I recently came across this video interview of one of my teachers from college days, and now a far away (and not forgotten) friend: Emily Zabransky.
This is a delightful interview, and a wonderful glimpse into some of the human beauty that Emily brings to her teaching experiences. I particularly like what she has to say about the difference between art and craft, in relation to working in clay, starting at 10:30 in the video:
“Ceramics can be a craft, but it can also be a work of art, and I guess a work of art is something that you see it, and you get a certain sense of it, but then when you look back again you get more, and you find different things, and it grows on you, and it is always telling you a new and different story. Craft I think it tends to be more functional, it can be beautiful but, you get it all at once.”
I imagine that most creative folks have their own individual idea of how to define the elusive point where craft transforms into art. I don’t think that it is a distinct definition between these two states of creativity, but more a transition that occurs along a continuum. I strive to make that transition in the wood carvings I create. It is important to me to communicate some of the thoughts and feelings and emotions that are my personal experiences of creating the work itself, but it is even more important if I can succeed in connecting my experiences with those who see my work, in a way that leaves them with something that is uniquely their own. Then it does become a new and different story, and when it happens, it is nothing less than magical.