Arbitrary line


The line between art and craft is arbitrary and ill-defined. Alexander Calder made the most unwearable pieces of jewelry that are considered as artistic as his large-scale mobiles and sculptures. Ansel Adams makes a photo of a mountain and it is art; Joe Schmoe does it and it is a snapshot.

Where to draw the line? There is craft in creating the pieces. When that craft takes on a different quality,  when it transcends the materials to make an original statement or expresses something in an enduring way, it is art. Unfortunately, it may be that some art glass jewelry of today will need time in order to be considered art. Some primitive quilts of the past– born out of necessity at the time– are considered art today.  To limit the definition of art to a few genres of artistic expression shows a definite lack of creative thinking.

In trying to eliminate the cookie-cutter jewelry, the judges are damning all jewelry. But that’s not the case with all juried shows; the more enlightened and intelligently-managed shows will include jewelry arts.

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