Port Townsend School of Woodworking
Preserving the Tradition


Tradition amidst Art versus Craft

For most makers, at some point, beckons the question of how to define art versus craft. The very process of construction itself provides abundant meditations upon the relationship between methods and styling. We may produce either in terms of desired appearance and/or accepted terms of design. Yet, underlying these choices is the root question: What is art and what is craft? Both have style.

The concept of craft has its origins in folk subsistence standards for survival. Regionally available materials combine with the available construction techniques to form traditions that are refined and practiced through repetition. Sometimes for centuries anon — traditions emerge.

When a design or accidental element responds to our efforts with an extra presence, we enter unto the theoretical principles of style. Considerations of style are innumerably vast and nuanced. However, in art, levels of detail and materials preparation become more prevalent. Elemental craft traditions become highly refined and are found to be cultivated to great competence. 

This context of style exists somehow beyond the mere lens of production and methods. Styles emerge amidst periods.

Tradition itself is the unifying force amidst the debate between art versus craft. Either approach vector has myriad techniques to cross and reference. Joinery Traditions, for example, provide for the streamlining to production methods and the sustainability of technique, so it can be found that the wonders and poignancies of Aesthetes command our perceptual attentions. 

Sensual form carries a meaning beyond the realm of basic production. Visible adherence to quality methods of production efficiency brings confidence to styling itself. This is styling of confidence, justly as artistic ambition brings craft to fruition, so art is a fruition of beauty amidst methods.

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