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Seraffa

On Elevating Crochet to a Higher Design/Art Form

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I hope people can understand where my head is at on this subject.

After being taught in an Art school about 30 years ago about how to produce fine art (art history is a must for this kind of understanding) I find myself reflecting on 3 things that do not seem to bode exactly well for elevating Crochet to a higher art form, but are simply "the way things are right now" - and at this point, I won't get into the sad demise of bobbin-lace makers' once coveted positions in past European society amongst both Royalty and the plain old bougeoise folk. ( I think it would make me cry)

 

3 things that strike me as odd:

 

1.) Most crochet "artists" (aka bohemians that can also resort to yarn-bombing to gain social attention to their abilities) are using crochet in a primarily sculptural form, thus leaving other crocheters as........simply "designers" if other crocheters execute anything in 2D form. (flat.) Same for needlepoint people and canvas-workers. (we haven't gotten our heads out of the kleenex-box holders yet, I'm afraid, nor do we have a Medieval Battle going on these days to record with any artful stitches, hence many skills are overlooked in our society.) When have we last seen a piece of 2D crochet work in any museum? ( I never have.)

 

2.) We have a Crochet Guild of America. But - alluding to tradition in Europe, and especially Dutch/Flemish meanings of the word "Guild" -- a guild was NOT just open to anyone. A true Guild was where those who had mastered the art of whatever they were doing were both recognised as members AND had their techniques only taught to other Guild initiates in order to become future Masters of the art as well. This is not the case here in America. So why on earth was the name "Crochet Guild of America" even coined? The social connotations of what the Crochet Guild of America actually means to today's Americans skews the understanding of what a traditional guild actually has been in centuries past. I believe this is only one more piece of the puzzle that prevents a level of crochet from becoming elevated to a "high art". (We also have only one century back to turn to during the development of Irish Crochet over Gros Crochet in order to understand that, in Ireland too -- family lacemakers KEPT INDIVIDUAL PATTERNS SECRET in order to excel in their individuality as well as the public's continued desire for their work.)

 

3.)We have a current generation of women that view handcrafting in 3 ways that is not springing from authentic "culture" here in America, but rather, other pedestrian trends a.) the "gentrification" effect coming from marketing success of Etsy - where success is measured only by current trends and the ability to sell in a Generation -Y kind of way b.) the South American effect -- anything from silly wool hats for skaters and hipsters to backpacks and etc made from wool or cotton in some remote, fair-trade village and c.) the prison-labor lace doilies you see for $1 at all dollar stores that are coming from our multi-financial nemesis, CHINA (but occasionally, India.)

 

Soooooooooooooooooo........poor crochet has something of a Gordion Knot holding it back before it can be further elevated as a higher art form here in America.

 

......it's very little wonder that many of us find ourselves drooling over European or Australian designers of crochet; it's almost as if their work is DESTINED to be prettier, or more refined than American crochet in this age.

They "get it" because they have still kept it as some form of integral expression in their culture (such as the Italians or French.)

 

Well - that's the end of my mini-discourse on this. This thread is open to your comments! :blush and I leave it to your own opinions.....

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I have to ask....why does crochet need to be elevated to a "higher art form"? I think that most people here at Crochetville crochet for the pure pleasure of it. In my opinion, many of us here do create "art". We aren't looking for our crochet items to be placed in a museum. Although, who's to say that 100 years from now someone's toilet tissue cover that they made for their Mother doesn't get put in a museum as a piece of folk art.....

 

While I don't have any background in art history...I think that "art" appreciation is in the eye of the beholder. I certainly don't get Picasso, or Pollack for that matter...but I do love Monet. To each their own I say....

