Crafty Art

I’m counting the days down until the craft fair portion of 50/50 Pilsen, and thinking a little bit about where craft and art meet.  Art almost always involves a degree of craftsmanship, unless it’s purely conceptual. The work I’ve been doing recently involves a medium that puts most people in mind of boy scouts, grandparents, and kitschy outdoor country scenes.  Pyrography doesn’t have the popularity of, say, screenprinting, and it is far more time-consuming without the possibility of mass-production. But there’s a lot of possibility in the medium, because of the range of possible markings, from fine-detail to thicker, deeper burns.

Since the theme of this show is where art meets craft, I’ve been exploring the craftier elements of my woodburning, but really, I’m far more interested in how to incorporate this craft into paintings and drawings. Now, plenty of people consider pyrography a serious art, and so do I, but does it get the same respect as painting or sculpture? This past spring I was at the Art Chicago show at Merchandise Mart, and saw one example of pyrography. I’ve found a few cool woodburn artists trolling around the web, but ultimately, where I draw the line is whether someone is creating original subject matter with a discernible style. I’ll be interested in hearing some of the comments of the Pilsen arts community, because at this show I’ll be focusing almost exclusively on woodburn art.

We’ll see what we’ll see.

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