Monday, October 14, 2013

Defining ourselves

My friend Sal and I have been working away for the last couple of months organising this little market for our home town of Apollo Bay.
Last year was great fun, and we had such good feedback, we thought we'd do it all again!
Now that it's getting closer, we're getting pretty excited.
And in some terrifying news, a local radio station in Colac wants to interview us. 
It's got me to thinking about who and what The Bay & Beyond Market is.
Sal and I tossed this around too.
Are we craft? Are we art? Are we design?
What's in a name?
The more you think about this, the trickier it gets.
In this age, the word 'craft' seems to have picked up unfortunate associations, even though I love the connection to the Arts & Crafts movement of William Morris and his contemporaries. A movement that came about as a reaction against the mass production of the industrial age, and valued the skills and craftsmanship involved in producing something by hand. 
Nothing wrong with that is there? In fact, it's possibly more relevant now than ever.
But then, what about the idea of referring to ourselves as designers? That carries a certain weight of professionalism about what we do.
What if we don't actually make every single thing by our own hand?
Are we artists too? Or artisans even?
I really hope I don't get asked to define ourselves in that interview!
Oh, and take a look at the fabulous artists/craftspeople/designers/makers that are on board this year over here. And save the date!


Crayon Chick said...

I know what you mean, I always feel a bit up-myself if I ever call myself a designer, but I also feel very defensive about the word craft when it's scoffed at so often. Yet I love the Arts and Crafts movement. Tell me Liberty weren't initially inspired by William Morris. And Kevin-the-thinking-girls-crumpet-McCloud is always complimentary of the Arts and Crafts. Bless that man. If it's ok with Kevin then it's ok in my world too! x

Frankie and Ray said...

Yay! You and me both, craftspeople we are. xxx

Amber said...

Great post! When I started up my little shop a few months ago it was hard to come up with a good name, but it was even harder to come up with a tag line that perfectly captured what my shop was about (it was 3 months before I finally settled on something and could get my signs printed!). After tossing around words like handmade, indi designer, ethical, sustainable, artisan, etc. I eventually settled on the rather bland "fresh design & simple style" - everything else seemed too fraught with varied interpretations of their meanings.

Amber said...

PS. Ahh Kevin. I'm with you 100% Crayon Chick. ;)