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Cuckoos Nest
21-02-2010, 02:08 AM
I don't know if I'm on my own here but I absolutely hate the term 'crafter'. It seems totally meaningless to me.

To be called a jeweller, a wood turner, a pyrographer, a potter, a card maker, a soap maker, a textile artist or whatever, suggests that someone has taken their craft seriously enough to study and learn and get good at it.

On the other hand, what is a crafter? Is it just me or what?

greannancrafts
21-02-2010, 02:17 AM
I don't like the term either.

If generalising I prefer "producer", but then I probably do too many Farmers Markets?


Interestingly, when insuring our vans, under the section for occupation, there is a craftswoman, but not a craftsman?


Jane

wendy
21-02-2010, 09:34 AM
I'm with you, I don't like it either. I think it probably originated in America. When I was doing craft fairs in the 80's I don't think I'd heard of the term.

I like the term designer/maker, as that's what most of us are. Crafter sounds a bit amateurish to me.

BlueShedCrafts
21-02-2010, 09:48 AM
I'm guilty of using the term Crafter and the reason I do, with reference to myself, is that I'm always afraid of sounding a little pompous if I say I'm a 'fibre artist' BUT having read this thread I like the idea of designer/maker and so I may try and drum that into my head for future use.

Another thought is and I mean no disrespect to others in Wiltshire, but I live in an ancient market town and I mix with many elderly people who ask me 'what craft do you do?' what type of crafts? how long have you been crafting' etc and therefore 'crafter' seems applicable to me. I really don't mind what people refer to me as. Each to their own though.

bodrighy
21-02-2010, 10:16 AM
I think the terminology used can be important especially when trying to market your work. Jeweler sounds much more professional than crafter which has a very amateurish ring about it. Card designer, wood artist, Fabric designer etc all sound somehow more important and to the general public probably invoke a different, better image.

Pete

Critchley
21-02-2010, 10:24 AM
I really don't mind being known as a 'crafter'. It may be because I had many different titles in my working life, i.e. Office Manager, Credit Controller, Proprietor, and so on, but then, of course, I don't market my goods for sale which must put a completely different slant on it. Its not what we think, its what others perception of the word is that is important if you are marketing your goods.

beadsbydesign
21-02-2010, 10:27 AM
I don't mind the term, because it makes me feel like one of a whole gang.... all in it together!
I border over many crafts and so to define my self as one thing would be to deny the other aspects of me.
I tend to decribe myself as a multi media artist (now how pompous does that sound?

HF Glass Lady
21-02-2010, 11:00 AM
I consider myself an artist! ;) Thats what I trained as but I don't like to refer to myself as an artist, agree with above sounds a bit pompous, am just someone who makes things out of glass!

Aviya Glass
21-02-2010, 11:06 AM
I like the term but feel it is not relevant to me as I think it refers to more traditional skills like wood work, spinning, hedge building and weaving etc and in these instances evokes highly skilled images of time honoured, handed down skills learned over a life time.

A while ago a friend introduced as an artist and that sounded so arrogant (which I suppose is a confidence issue). :o I do paint and sell my paintings so artist is not incorrect - but when he said it I immediately thought of famous painters and wouldn't classify myself anywhere near them!

I usually tell people I design and make fused glass jewellery but on my website etc I say 'fused glass art'.

I call my workspace, the craft room, which makes my son cringe and he begs me not to say it in front of his friends. :p For my blog etc I say my small studio (again feel pompous) but studio does hold more credence than craft room.

I'll get off the fence now :D

Cuckoos Nest
21-02-2010, 11:40 AM
If you trained to be a solicitor you'd be proud to call yourself a solicitor - or a teacher, nurse, retail manager etc. etc. You wouldn't tell people you were a 'people worker'.

I think sometimes when we're afraid of sounding pompous or arrogant it's more a confidence thing.

If you design and make things in glass, then you are a glass artist or a designer. It immediately tells people what you do and makes it sound good and interesting.

I understand Critchley's point that if you don't market your goods, or like to have a bit of a dabble here and there (and don't we all!) then crafter is a good general description. But not for people who are selling their work professionally.

ejralph
21-02-2010, 01:29 PM
I tend to call myself a beadmaker if I bother at all.

I like the term Designer/Maker best myself. Crafter is ok but for me, it does rather conjeur up images of burnt-out executives languishing in shut-up-and-eat homes weaving baskets whilst they get over their latest nervous breakdown.

