Saturday, February 04, 2006

Example of Making a Craft vs. Making Art

On an online chat list about ATCs, a discussion about quality of ATCs and the idea of a craft vs. ‘making art’ was discussed. There were some very defensive people contributing and the topic got heated. I felt that the people who used scrapbooking materials and pre-made things were being defensive and said that indeed they were making art.

I am reading Claudine Hellmuth’s “Collage Discovery Workshop: Beyond the Unexpected” right now.

A major part of this book is about her unique art ‘thing’ she created which she calls Poppits (and she has registered this word as a trademark), which are collages with a unique style. In the book we are taught how to make these on our own. IMO this is art. If you want to see what a Poppit is, go here.

Even if we copy this method with our uniquely selected raw materials and use her directions and our own photos it is still art, in my opinion.

Recently I was on Claudine Hellmuth's website and see she is now creating unique pieces of Poppit art for people using their own face photos. Good for her for finding a way to make money by selling inexpensive and unique pieces of Poppit art.

Today I learned that she has now created a pre-made Poppit artwork bases to be sold for use in scrapbooks. IMO anyone who uses that is making a craft. The products from what I read online on her blog, are predesigned people/bodies that scrapbookers then paste a photo of their family or friend’s head onto. There are also premade backgrounds. Actually these remind me of colorforms---the child’s toy where there is a background and then you put pre-made forms onto it to create a new composition of your own design.

Anyway I thought that was a perfect example of making a craft vs. making an individually, custom designed piece of art and just had to share that. In the past some people had a hard time articulating what a craft was vs. making art.

Just want to also make it clear I am not putting down Claudine Hellmuth in any way, or even anyone who uses the Poppit products. I just think it is a great example of the difference between a craft and making art.

What are your thoughts?

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