Newspaper Archive of
The Texas Sun
Buda, TX
December 11, 1975     The Texas Sun
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December 11, 1975

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Paige Adkins, of Westbank Pottery intense and moody stalks of dried weeds. Unfortunately, I guess I had no taste then either; I stuck to rock 'n roll and beer cans. In art schools then, and maybe now, Art and Craft were two very separate milieus. They were, in fact, pursued in different parts of the building and the twain didn't meet much. Purism abounded. I, for one, went off on flights of fancy: I was going to be a hot-shot adperson in the Big Apple and/or be a famous painter. Long periods of inactivity were of course preludes to the build-up of the flashes of artistic inspiration... After every gloppy brushstroke I'd run back a fewyards and ruminate...squint- ing to see if that color worked just...so. The trouble with the folks downstairs in the ceramic department, for instance, was that they seemed to work so...hard. The teacher of that particular department was a strict disciplinarian. It apparently took months to learn how to throw a simple pot perfectly; strict standards were adhered to. The students there had to learn how to set up a kiln, and how to mix their own glazes. The glaze room itself seemed a usually seen to be that the craftsman is concerned with the form and material of functional objects; and the artist produces work which, by its own nature, serves no practical function at all. Part of my own problem in coming to terms with craft as art is my earlier perception of it as having primarily to do with skill and technique. I preferred to deal with abstract conceptions. Art schools usually foster this division by not encouraging students to bend the rules and experiment with diverse methods and materials. However, I am still on the side of Art. Any craftsman worth his or her salt strives, or should be doing so, to instill a personal imprint on the work, which is what any formofartisallabout. And, in recent years, boundaries have been shifting. It has become increasingly difficult to categorize creative endeav- or in terms of media or pursuit. The focus, whether one is a painter or potter, is on originality of vision and quality of the object itself. Historically, this is really nothing new: cross-cur- rents of influence have evolved through our culture. Scores of artists have been inspired by Oriental vases, Picasso painted on plates, and the Abstract Expressionist movement in the Fifties affected a generation of ceramists and weavers. by Carlene Brady photos by J. R. Compton People have been making pots for thousands of years. People have also been painting pictures for thousands of Years. Lots of potters have painted Pictures on their pots, while innumer- painted pots in their This very real and innocent State of affairs has nevertheless Created some confusion and a discreet but determined division between two Camps: those who call themselves Artists, and those who call themselves Craftsmen. I must admit to having taken the side of the Artists in my early quests for complex chemical laboratory, alien to: Truth and Beauty; plus, ! had little the likes of myself--engaged in an interest in functional receptacles, elusive activity where the message Besides, I am told I have no taste. In seemed to take precedence over the regard to my domestic accoutrements, medium. Since I felt I was a bit young to I'm the type of person who eats off have acquired any great philosophies plasticplates without worrying, drinks about Art, I suffered a slow start. coffee from Mickey Mouse mugs and Meanwhile, the potters made lots of sticks the odd flower in a milk bottle pots and the weavers kept weaving. (which they don't make much anymore, but that's another story). ... In art school in the early Sixties, if you were hip, you played Pete Seeger The inherent problems involved in onthe stereo and collected lots of hand- pursuing either Art or a Craft as such thrown pets in earthy, organic colors-- are unique, but no less difficult, one aesthetically arranged and filled with from the other. The classical division is A small but ambitious exhibition which purports to close the gap further between the traditional concepts of craftsman and artist is Craft as Art, currently drawing interest at Laguna Gloria Art Museum. Curated by Caroline Adams, director of the Southwest Craft Center Gallery in San Antonio, it is a selection of work by some of Texas' freest craftsmen. Some of the pieces have functional associations, but the overriding cont. on page 10 1976 Only $4.95. A selection of prints by M.C. Escher is also available. UNICORN GALLERY F~ floor the Craft as Art exhibit n: Danville Chadbourne's laminated wood and ceramic In the background, a partial view of woven uork by Eleanor Merrill AT THE '2021 Guadalupe .. 477-0343 DOBIE Mon. - Fri. 10-9 Sat 11-9