Bowie Croisant Ceramic Artist Weblog

October 19, 2007

The Persistence of Craft: Chapter 2 The Genre

Filed under: Uncategorized — bowie croisant @ 4:35 pm

I found chapter 2 of The Persistence of Craft to be much more interesting than chapter 1. My favorite part was when Paul Greenhalgh used the word “symbologies.” Ha ha, it reminded me of one of my favorite movies Boondock Saints:

Detective Dolly: So what’s the symbology there?
Paul Smecker: Well, now that Duffy has relinquished his “King Bonehead” crown I see we have an heir to the throne! I believe the word you were looking for is “symbolism.” What is the ssss-himbolism.

Anyway here is some of what I found worthy of discussion. “Because an object is made out of fired clay it does not mean it is ceramic (p. 25).” Hmmmmm……..Let’s check the dictionary on that one:



Definitions of ‘ceramic’

(sə-rămĭk) – 2 definitions – The American Heritage® Dictionary

ceramic (n.) Any of various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature.
ceramic (n.) An object, such as earthenware, porcelain, or tile, made of ceramic.

Definition #2 is funny “ceramic: an object……made of ceramic” Greenhalgh went on to say: “This is because a genre is not premised simply on materials and technologies, some derive their inner cohesion from a set of iconographies, histories, utilitarian functions and social roles.” Well that may be true, but in my book fired clay is still ceramic.

Other areas of interest: I enjoyed the idea expressed saying that as you are painting you are “simultaneously engaging in the heritage of a thousand years.” Thats a pretty cool concept and if you apply it to clay you can engage in the heritage of all of human civilization! I also liked what was said about Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde giving “credence…to the notion that the greatest art was achieved by individual artists working in a direct and honest way with materials.” And the notion of craft having to do with “the direct intervention of the self in the material world, a means of asserting personal control…” I like these ideas as they imply the presence of the maker in the finished product.

Another idea I identified with: “this fusion of the universal and the personal is the central function of the genre in late Modern culture and a key to the persistence of craft.”

The final interesting concept found in this reading is the paragraph discussing the “power…that effervesces from successful objects, those works of art that comfortable take part in the millennia of history without losing sight of the present: works that engage with all of us hile remaining faithful to the discourses of their own kind.”

This Chapter renewed my faith that interest could be found in a subject that was introduced (chapter 1) rather dryly.

1 Comment »

  1. […] came across this post – The Persistence of Craft: Chapter 2 The Genre – and thought it was worth sharing. I hope you find it interesting too and take the time to read […]

    Pingback by pottery » The Persistence of Craft: Chapter 2 The Genre — October 19, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

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