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Seraphima, I kind of have to agree with Heather that I don't see a need for crochet to be considered as a fine art. However, as you say there are quite a few examples of sculptural crochet that are seen as art. Also, i beleive there are examples of flat crochet that have been exhibited as fine art: filet crochet that is suspended in mid air, lit, and throws a shadow on another surface---although maybe the combination of flat piece+shadow makes that 3d as well...? I also seem to recall seeing large filet wall hangings with a lot of text, a poem or such, or figures in the filet, which were shown as art. Tapestry crochet is another. I think the art-craft distinction is a struggle for fiber art and all media which can be used to make utilitarian objects. Maybe "fine craft" is a good term for some things. I do think it is important to see the artistic potential of crochet.

 

Also, I enjoy seeing original works that get outside the pattern-dependent way of thinking about crochet, which do fall more in the craft category. Freeform crochet is really interesting.

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Posting in chunks so the computer doesn't lose my posts!

 

As far as the word Guild, I think it's okay that the meaning of the word in centuries past is now changing. There are other organizations that use the term in the same way, such as the Knitting Guild of America, and i believe there is a knit-crochet guild in the UK, just to name two. CGOA (and TKGA) has a master's course that people can take to ensure their work meets standards. But I do think that overall we are losing ground as far as standards of the work(wo)manship. I think there is a lot of emphasis on quick'n'easy, which would be fine, except that it tends to push more involved work out of the limelight as far as publishing is concerned. I also shudder at some youtube videos in which the person obviously does not know what they are doing, and i find it very sad that people are "learning" solely by watching these videos. (The widespread acceptance of tying knots to join yarn is a symptom of this in my opinion---i know many others do not agree but that is just like nails on a chalkboard to me.)

 

Did you know that Amy Shelton, one of the administrators of Crochetville, is currently serving as president of the CGOA?

 

One thing CGOA is doing that I think is very interesting is a yearly design contest, and if you go to the website which is crochet.org I think, you can find links to photos of the winners. Some very interesting stuff! the entries have to be completely original , but writing up a pattern is not required...although some have been written and published.

Edited by AmyS

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post 3 of 3 :lol

 

I think that US/Canadian designers are working on a par with British and European designers, all are producing some great patterns. Russian designs utilizing a lot of irish crochet techniques are quite interesting, but honestly they all start to look rather the same to me after a while. My favorite would be Japanese designs. i think that the exclusive use of stitch symbol diagrams must influence the design process, and leads to more creativity in the use of lovely and intricate stitch patterns. But the Russian magazines really only give suggestions as to how to recreate the specific garment, and the Japanese are only in one size----thus these designs are naturally springboards to more creativity on the part of the user. Sometimes it is great to have a pattern where the designer/publisher has thought through all the details for each size!

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I have seen many examples of crochet as sculpture and art. Some not to my taste, ohers take my breath away. but that is like all art. It has to touch you some how. both are art as they both make me react. And I have seen some Lovely pieces of Irish crochet in museums.

 

As a designer I try not to follow the crowd or crochet for the sake of profit. I design a lot of doilies and try to think of each as a small piece of lace art. I love working with finer threads and yarns and that is definitely not what most of the crocheting public wants. But I won't change to fit the mold. I love what I do and why I do it.

There are many people who want to crochet for the relaxation that crochet brings into their lives. They do not feel the need to see crochet as an art form. But I truly believe that there are also others out there that use crochet as their medium to create art. But there is room in this world for all and I don't begrudge anyone their outlook on joy.

Me I love to challenge myself on what I can make crochet do. So I do not look on Crochet over all as a craft. Just some aspects of it are and that is fine. And some of it truly is Art. Which is why I crochet.

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I believe all craft is an art in it's own right. Just like furniture, clothing and any other creation can be and often is considered art. If you look up the definition of art, it is the creation of or works of beauty and thought provoking items beyond the ordinary.

Craft is defined as the ability to create both decorative and also practical items by hand.

They both involve creativity only art takes it beyond the everyday. A blouse is a blouse but haute couture is high sewing or high fashion considered an art.

It is a fine line, but like the saying "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" so it is with art.

