Art is in the eye of the beholder and the one who adorns it!
If you ever want to get me riled up just ask me if I think jewelry falls into the category of fine art or craft? Making jewelry is as much about the metalsmithing, design skill and technique as it is about the expertise needed to create something to enhance, comfort and heal the body.
There are different ways of making jewelry, but for me, it is always an expression of my whole self. The designs come to me subconsciously, like dreams. I can see the finished product, much like a sculptor sees her statue, before I’ve even started. Other times, I will find a specific gem stone and design around it. Overall, my designs are inspired by the subtle beauty all around us as well as the strength within.
Before anything happens, you will see me sketch or sometimes I directly carve, noting metals and gems, sizing and all of the different variations that go into a piece worthy of my label. Sometimes my creations turn into collections and at other times, the pieces are a definite as one-of-a-kind.
So back to my original stream of thought regarding the debate as to whether jewelry is art or craft. Let’s look at the ‘official’ definition of art AND fine art:
Art – the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
Fine Art –
- creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.
- an activity requiring great skill or accomplishment.
Check and check…I do all of this and more. Debate settled, jewelry definitely can fall into the art category.