Thursday, March 20, 2008

Craft Debate Catches Huge Wave

If the explosive wave of discussion ignited by Bruce Metcalf and Andrew Wagner's talk at the recent SNAG conference hasn't already swept you up, then book yourself some time off, grab your board, and get into it -- this seems to be what we've ALL been waiting for!

(Well, maybe it's boring to some people. But that's ok too.)

I am waiting to read the original talk before I respond, although I've been chomping at the bit for days to respond to what others are saying, my brain buzzing with thoughts and reactions. And I did refer to the discussion in my post last night on craft and security.

In the meantime, tonight I tried to map it a bit (before realizing that there's the start of a list on Conceptual Metalsmithing too!):

Bruce Metcalf and Andrew Wagner's presentation at SNAG “D.I.Y, Websites, and Energy: The New Alternative Craft” (I will post a link as soon as it appears somewhere online.)

Annie of Imogene's personal and thoughtful response to the presentation posted on March 9 and started the ball rolling. There are some 80 comments posted so far by people from every corner of the vast and complex craft world. This comments section has become a melting pot for a rich discussion covering many topics that people have a lot to say about.

Andrew Wagner has responded within the comments section of the above, as well as here on American Craft Magazine's blog. Bruce Metcalf has also written a number of responses in the comments section.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere, Gabriel Craig has responded substantially to the talk on his blog Conceptual Metalsmithing, as has Megan Auman, both of whom attended the conference. Also weighing in: Extreme Craft, Handmade Detroit, Toronto Craft Alert, and Murketing. Mediabistro has picked it up as a story. There's a somewhat related piece in the Washington City Paper where Raina Hassan of Crafty Bastards goes to the ACC's American Craft Show to check out the indie additions.

I'm sure there is more and I'm happy to keep compiling if folks want to send me relevant links. I'll post more that I find too.

This is a really exciting moment for the craft world. It's a spontaneous conference that we all are invited to with a platform for everyone to participate. Go bloggers and comment-writers! And I second Gabriel's motion that the ACC should set up an online forum to keep this all together and allow us this much-needed portal for wide-reaching communication.

Much more to come...
Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Image sourced here.


melania said...

i'm out of the loop - what is the debate? art vs. craft?

Greenjeans Adventure said...

The debate is many-headed: old school vs. new school, official training vs. self-taught, the nature of "indie craft" vs. "fine craft," etc. etc.

Evidently, some who heard Bruce Metcalf's talk were insulted by his characterization of the indie craft community, and this has set a huge discussion into motion, on that's been a long time coming. But I haven't read the talk yet so can't give my take on the content or people's responses...

Dale Anne said...

I guess I'm out of touch as I didn't realize there was a debate!
I don't usually read alot online as I LOVE to spend MY time in MY STUDIO! so I seemed to have missed it.

Conceptual Metalsmithing said...

FIY, I sent a letter to Andrew Glasgow and Andrew Wagner regarding setting up a ACC sponsored online forum. I got a response, but I think they have a lot on their plates and were not necessarily that keen to take the lead on it, though I need to get back in touch with Andrew Wagner. I think I will put myself forward to spearhead this if I need to, but I would much rather be a participant in the formation of the forum, rather than a leader and moderator.

Thanks for the shout out,
-Gabriel Craig