Familiar and the unknown, the scale of craft

We’re constantly trawling the net for research, education and inspiration here at Craft. There are a magnitude of sites that feed us, one great resource is the website Collosal | Art, Design and Visual Culture - although not specifically classified as craft the site features  artists employing craft processes in their making.

One of their most recent posts that caught our eye shows the work of the New York based Canadian artist Cal Lane with her ‘Industrial Doilies’ in which she creates delicate lace patterns cut from industrial steel, creating incredibly detailed large scale sculptures.Read the full article here.

“..using contradiction as a vehicle for finding my way to an empathetic image, an image of opposition that creates a balance – as well as a clash – by comparing and contrasting ideas and materials.This manifested in a series of “Industrial Doilies”, pulling together industrial and domestic life as well as relationships of strong and delicate, masculine and feminine, practical and frivolity, ornament and function.”

Her work participates an interesting discussion, an age old debate – at what point is a piece taken out of craft and re-positioned into visual art or design? If a piece exceeds domestic scale and employs techniques that create a larger form does that recategorise the work? Using a blowtorch (as with Cal Lane) or using a soldering iron (as with many jewellers) may determine scale, yet  conceptual underpinnings of a piece worn on a wall may be the same as when worn on the body.

There are many examples of sculptural works sitting within the framework of craft, contributing to this is Tricia Page’s work featured in this year’s Fresh! exhibition at Craft (showing until 24 May 2015). Writing on her work Page notes:

“Through the physical processes of cutting, tearing, welding and stitching I tend to see my own body as a drawing tool, continually reconfiguring components of a frame or foam in space until a kineasthetic connection is achieved. The craft for me lies in the time and technique, the hand stitching and welding give strength to the framework which forms an essential component of my unique visual language. Ideas of the body through size, gesture, surface and contour are embedded within these sculptural objects, creating a space that exists between the familiar and the unknown.”

IMAGE CAPTIONS: (top) Cal Lane, Gutter Snipes, 2011, Courtesy Art Mur / (bottom) Tricia Page RE-Membered Trampoline, 2014, Courtesy Craft and Anita Beaney

IMAGE CAPTIONS: (top) Cal Lane, Gutter Snipes, 2011, Courtesy Art Mur / (bottom) Tricia Page RE-Membered Trampoline, 2014, Courtesy Craft and Anita Beaney