The Arts And Crafts Debate Essay Research

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The Arts And Crafts Debate Essay, Research Paper Becker in his essay The Arts and Crafts has attempted to resolve and discuss, in some respects, the contradictions that developed during the post war era. He tries to define or perhaps realign the contexts in which these ideas are used by analyzing the relationship between arts and crafts through the evolution or perhaps devolution of craft to art and vice-versa; relying particularly on the example of ceramics in the 1960 s and 70 s. In the chapter Arts and Crafts he discusses the relationship between the arts and crafts and the boundaries that divide them or lack thereof: based on his experience in the United States. His biggest downfall to his argument is his lack of examples and references from other sources and mediums.

Becker’s approach is fairly objective, giving a viable explanation to the topics approached. He writes that there is no clear and decisive interpretation of definition between arts and crafts and that depending on the contexts it is put into there can be a certain amount of transgression between the two worlds. Becker defines craft as the following, In the pure folk definition the craft consists of a body of knowledge and skill which can be used to produce useful objects . Or from the slightly different point of view, it consists of the ability to perform in a useful way. He goes on to outline the tangible aspects of usefulness, depending upon the context they are used in, being the external or internal factors of the world referred to. In addition to function, skill is

determined to be a measure of the craft or craftsmanship. Becker continues to say that in certain circumstances beauty can also be part of the criteria, which weighs the balance of debate. Furthermore, although these criteria have been recognised and accepted by artists / craftsmen there are certain inconsistencies in the definitions, because different values have been placed on these criteria by groups. Therefore there becomes a distinction between the artist-craftsman and the ordinary craftsman, thus there is a co-existence between the art segment , utilitarian craft segment , and artist craftsmen segment . This may be true in some respects but perhaps it could also be an individuals personal distinction between the fields. Whether they identify themselves more closely with

traditional craftsmen or with the artist, or perhaps somewhere positioned in the void of ambiguity between the two segments. As with the many traditions that have become localised under the more modern label artist-craftsmen ; however the individuals views differ there is a common thread of internal conflict, between the groups of arts and crafts, about the meaning of what they do. These differences of opinion may, at the base of the problem, be a sociological distinction rather than an aesthetic or technical one. A point that Becker perhaps overlooks too easily. Becker’s idea of skill is one that, while not wrong, is perhaps not truly reflective of the people he is discussing. He believes it to be a mastering of ability, in both the physical and mental disciplines; which

allows extra ordinary control over the craft materials and techniques. The general consensus from individuals involved in these areas seems to be somewhat contradictory of Becker’s stance. The makers with the most direct line to the arts and crafts movement tend to think of craft skills as challenge, both social and aesthetic, to automated industry. In each area there are different values placed on aspects of an individual s work and therefore there are different attitudes and ideas in respect to the definition of skill. Underlying this, most believe that the essential element is in the mind of the worker, rather than simply the manual skill involved. And equally important a strong sense of ability to exercise control over every aspect of work they do. Becker believes that the