Art, and craft

Although I consider myself a skilled woodworker, I don’t consider what I make to be art. I leave that to those better than me. But there’s another interpretation of the term that can apply to anyone.

I doubt that anyone reading this would disagree that woodworkers like Sam Maloof, George Nakashima and James Krenov were true artists. While most of us will never be as good as them, we never stop trying, nor do we stop enjoying the process of using our skills in the process of being creative in the woodshop. But what about those who don’t have our level of talents and skills?

In my experience, they enjoy creative pursuits just as much as we do, something that became clear to me when I recently dropped by a large arts and crafts store. The one we have here is Crafts 2000, but I’m sure you have something similar, perhaps a Hobby Lobby or a Michael’s, where you live.

I often drop by for odd supplies I use either directly in my woodworking or, as I did recently, for prop accessories for woodworking photography. If you’ve ever been in one of these large stores you’ve probably noted the same thing I have: the parking lot is always full and the store always crowded.

Although these stores have supplies geared toward craft-type woodworking, their larger market is geared toward painters, sculptors, scrapbookers, interior decorators and, in general, crafters of all kinds. The bottom line is that everyone in there has a similar purpose. They enjoy the process of artistic creativity.

It’s doubtful that a future Rembrandt would be ahead of me in the checkout line at one of these stores (although they do have a huge selection of extremely excellent – and expensive – artist’s brushes and oils). But when it comes to the enjoyment that crafters get from their work, does that make the woman in front of me with an armload of scrapbooking supplies any less serious in her creative pursuits?

I think not.



  • I go to a local art/craft supply store for, of all things, milled bases for my handmade bird and fish carving. I don’t have time to make bases with routered edges, and my customers are happy with them as I paint or antique them according to the style of caring I am presenting.
    You can get bargains at these places and they have a fair selection of oil or acrylic paints by name companies. You have to do your own quality control: bases can have plenty of defects, brushes have screwed up set in the hairs, but by and large anyone who decides they want to try something artistic or crafty has a place to go: few towns have a really good art store, and aspireing artists taking courses at the local Vocational School can get supplies. To your point: Everyone can be uniquely creative, if not a great artist as defined by society.

  • Brigitte says:

    Hello Artists

    I cannot agree more!

    You have to be very inventive when it comes to your products
    I happened to be a Ceramist and I am trying to find a good market for my “art” When I have made a good Ceramic Vessel I make a mold of it That way I am able to effortless make more of the same! Some of my colleges look down on me for doing that!
    I save time and effort. That is to me very important since it is hard now a days to get the price that you deserve
    for you art.
    I believe in shortcuts and smart thinking!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Terms of Use.