What Constitutes Art - Bryan Pierce Art Mantle 05-14-21 01

What Constitutes Art?

And is knitting considered art? Artistry? A craft? Or something else? I guess this requires understanding what constitutes art.

What Constitutes Art For You?

A quick google search of this question reveals this wisdom:

Art is often considered the process or product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. It encompasses a diverse range of human activities, creations and ways of expression, including music, literature, film, sculpture and paintings.

Based on this definition, art is defined rather broadly. Knitting could easily be considered art based on this answer.

But my criteria is different. I’d define art as any deliberately created item from personally selected materials that is intended to, and results in evoking an aesthetic or emotional response.

My definition is also rather broad. And honestly, I don’t know how to exclude knitted items that I don’t really consider to be art.

For instance, if I knit a Kaffe Fassett cardigan I do not consider that art. I’m following someone else’s pattern. I might choose different colors. And I might tweak parts of the construction. But it’s still not art.

Yet, when I choose yarns and stitch patterns and design something like the Primordial Sworls Shawl, I do consider that art. There are so many knitting projects that fall in between these two. Not really sure how to distinguish them.

I guess art is really art if the maker declares it to be. Or perhaps, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart best defines art (although his quote applied to pornography)…”I know it when I see it.”

Is there any criteria for you that automatically classifies something as art?

Current Knitting

I said I was going to put down the Primordial Sworls Shawl once I got the pattern established. But I was really enjoying knitting it.

Primordial Sworls Shawl Sport 05-14-21 02

It has that quality of “just one more row” that never stops at “one more row.”

But I did pick up the Provenance Mitts as well.

Provenance Mitts 05-14-21 01

I love that this pattern has a different motif on either side of the mitts. Although it makes it a bit more interesting to post photos of the project in progress.


4 comments on “What Constitutes Art?

  1. A perennial question. I tend to agree on the surface on that if it’s someone else’s pattern then not so much but then I think, “but that’s how one learns art By copying masters and tweaking it. I would never tell someone painting along with Bob Ross that what they made wasn’t art. Or a child following the basic instructions of their teacher in how to use various art tools. It might not be groundbreaking original or tremendously thought provoking but still art certainly. Perhaps we need to think of art (and craft) as more of a spectrum than we tend to. Definitely want to look up that shawl stitch.

  2. I think any Kaffe Fasset cardigan is art. Knitting patterns aren’t made to be done just once by it’s original creator! By knitting someone else’s pattern, you are following the author’s intentions.

  3. I agree with Laura Rose. Also, that shawl looks like so much fun to knit- I wouldn’t be able to put it down either!

  4. I feel art is what moves me, transports me, lifts me up, changes my emotions, sometimes makes me haPPy and sometimes saddens me or angers me. I definitely feel knitting transports me, moves me, most often makes me haPPy, if it saddens me, I chain it to cement blocks and throw it in the frog pond. My last sweater I knit, definitely made me feel like a fiber artist, it lets my creative juices flow, and Joe your work is always faboo and artistic. When I knit, especially in the mornings, I am almost meditating, so that transports me, maybe changes my mood, lightens my load, lifts me up…..so yes, I’m a fiber artist and you are too. haPPy knitting sweet man…

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