What comes to mind when you hear the word “art”? Most people would answer paintings or drawing, and sometimes sculpting. But not many would think that crafts would be placed under the art category, rather that it is its own category. This leads to the question, how is handicraft relevant in art?
Art, being stereotyped to be a career of the “starving artists,” can also be perceived as a something only for the “elitist society.” It is perhaps due to having only the elite appreciating art that its world can be intimidating to the commoners. Crafts would be seen to belong to the lower classes due to its “homemadeness.” This will be explained later on.
Art in the past was after all considered a luxury which shows more of the difference between social statuses. In fact throughout history, art is thought to have power as it can influence the society regardless of era. Not many might be aware but it has been noticed that the art world may have been divided into four social classes, where most of whom are similar to those cool kids who discuss art with arrogance back in your high school. Art as an activity was also seen as a special level only a handful could do.
The audience should know that art is what creates conversations, what triggers them to think. It is a visual form of criticism on certain topics, whether something simple or complicated. It can be either subtle or direct, nevertheless a message is being delivered.
As mentioned earlier, art is more commonly associated with painting and drawing (or sketching). Painting and sketching are the most familiar medium of art because they were the tools used most of the time, whether for pleasure or for political reasons. But one thing is for certain, they are able to bring out emotions from the audience, and they don’t have to make sense!
Handicraft, on the other hand, is recognized by most people as the Do It Yourself (or DIY) activities usually done at home. Unlike art, handicraft can be done by many of us. Most of them usually come with step-by-step instructions that can be followed easily, which might be why it does not receive the same value as painting or drawing.
Due to familiarity with arts and crafts as a pair, two individual activities, may be the reason why they are viewed as different categories. Yet, one can simply say that crafts is, in a way, art.
Going back to the main question, how is handicraft art?
Among the many mediums of art, clay and stone are some of them. They are used popularly in sculpting and pottery. Handicraft is defined to be a skill in which decorative objects are created by hand. they may be handy because they usually can be used for practical purposes but depending on how an artist creates them, as long as they spark thinking and discussion, they are art.
From what has been put together, not only handicraft is art, anything can be art. That is probably why the concept of art is hard grasp. In reality it actually is simple, one just have to be critical when creating a piece. Now, what kind of handicraft will you make?
1st Featured image from https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/people-making-paper-flowers-craft-art-work-handicraft_2861213.htm
2nd image from https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/close-up-potter-s-hand-creating-earthen-jar-circle_4496101.htm