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Friday, January 20, 2006

Art vs. Craft

I hate The art vs. craft argument which seems to rage eternally on the web and have no desire to resurrect it here. However, a thought did occur to me as I was constructing these puppet making kits for the children. If they are all given the same materials and produce the same finished product - it's craft. If they are allowed to select their own materials and each result is unique - it's art. Yes? Where's the problem?

The little babies above remind me of just that - incubators. Each one is incubating a safety pin robot. We've christened him Bender - copyright laws forgive me - as all the kids are into Futurama. At least when watching the telly they may remember making him with their own hands.

This is the aeroplane control that will turn Bender from an inanimate object to a drinking, swearing, womanising metal bending guy he is. Unfortunately it looks heavy with significance of a different kind.

This time last year I was in a Catholic primary school involved with a similar project. The final presentation was held in the assembly hall of the secondary school which all the participating primaries eventually fed. A life sized cruicifix loomed large on the wall. My squad tromped onto the stage and announced that they would like to thank their maker - me! I thought they meant their Maker in Heaven. It did give me rather a start.


Kurt said...

I remember Picasso saying he wasn't an artist, just a craftsman. Maybe it made more sense in Spanish.

MargaretR said...

It's a dificult one that. Art v craft! I like to think what I do is Art, but it involves a lost of craft.

Hil said...

Thats funny, Sally!

We are Futurama fans here too. I haven't seen safety pin puppets before, but looking at the picture in one of your other posts, its looks like the pins make the sections of limbs? Thats a cool idea!

Grumpy said...

Pins are the limbs Hil – all my own idea! Please with that one. Had a bit of difficulty sourcing 2” safety pins and am now the proud owner of a box containing 1000. That’s a lot of limbs.

Hil said...

LOL. Maybe some will have to become punk puppets? I wonder if you could do interesting variations with nappy pins or kilt pins?

So in an arm for instance, do you have a pin for the top secion, and a pin for the lower section, and you pin them together to make an elbow joint, or is it one pin one arm?

Are you familiar with beaded safety pin bracelets? I only became aware of them a few years ago; teenage girls tend to make them. It seems strange we never thought to make them when we were kids.

Grumpy said...

Hi Hil

Yup, 2 pins for each limb and a small one for the foot. Had a problem with the 'forearm' slipping back through the elbow all the way to the wrist, the way 2 safety pins joined together do! With the robot puppet I was able to fix this by slipping a silver paper tube onto each limb, much the way the safety pin bracelets work. (yes, had come acros those and thought about beads for robot limbs, but too expesnive for a large group).

Also, I love the look of puppet skeletons but they leave me a bit cold when dressed (usually). Wanted a reason for leaving skeleton exposed - hence robot. On your site I found a puppet being constructed by a friend of yours (sorry, can't remember where/who) and loved him to bits - until he put his clothes on. (Sigh!!!) Art imitating life?