As I was walking from my car to a concert in my favourite church in Old Montreal, I passed this shop selling stained glass objects. I love the intensity of colour in stained glass as well as its luminosity as the light shines through. I thought of a conversation I had earlier in the day with one of my colleagues about art and craft. She directed me to the PBS web site Craft in America and the incredible objects that people create. When is something art and when is it craft - and are we using craft in a pejorative sense? Is an artist a craftsperson? Is a craftsperson an artist? Surely the stained glass windows in Chartres are more than craft - they demonstrate incredible artistry. A beautiful piece of pottery, a hand-blown piece of class can certainly be works of art.
I guess to me - craft is the set of skills we need to produce something - we even refer to the writer's craft. Art is that intangible that enters the piece making it unique. We each look with our own eyes and appreciate and understand based on our aesthetic sense, our background, our culture etc. We may each draw the line in a different place. Much of what you see in this window would be more a demonstration of a craftsperson's skill. It becomes art when it touches a person's soul.