A factory made piece of lace to me is not art, but work (like Kathy's) is most definitely art. I define the ability to crochet as a craft, but the finished product is undeniably art.

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I am not convinced that "craft" is inferior to "art." The crochet I do is definitely the former, but I don't find it of less intrinsic value than more "artistic" pieces. I notice that Kathy (Katchkan) posted here and I believe that the doilies she designs definitely qualify as "art" in both their design and workmanship. (How could anyone look at them and not find them to be art?) I could only dream of doing work as amazing as hers. However, my afghans and scarves, while not art in any sense, also serve the valuable service of making my family happy and warm.

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I have to admit that I am insulted by the attitude of our new member.

 

Ask the dozens of seniors who have received my lapghans or the hundreds of men, women and children who are wearing hats I have made with loving care for them. I don't need art; I need only to create something that is artistic but useful.

 

I know Seraffa is new here so she doesn't know of the proud heritage that we bring to the Ville. I will give her grace to stay, learn and know all that crochet is.

 

 

Just one sample of why crochet stands on it's own merits:

 

Crochet Saved My Life

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So your point is? . . . That we should all stop making the things that please us and crochet things that are akin to Jacksob Pollock paint splotches -- or whatever the current fad is in art circles?

 

The notion that Americans look to Europe for cultural guidance is a misguided one; this hasn't been the case for at least a hundred years. Just the reverse is true now. As for crochet, Americans, Europeans, and Australians are all capable of producing both beautiful items and ugly kitsch.

 

To the semantics of guild: I see no reason for hairsplitting. You can bow to prescriptive linguistics, or you can view the word from the perspective of descriptive linguistics, which holds that the language is an ever-evolving one -- not stuck in the Middle Ages.

 

It's a fact that crocheting simply gives us pleasure -- visual, mentally therapeutic, whatever. We make the things that please us. Why bend our craft to conform to some self-appointed art guru's ideas of what it should be?

Edited by Afghaniac
Typo

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What about crochet being only created by hand, not by machine? Personally, this simple fact makes me believe it is of a higher art form. With replications being made of famous paintings and such, there are no such thing as "crochet prints" --- there is no way to replicate an item EXACTLY.

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I would really hope that we can have a discussion with differing viewpoints without anybody getting their feelings hurt! Please, let's welcome new members.

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I too vote for tolerance! There is room for every type of crocheter out there. I welcome Seraffa and her ideas. It gives us something to think about and I love examining new ideas. It's what keeps the flavor in life.

I have always thought that it would be a horrible world if we all did things exactly the same, or thought exactly alike! How boring would that be?

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I don't think we should compare the crochet of today to the crochet of centuries past. Just as in embroidery, guilds were there for the masters. But times have changed. No longer do girls go to school just to learn their embroidery stitches and do their family sampler. I for one am thrilled that the art of embroidery, crochet, knitting and the other hand arts have not died completely. Even if the majority of us are just doing crochet for pleasure, at least we are keeping the craft alive and hopefully teaching others. The days of having master craftsmen I'm afraid are gone. But at least with technology like the internet we can communicate and share our love of handcrafting around the world. Just my view....

 

In stitches,

 

JILLfromWI

Edited by stitcher123

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Let's remember to discuss the issues at hand, and not make personal comments about other members.

 

I'll be writing my own reply, which I'll be posting as soon as I get it finished. :)

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The days of having master craftsmen I'm afraid are gone. But at least with technology like the internet we can communicate and share our love of handcrafting around the world. Just my view....

JILLfromWI

 

I think there are still master crocheters, though there is not too much of a framework for recognizing them, beyond things like CGOA masters course. Examples would be Maire Treanor with Irish crochet, Carol Ventura with tapestry, KimGuzman with Tunisian, Myra Wood/Jenny Dowde/Prudence Mapstone with freeform, Margaret Hubert is an all-around master I think, Edie Eckman is a master teacher......those are ones that spring to mind. All are creating and teaching, passing on high standards of work.

