Category Archives: Quotes

Jewels

‘…similarly it was at the moment of her arrival that the Duchess lighted up for the whole evening. And while she was handing over her evening cloak, of a magnificent Tiepolo red, exposing a huge collar of rubies round her neck, having cast over her gown that final rapid, minute and exhaustive dressmaker’s glance which is also that of a woman of the world, Oriane made sure that her eyes, just as much as her other jewels, were sparkling.’

Marcel Proust
A la recherche du temps perdu, Cities of the Plain

What is craft?

”Contemporary craft is about making things. It is an intellectual and physical activity where the maker explores the infinite possibilities of materials and processes to produce unique objects. To see craft is to enter a world of wonderful things which can be challenging, beautiful, sometimes useful, tactile, extraordinary; and to understand and enjoy the energy and care which has gone into their making.’
– Rosy Greenlees
Director, Crafts Council

‘Craft is the knowledge of a language and its expressive possibilities. Shakespeare’s sonnets; Thonet’s bentwood chairs; Shostakovitch quartets: all can be described in terms of craft. Human imagination can use craft to invent freely in the world of ideas, materials and forms. Thus are the worlds of design, art, engineering, science and architecture all born of craft.’
– Amanda Game
Director, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

‘Craft, art, and design are words heavily laden with cultural baggage. For me, they all connote the profound engagement with materials and process that is central to creativity. Through this engagement form, function, and meaning are made tangible. It is time to move beyond the limitations of terminologies that fragment and separate our appreciation of creative actions, and consider the “behaviors of making” that practitioners share.’
– David Revere McFadden
Chief Curator and Vice President, Museum of Arts & Design

‘What craft means to me is the making part, the how you make, and this is an exchange with materials – what you give to a material, and what it gives back. This exchange can be awkward, it can be a struggle, or one party can dominate, but if it is a productive exchange, then that’s when it’s worth looking at. But ultimately, it is the extra something that makes it special.’
– Christopher Frayling
Rector, Royal College of Art

‘Craft has changed its meaning fundamentally at least three times in the last two centuries, and it means fundamentally different things from nation to nation even in the Western world. So there can be no one-liner that identifies larger single meanings, as it doesn’t have one. If it is of use in the current context, it is to recognize the significance of genre-based practice in the arts. It should also be a useful category in a global cultural environment. It might even have meaning as a signifier of a socio-political outlook. But it should have nothing to do with aesthetics, and less to do with negative approaches to technology.’
– Paul Greenhalgh
Director, Corcoran Museum

‘Craft has never been more important than now, as an antidote to mass production and as a practice in which the very time is takes to produce an object becomes part of its value in a world that often moves too fast.’
– Caroline Roux
Acting Editor, Crafts magazine

Esther Brinkmann

I came across this beautiful quote by Esther Brinkmann in a new book that I’m reading Called Just Must. Just Must (must means black in Estonian) was a 2008 international exhibition held in Estonia featuring monochromatic works articulated solely in the color black.

Wearing jewellery conducts a dialogue with the body, the mind, and the feelings. Wearing jewellery enables each of us to transfer exterior signs of interior states. Jewels open up spaces for the imagination. They accentuate or invoke in each of us the feeling of being an individual.

Common Things

I recently revisited the work of Pablo Neruda, specifically his poem Odes to Common Things. Below is the last stanza, this excerpt articulates the impact that the objects around us have on our being. I appreciate his adoration of the ordinary, because I believe that there is passion in the mundane.

O irrevocable
river
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
only
fish,
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved
only
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.