Show Profile Send eldergirl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a wonderful lesson from Aristotle in his "Ars Poeticus" (The Art of Poetry --- with the greek word "poetry" meaning something made from an souffle' to a hit movie.)

He says, first you must learn the grammer of the subject. As Pamela says above, the tools and techniques--the "apprenticeship"--of the subject.

Then you move to the logic and dialectic ( you learn to put two and two together, and talk to others or yourself about different ways to practice the subject, and you practice your making in this more experimental and conversational melieu -- you are a "journeyman".

Finally, you are able to express the rhetoric of the subject: to be so fluent that you can take the subject and express things (yourself?) and move others to see as you do. This can be very powerful expression. You are a "master".

I think of many "made things" under these rubrics. I love analyzing pictorial, musical, knitted, sewn, dance, written, and other expressions of "made things"

I think certainly all humans are "makers", some more than others -- just think of living your life, "making" your life. Much is chance, or fate, or God's will, or chaos, but the making is in all of us.

I agree, this is a wonderful topic!

Anna


Go to Top of Page

kkknitter
Seriously Hooked

699 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2011 :  04:49:58 AM  Show Profile Send kkknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since I always follow a pattern when I knit, I look at it as craft. It is not an original design by me. But my sister tells my that my work is so carefully and nicely made that the finished pieces look like small pieces of art.
Go to Top of Page

MMario
Permanent Resident

2211 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2011 :  06:46:57 AM  Show Profile Send MMario a Private Message  Reply with Quote
kkknitter - it's like music. Two musicians can play (or sing) the same piece of music - One may be completly perfect in execution of the music - but the tune has no soul; the other may or may not be "perfect" but the music is alive and greater then the notes on the page. The former is craft, the latter art.

My opinion, of coursel but I think knitting can be much the same.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st century - but I play a character who does.
Go to Top of Page

kkknitter
Seriously Hooked

699 Posts

Posted - 02/01/2011 :  07:02:50 AM  Show Profile Send kkknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks MMario, I guess I do not value enough what I do, but I do not usually have a lot of positive feed back. Actually, most of the time I feel like I'm working in a vacuum. Good thing I found KR :-)

Kristina
Go to Top of Page

bgcyclist
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2011 :  05:17:24 AM  Show Profile Send bgcyclist a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have a BFA in fine art and as much as I love my knitting, I do not consider what I do art. That being said, my definition of art is "I made you look". If something I've never seen before causes a reaction in me, then it's totally new to me and is art. I don't have to like it, but the artist got a reaction.

Cindy Moore
"Never walk like an old woman even if it hurts." Sophia Loren
Go to Top of Page

jaxie985
New Pal

9 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2011 :  05:58:04 AM  Show Profile Send jaxie985 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree totally with the view that when the knitter takes his/her skill to begin to create something uniquely different, knitting moves from craft to art. It's all in approach.
Go to Top of Page

ibknittin
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 02/03/2011 :  07:12:32 AM  Show Profile Send ibknittin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This topic has been beaten to death at the ChathamArts Gallery, where I am manager. Most consider knitting to be a craft, and so not worthy of consideration as "art". Take a look at Deborah Newton's work and deny that it's "art"!
Go to Top of Page
Page: of 2 Previous Topic Topic Next Topic  
Next Page
 New Topic  Reply to Topic
 Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Knitter's Review Forums © 2001-2014 Knitter's Review Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.67 seconds. Snitz Forums 2000
line This week's bandwidth
kindly brought to you by


and by knitters like you.
How can I sponsor?


line subscribe to Knitter's Reviwe