 

But there are so many other ways to learn, and some learners don't get much exposure to the "masters". Not to mention the fact that there probably isn't unanimous agreement among crocheters as to who exactly qualifies as a master.

 

Eta: meant to also say we certainly don't have a closed system like an old guild, where the guild decides who to admit. It's wide open now, esp. with self-publishing.

Edited by magiccrochetfan

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Anything can be an art form, but not everything has to be. There's a place for artistic showpieces, and there's a place for enjoying a handcraft. those who want to make art all too often make fun of those who want to use a handcraft for its original purpose.

 

So far, crochet boards are still warm, welcoming places, unlike the nasty class warfare on knitting boards. I'd hate to lose that. If it means crochet is never "art", and ordinary people are still free to enjoy it, then let's not be art at all.

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Seraffa, I can agree with you on some levels, but I disagree with you on so many more. I hope you didn't intend it to be so, but your post does come across as belittling and dismissive to those who do not approach crochet from a fine art perspective. I would ask that you be a bit more thoughtful about the audience you're speaking to here, and consider how they're going to feel about what you're saying. After all, most members probably do not consider themselves to be crochet artists, at least when compared to fine art.

 

To Everyone: I think "fine art vs. craft" can be a quite interesting conversation, but I'm going to ask that everyone who participates remember to be respectful of ALL crocheters. If you read something that elicits a very emotional response, PLEASE take some time to think about things (and cool off if necessary) before posting your response. You may want to open a word processing document, type in your response there, save it, then go back to edit before pasting into a response here. Discuss issues raised; do not participate in name-calling or saying negative things about the people involved in the discussions.

 

Seraffa, now to address the three specific points you raised.

 

1.) Most crochet "artists" (aka bohemians that can also resort to yarn-bombing to gain social attention to their abilities) are using crochet in a primarily sculptural form, thus leaving other crocheters as........simply "designers" if other crocheters execute anything in 2D form. (flat.) Same for needlepoint people and canvas-workers. (we haven't gotten our heads out of the kleenex-box holders yet, I'm afraid, nor do we have a Medieval Battle going on these days to record with any artful stitches, hence many skills are overlooked in our society.) When have we last seen a piece of 2D crochet work in any museum? ( I never have.)

 

First of all, I don't agree with your definition of a crochet artist, or "most crochet artists." Bohemian does not apply to all those who consider themselves an artist. Artists come in a variety of forms and outlooks.

 

I can agree that many who self-identify as crochet artists may be focusing on 3-D sculptural work. Sculpture is easily identifiable and recognized by the general populace as artwork. It somehow seems harder to think of a piece of flat crochet fabric as art.

 

Obviously, a lot of filet crochet work could be considered fine art, with the intricacies of its designs. Did you know that the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum has on exhibit a piece of filet work done by Laura from a Mary Card (Australian designer who moved to England and designed for Weldon's) pattern?

 

Do you consider clothing to be 3-D or 2-D? The New York Metropolitan Museum has (or had in the past) a 1905 two-piece afternoon dress made in Irish crochet lace on display. Many regional/local museums have crochet work on display. The Victoria and Albert Museum in England has a lot of lace and crochet work on display.

 

What type of 2-D crochet work would you consider to be fine art?

 

You may be interested in getting a copy of the book A Living Mystery: The International Art & History of Crochet by Annie Louise Potter, published in 1990 by A J Publishing International. You can find used hardback books on ebay.com, half.com, and other online used booksellers. It's a fabulous look at crochet through the years.

