What is “Art” and what is “Craft”? At what point does an item surpass the mundane and become something aesthetically more? In my time working with leather I’ve often pondered these questions. My work begins with the idea to create something useful, something meant to be used and mistreated and loved.
With that in mind, I create durability in my work so that something I make will endure for years. But simply striving for durability in my work only guarantees its lifespan. What is the point if something that will last a millennium isn’t used? For something to be mistreated, it needs to be durable and functional. When an item is mistreated, it indicates an expectation of permanence in the life of the user.
But for something to be loved, it must also cause joy to the user. This joy is most easily created through an aesthetic beauty. This beauty can come from any direction: the well worn creases created through decades of use, a swirl of paint in just the right way, an abstract notion (intended or otherwise) of shape. Love changes the way a piece feels to you, changes your attachment to it, changes your world view for even experiencing it.
Therein lies the difference between a craft and an art: an Art strives to be loved and alter your perception of the world, while a Craft strives to be useful. My sincere hope is that my leather works are able to transcend the confines of utility and aid in your perceptual awakening.