Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Flicker Photo Group!

There's a new basket making group for traditional coiled and twined basketry techniques on Flicker! Please post your photos there to create awareness about the two most ancient basketry techniques still being practiced by a small number of us today.

Basketry is one of the very first crafts to be invented by humans. Twining and coiling are the two most ancient basketry techniques. These techniques predate pottery.

One of the reasons I started this on flicker is because there is a serious lack of authentic coiled work out there. I've been seeing more and more vessels that makers are calling "coiled baskets," that don't use basketry techniques at all. With the popularity of crocheting, knitting, felting and quilting has come a variety of vessels, that while often attractive art forms in themselves, do not represent the ancient art of coiling. I've recently become aware of just how obscure our art form is, and of a lack of awareness and even confusion about it. People, especially younger generations, should not confuse glued, piece stitched, or shaped fiber bowls with a coiled basket. They should not confuse crocheting with twining. Lets create some awareness of what coiling and twining is, out there where the general public can discover it! That's why I created this public photo stream group, where we can add our informative comments and photos for the world to see.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

What is Art?

Have you ever run across antiquated views concerning what constitutes art? There's an undercurrent that runs through the arts community, sometimes subtle and sometimes overt, that promotes the perception that only 2-d art is truly art. From juried "fine arts" shows to other exhibition and selling venues, one will sometimes find that 3-d (in it's myriad forms) is considered the poor step-child.

I'm not sure how this came to be, or if it has always been this way. The very term "fine art" seems to be inclusive of paintings and drawing in many cases. I do think things are changing and the art world is opening up to be more accepting of different art forms, but the connotations and attitudes still linger. We've all, I'm sure, been in discussions revolving around "what is art?" I've come to believe that art is subjective: something is art if YOU think it is.

There are so many labels associated with the visual arts: craft, fine craft, fine art, artisan, craftsman, crafter, etc. Each has it's own connotations. I feel we all need to respect each other as artists, whether or not we appreciate the art form. What do you think?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Okra for the Holidays-- The Vegetable that Keeps on Giving!

It's a little earlier than I normally start working on holiday items, but I thought I'd give Christmas in July a bit of try in my Etsy shop. I've put a few items up already and will probably add more throughout the month. My ornament specialties include intricately carved gourds, and my painted "holly ornaments," and combinations of the two techniques. They are unique and will add natural beauty to your holiday displays! Check out my shop and see why my Crimson Classic Okra Santas are special! Also have a look at my Special Edition "Starry Night" Okra Santas! I like to say that they are the vegetables that keep on giving! Merry Christmas In July!
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