 

 

2.) We have a Crochet Guild of America. But - alluding to tradition in Europe, and especially Dutch/Flemish meanings of the word "Guild" -- a guild was NOT just open to anyone. A true Guild was where those who had mastered the art of whatever they were doing were both recognised as members AND had their techniques only taught to other Guild initiates in order to become future Masters of the art as well. This is not the case here in America. So why on earth was the name "Crochet Guild of America" even coined? The social connotations of what the Crochet Guild of America actually means to today's Americans skews the understanding of what a traditional guild actually has been in centuries past. I believe this is only one more piece of the puzzle that prevents a level of crochet from becoming elevated to a "high art". (We also have only one century back to turn to during the development of Irish Crochet over Gros Crochet in order to understand that, in Ireland too -- family lacemakers KEPT INDIVIDUAL PATTERNS SECRET in order to excel in their individuality as well as the public's continued desire for their work.)

 

The Crochet Guild of America was meant to be inclusive, not exclusive. Those who started the guild wanted to preserve crochet and make the art/craft available for everyone, not just the exclusive few who would have been granted admittance into a guild of old (which back in those days would most likely have been exclusively men, anyway).

 

The conditions that were amenable to the formation of guilds hundreds of years ago just do not exist in today's society. Guilds were used as a way to prevent "outsiders" from gaining knowledge held by insiders of the group. Guilds were a way to protect the livelihoods of their members. As another person has already mentioned, language constantly evolves. The definition of guild today does not connote what it meant hundreds of years ago.

 

Today's definition, from dictionary.com: "an organization of persons with related interests, goals, etc., especially one formed for mutual aid or protection."

 

That is exactly what the CGOA is all about: we're organized around our common interest of crochet, formed for mutual aid and benefit of all who are interested in crochet. As president of CGOA for the past two years, I absolutely do not believe that the name of our organization has any role in preventing crochet from being considered as a "high art" by anyone.

 

 

3.)We have a current generation of women that view handcrafting in 3 ways that is not springing from authentic "culture" here in America, but rather, other pedestrian trends a.) the "gentrification" effect coming from marketing success of Etsy - where success is measured only by current trends and the ability to sell in a Generation -Y kind of way b.) the South American effect -- anything from silly wool hats for skaters and hipsters to backpacks and etc made from wool or cotton in some remote, fair-trade village and c.) the prison-labor lace doilies you see for $1 at all dollar stores that are coming from our multi-financial nemesis, CHINA (but occasionally, India.)

 

Soooooooooooooooooo........poor crochet has something of a Gordion Knot holding it back before it can be further elevated as a higher art form here in America.

 

Wow. I don't even really know how to respond to the tone I'm reading in this. Let me try: there will always be crochet work that is more "craft" and crochet work that is more "art." This happens with ANY craft/art for which supplies are readily available and usable by anyone. Just look at all the little businesses that have sprung up teaching people how to create paintings they can display in their homes (where everyone makes the same basic picture). There is no way these creations would ever be classified "high art" or "fine art," but the people who make them definitely consider them to be their personal artistic expression. The existence of these paintings has no detrimental effect on paintings that can be considered "fine art." Likewise, I do not see how the presence of crochet craft work is any threat or detriment to other pieces of crochet being seen as fine art.

 

You'll also find many mass-produced paintings, sculpture, etc. These also don't have any bearing on whether other items of the genre are considered fine art.

 

[Guideline reminder: Remember, no political discussions here at Crochetville. Let's be sure we don't get over into that territory.]

 

Basically, if someone is interested in taking something to a fine art level, all that is required is that they produce work on that level. Simple. In this day and age, it's very easy to promote that work online and get it noticed by others who will also consider it on the level of fine art based solely on its own merits.

 

 

......it's very little wonder that many of us find ourselves drooling over European or Australian designers of crochet; it's almost as if their work is DESTINED to be prettier, or more refined than American crochet in this age. They "get it" because they have still kept it as some form of integral expression in their culture (such as the Italians or French.)

 

I totally disagree that the work of designers from outside the US is "destined" to be prettier or more refined or that it has anything to do with "integral expression in their culture" (whatever that means).

