Art? Or Craft?


What is the difference between Art and Craft?

I’m not sure I agree with everything on this chart, but here is a good place to start.

Comparison Chart

Meaning An unstructured and boundless form of work, that expresses emotions, feelings and vision is called art. Craft refers to an activity, which involves creation of tangible objects with the use of hands and brain.
Based on Creative merit Learned skills and technique
Serves Aesthetic purpose Decorative or functional purpose
Emphasizes Ideas, feelings and visual qualities. Right use of tools and materials.
Quantification Difficult Easy
Reproducible No Yes
Emergence Heart and soul Mind
Result of Innate talent Skill and experience

(Found at:

I found myself looking through old pictures on this blog and trying to decide: Is it Art? Or, is it Craft?

Philip scribbling on a coloring placemat, about age 2.

I’d guess at art, although craft is certainly an element of coloring pages.

Philip water-colored a picture.
Philip water-colored a picture.
Owen water-colored himself.
Owen water-colored himself.
Two artists
Two artists

Or should I have captioned it “Two craftsmen”?

No — I think art is the right choice here.

Quilted pillow Mary made for me.
Quilted pillow Mary made for me.
Mary's quilted purse
Mary’s quilted purse

Is quilting an art or a craft?  So much artistry goes into quilted objects, but it’s probably a craft because it’s a functional object and reproducible.

A baby picture of Laurel that I tried to paint.
A baby picture of Laurel that I tried to paint.

I dabble with watercoloring for a while — obviously never got very proficient. I shudder to call this art.

Hand carved stamp thingy
Hand carved stamp thingy

Made at Laity Lodge. I drew the daffodil, copying from a picture, and carved it, making lots of mistakes. Craft?


Teenage boy activity in church. Definitely art.

Mary's elephant
Mary’s elephant
Laurel's elephant
Laurel’s elephant
My painting -- mama Elephant and her baby
My painting — mama Elephant and her baby

Elephants painted in art class. We’re copying Eli Halpin’s style — but still art, I think.


My place-cards. I loved making these. Craft. And Art. I put my mind into these, but also some heart.

There probably isn’t a clear delineation most of the time between art and craft.

The artists exercise craft, and the craftsmen use art.



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