All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ceramic art vs craft

"Ceramic art, referring specifically to American ceramic art, has finally come out of the closet, kicking and disentangling itself from domestic servitude and minor-arts status—perhaps for good. Over the past year, New York has seen, in major venues, a spate of clay-based art. There was the much-lauded Ken Price retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as his exhibitions at Franklin Parrasch Gallery and the Drawing Center. Once known as a ceramist, Price is now considered a sculptor, one who has contributed significantly to the perception of ceramics as fine art.

THis is the lead paragraph in an article, which I swear is dusted off about annually and published by some art magazine or another.

I am interested in your reading this article and commenting.
What do you think of ceramics reaching into the Art Scene?  Should crafts be kept separate?  When does clay become art?

I call myself a clay artist.  If you work in clay, do you have trouble figuring out what to call yourself?  If you make sculptural pieces, are you still a potter?


  1. I love Ken Price. I don't worry about tags too much, but other people do. I think the "ceramist" you hear lately sounds like horsesh!t. I am proud to call myself a POTTER and SCULPTOR. I do both, together and seperately, which satisfies me. BUT so called "fine artists" who paint blobs or use elephant dung seem to look down on us as craftspeople...well, shoot, that is just plain mean.

    1. Thanks Gary...I agree that the fine artists do seem to be snobs. But they somehow put together the art museums (money?) and teach in the art schools. So maybe they are worth something. I happen to live in an area that also has craft schools galore.

  2. I don't call myself anything; I just do. When anyone asks that kind of question I say we make things. We both work in many mediums and I don't like labels. I find them limiting.

    1. You are right...and the labels come after a work is finished anyway. I'm sure that the label is meant to describe the object, and maybe it's intention, but falls short, doesn't it? So artists and craftsmen and women somehow get sucked into the labeling as well. Good for you to just slip outside that argument.


Looking forward to hearing from you! Since I didn't know the 1000+ people who supposedly looked at my blog the other day, I'm back to moderating comments. If that doesn't help, I don't know why blogger doesn't have a filter that stops this hacking...