 

Now, I will agree that, historically, the majority of Americans have not been interested in making things from patterns that are so intricate that they could be considered "fine art." There is a growing subset that IS interested in that kind of work, but it's still not considered even a tiny majority. Crocheters love to SEE that kind of work, but many aren't apt to buy the patterns, much less actually make the pattern.

 

There's sort of a catch-22 in the American publishing industry, I think. Publishers are only going to publish what they see to be of interest to consumers. But consumers need to see a lot of something to become interested enough to "risk" trying it themselves. If they don't see the high-fashion, very artistic patterns that are common in countries like Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Japan, and other places, they aren't going to be intrigued enough to start wanting to make them themselves.

 

I think what it's going to take for us to start seeing a lot of these types of patterns in America is several-fold. First, it will be designers self-publishing this type of pattern to make them more readily available to Americans. Then, it's going to take consumers actually purchasing these patterns, making items from them, and using social media to share what they've made. The more patterns, the more that are made by consumers, the more the traditional publishers will then become interested in publishing that sort of pattern, which keeps the whole cycle moving upward.

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Anything can be an art form, but not everything has to be. There's a place for artistic showpieces, and there's a place for enjoying a handcraft. those who want to make art all too often make fun of those who want to use a handcraft for its original purpose.

 

I definitely agree with this.

 

I believe each individual piece of handwork stands on its own merits.

 

It's also not just "fine art" and "homemade handcraft." There are all sorts of levels in between. It's a vast continuum, not an either/or situation.

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:) Thank you for your replies. I can hardly wait for my own portfolio to build, then, I suppose it truly doesn't warrant saying anything until a person's work is actually on display. After all, fair is fair! I tend to write first, then design. Probably since my research into certain eras is extensive. My apologies are extended to ~all ~ for not backing up what I am saying. Edited by Seraffa

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Seraffa, there's nothing wrong with being passionate about wanting to take crochet to a new artistic level with your work! I love seeing your excitement (and anyone's) about what crochet CAN be.

 

I look forward to seeing some of the designs you come up with.

 

And if you want to continue the conversation in general about what's happening with artistic crochet in other areas of the world, what it is you like about what they're doing in those places, and what you wish people would do here, please continue on!

 

We can have all sorts of discussions about the artistic merits of crochet while continuing to be respectful of those who want to experience it and love it at a craft level.

 

Even though you may not have designed anythings specific yet, would you like to share with us the types of things you're interested in doing? You might just find some friends to share that journey with you virtually here.

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By the forum title, I was intrigued to read Seraffa's post. While I don't agree entirely with everything she wrote ~ mostly the part about other areas of the world's work being destined to be prettier, etc ~ I was undeniably in awe of her insight and depth into the realm of crochet. Very interesting! (I also admire her writing style!)

 

Seraffa ~ Welcome to Crochetville! And I wish you success with forming a group artisans/crafters in your local area, and I look forward to seeing you around this site. Best wishes! :sun

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I guess my view on this is filtered through what happened to quilting and knitting. Please be patient with me, because it's a lengthy explanation.

 

Back in 1975-76, I wanted to learn how to quilt. Mom didn't care to quilt herself--she embroidered--so she sent me to a couple of the women in the neighborhood who had a regular Wednesday quilting. They had learned from their mothers and grandmothers, and they made everything from quilts for babies to more elaborate pieces meant for shows. I quilted with them for over fifteen years, and though most of them are gone now I still treasure the memories of the fun we had. Yes, fun. We pieced tops, traditional designs or what suited us, and quilted or knotted according to what we liked and the intended recipient would need.

 

Then the quilting fad started. A local university with a reputation for ignoring the obvious set up workshops to teach everyone how to quilt. Nothing we had been doing was right; all the material was wrong--washable cotton, what horror! REAL quilts could only be made of dry-clean-only fiber!--and our patterns were all wrong, even though they'd been in most of our families for a couple hundred years. At one point, I got yelled at for "stealing Amish culture" because I was making an Ohio star and the would-be teacher didn't know that pattern wasn't exclusive to the Amish community. (Come to think of it, she also failed to realize that an Old Order Amish woman wouldn't have been using the colors and prints I had in mine, either.)

