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what is the difference between art and a craft ...

Customer Question

what is the difference between art and a craft
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Entertainment
Expert:  Mandy replied 11 years ago.
This is a very interesting question, with many opinions concerning the subject.

Arts Versus Crafts

The process of making art and the process of making crafts are related but different activities. Many people think of "arts & crafts" as if they were really one process. However, practice with making a painting and making a birdhouse show us that arts and crafts are really quite different activities. While art is an open ended or "unstructured" activity, crafts are goal oriented or "structured."

Craft Activities Are:

Structured Projects with a Pre-Determined Goal

Project Oriented Activities with a Clear Beginning, Middle & End

Involve Assembly of 3-dimensional materials which are then decorated

Require Specific Materials

Art Activities Are:

Unstructured, Open Ended Activities with no Pre-Determined Goal

Process Oriented Activities with no Clear Beginning, Middle or End

Use a Variety of Basic Art or Craft Material with no specific Instruction Sheet

Require an Instructor or Leader who is comfortable with open ended art

Arts develop feeling skills

Crafts develop thinking skills


The difference is in motivation, who the piece is intended to satisfy. Art is made by the artist, for the artist, to please him/herself; craft is made to please others. source

In an interview with Ten magazine, artist Andrea Zittel discusses the difference between an art and a craft: Well that similarity is probably what scares most artists. But for me the function of art is more to do with facilitating new forms of perception. Art helps us to perceive things in a different way. Then I see design as a pursuit to shape the way that these things look and function in a more practical sense... and craft delves into production and the way in which they are made. I think that all three areas can be components of a single object – in fact, perhaps we should always be thinking about this trilogy when we bring a new object into the world.

Craft attracts people, but art moves them. Craft takes rehearsed skill. Art takes rehearsed skill but also requires soul. You can always quantify craft, art never. You can create craft without possessing artistry, but you rarely get art without a sufficient level of craft. Art is craft imbued with the intangibleness of genius.

  • Craft can be duplicated, art cannot.
  • Art always commands more money than craft. (thus the art of branding, where brands command a higher price than crafted (non-branded) goods.)
  • Since art is unique, art can bring a brand to life by imparting its uniqueness to that brand.
  • No company or no individual will ever be able to package art like craft. Art comes from a deeper source than craft.
  • Craft involves mind, art involves mind and soul.
  • You can’t define art, but you know when you see it.


The distinction between art and craft has been complicated recently by a tendency among young artists to use craft techniques, such as paper cutting and embroidery. While there is overlap with visual arts, craft tends to concern itself with the material fabric of everyday life, rather than the unique events in the artist's imagination. This material fabric extends to body adornment (jewelery), body support (clothes, furniture), eating rituals (hollowware and vessels), and decoration (vases, lights, objects, wall hangings).

The boundary between art and craft is permeable. Sometimes the most exciting work involves a daring entry of one into the other. source

Here is an article written by Denis Dutton that discusses The Difference Between Art and Craft

:::I hope this helps:::