What 3,500 Working Artists Really Think About the Word ‘Craft’

Most craft artists have grown weary of the long-running conversation about art vs. craft. As far as CERF+ is concerned, that conversation ended long ago. The work of craft artists is art, as valid as any other art form. Its special qualities—the transformation of materials into objects of great beauty, its connection to tradition even in contemporary forms, and the skills that it requires—distinguish craft from other art forms.

CERF+ Survey Demographics

Just who are the artists who responded to the CERF+ 2013 Sustaining Careers survey? Here’s a quick breakdown: EDUCATION — More than three quarters of the survey respondents (77%) were college graduates, 40% with a four-year degree and 37% with a graduate degree. Fourteen percent had some college, 5% two-year college certificate and 4% high school or technical school.

Commenting on ‘Craft’

The misgivings about the word “craft” expressed by a significant percentage of CERF+ Survey respondents were reinforced with additional comments on the subject. This sampling from more than 600 open-ended replies captures some of the artists’ ambivalence, irritation and struggles to come to terms with other people’s perceptions of the word.

Recognizing Excellence in Fine Craft

NICHE magazine is proud to announce the finalists in the professional division of the 2014 NICHE Awards. The awards program, begun in 1989, celebrates excellence and innovation in American and Canadian fine craft.
In the professional division, a team of judges representing gallery owners, craft industry experts, and guild and museum directors selected 174 finalists out of nearly 1,000 entries in 35 categories representing a variety of mediums. Each entry was considered for technical excellence, both in surface design and form; market viability; and innovation, defined as a distinct quality of unique, original and creative thought.