 

We went home and kept making quilts the way we'd always done, stung by the knowledge that we were no longer "real" quilters. A lot of other people just gave up. Most of the quilting shops collapsed when people quit. Meanwhile, Chinese hand-pieced and quilted quilts showed up in local discount stores for next to nothing, so there's no respect for the traditional form.

 

Knitting went the same way, but much more rapidly. Women who had been knitting for many years found themselves unwelcome in shops because they didn't want to use the very expensive, fragile wools and alpacas that were the Only True Fibers. The idea of making anything that is both beautiful and practical completely escapes a lot of the knitters I've met. They're proud of how fragile their creations are, how expensive they are, and how they can't even hand-wash them because they'll be ruined. Everybody else is, and I quote, "wasting their time on all that stupid junk." I like wasting my time on big lace shawls made out of Simply Soft. I also like being able to knit without the surgical gloves and dust mask that make it possible for me to handle wool, llama or alpaca.

 

I'd have liked to learn to spin, but the wool problem will always be in my way. It wouldn't have mattered during the SnB years, because all old spinning equipment was bad and wrong anyhow. It didn't matter that there were a lot of middle-aged women who had wheels or drop spindles handed down for generations, or that some of them raised rare breeds of sheep just to have the perfect wool; they knew nothing and their work was worthless.

 

Anger was always such a part of the local SnB knitting group. It appeared, grew to overwhelming proportions, imploded in screaming tantrums and vanished within about three years, and the shops closed and the people who knitted before it and the spinners who have been at it for forty years are very gingerly coming back out of the woodwork like refugees trickling home after a war.

 

Art is wonderful (I'm a writer, so I'm biased that way) but I never want to see anyone excluded from using the tools of a hobby in whatever way they like to make whatever they want, without being abused for it. Folk art is still art. Art doesn't have to be impractical, and the original practitioners shouldn't be sent packing.

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Hi Serraffa, I also welcome you!

 

 

 

I am very much a history buff and love reading up on some of the background relating to certain crochet methods such as Irish crochet; tapestry crochet, etc. Originally our ancestors would crochet together in the late 1800's - 1900's to create belts for their husbands; purses; clothing and items to sell for money because money was scarce. Keep in mind, immigrants came from all over the world. Let's not forget the prisoners of war, who crocheted beautiful pieces in prison as they had nothing else to do.

 

In those days, crocheting was a "means to an ends" and women and others, most likely didn't view the items they made as being considered 'fine art'. Only if they knew, that some of their items such as beautiful bedspreads and fantastically crafted wedding gowns, have survived the times and can be viewed in museums, they would be surprised.

 

Tobacco twine was used in the late 1800's through the 1900's as it was readily available. As it wasn't a durable thread, often items crocheted with it, deteriorated, but some did in fact survive. They are amazing works, so many view these items as art.

 

Back in those times, items were created with pride and women also didn't work outside the home so this was a way to unwind and pass the time away.

 

Times have changed but I would have to say any beautifully handcrafted item can be considered art. My grandmother's friend made me a beautiful jumper of granny squares when I was 4 and it has since passed down to my two daughters. They have long ago outgrown it, so it is awaiting to be passed down some more. This jumper along with all my children's baby afghans are treasured and prized and with that in mind, I consider them all to be forms of art. They are all beautiful and timeless and will most likely last longer than me.:lol

 

Look at all the amazing fibers we have access to that people of long ago didn't have. Crochet and knitting, I believe, will continue to go through changes, but who knows 50 years down the road, what impact we will have on the next generations to come.:think

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This is a great thread, thank you, Serraffa for starting it.

I, like most others believe every handcrafted item is a work of art.

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