Where as Designer/Maker sounds so much more go-get doesn't it.:p

I tend to dislike the term artist more. For me at least, an artist is someone making a statement with their art, or capturing a moment or an emotion etc.

Where as I see myself far more of a craftsmen, not trying to capture anything or say anything with my work. Just want to make something pretty, to the best of my ability.

But all is down to semantics really - everyone has a slightly different feeling on what all these labels really mean and their connotations.

SNOWF1975
21-02-2010, 02:06 PM
I usually refer to myself as a designer but am LOVING beadsbydesign's "multi media artist" !!! :D And im just about to give her rep for it !

Enfys
21-02-2010, 02:43 PM
For some reason "Crafter" doesn't have the same ring as "Artist". I normally tell people I am a "Textile Artist" rather than crafter. If I tell them I am a Crocheter, I tend to get dismissed as somebody who makes granny squares and doileys.

However, "Multi-Media Artist" sounds so much better.

Scorch
21-02-2010, 02:54 PM
Hmmm... oddly, I dislike "crafter" as in my mind that's associated with amateurish work... you know, someone who puts pre-made kits together?
Like "... now stick the top pre-cut bit to the bottom pre-folded bit on the little mark, sprinkle glitter over the glue on it, and voila! Maybe you can manage to write your very own name on it, if you're very careful or use a stencil... otherwise get a grown-up to do that part for you."

But then I call myself, and think of myself as, a craftswoman! And the terms craftsman and craftswoman have a completely different set of associations in my mind - with skilled work, time taken, hand made for scratch, and so on.

potpartner
21-02-2010, 03:45 PM
I hated the term 'Crafter' when i first heard it. I suppose i have just got used to seeing the term used on the net so i hadn't given it much thought lately... but now you mention it i wouldnt call ourselves crafters.

What do we call ourselves ? well we dont call ourselves anything really which maybe meens we have an identity crisis !!!!:confused:

I do ,actually, not like the term 'Crafter' and think that there must be a better word to describe the nature of our collective occupations. Or is that not important...should we' as individuals, narrow it down to concise description of the craft with which we practice...

now then am i a potter or ceramicist ??? oh here we go again:confused:

Good topic

ladyluckjewellery
21-02-2010, 04:51 PM
Funnily enough I've been having a similar conversation with another crafter/maker/artist this morning!!:D

I usually refer to myself as a designer/maker, as I see the term 'crafter' as having a rather old fashioned image, but equally I would hesitate to call myself a jeweller, even though I make jewellery, as I see a jeweller as making jewellery out of silver / gold / precious gems, not like me with my polymer clay & glass beads!

It took me a while to realise calling myself a designer/maker wasn't being pretentious, but just honestly describing what I do/am.

I think whatever term people feel comfortable with is right for them.

Claire

Cuckoos Nest
21-02-2010, 05:04 PM
The only trouble with calling ourselves multi-media artists is that it already has a specific meaning, i.e. an artist (painter) who paints in all media - oil, watercolour and pastels etc. - rather than just one medium.

I suppose the issue is not really about what we call ourselves individually, but as a group. I would always favour designer/maker, or even craftworker, rather than crafter which as someone has already said sounds as though the limit of your ability is attaching pre-cut stickers to pre-decorated card.

potpartner
21-02-2010, 05:37 PM
I suppose the issue is not really about what we call ourselves individually, but as a group.

Yes it is...I always liked the term 'Cottage industry' It seemed to articulate the nature of the business well and also give the products a positive image of their origin.. So in a way we could be 'cottage industrialists' but that does'nt have quite the 'ring' to it ....does it ?.

In a way we are collectively 'Artisans' but something a bit more 21st century and less pompous sounding would be better.

gbell
21-02-2010, 08:37 PM
I dont dislike crafter, although I think it tends to have a hobbyist feel to it

I was asked the other day what my job was and I had to have a think and said, erm I make tiaras, to which they looked at me like i was a bit deranged.

A friend suggested jewellery designer, but I still have no idea what to call myself

Curious Cat
21-02-2010, 10:49 PM
I've not really called myself anything as my work is done alongside a part time paid 'normal' job. I wouldn't be offended at 'crafter'. I'm alway worried that I can't give myself an official 'title' as I'm self taught in what I do.

cj :)

Tim Broughton
21-02-2010, 11:51 PM
I served an apprentiship in the Jewellery Trade, and as such I call myself a Jeweller.

But I also did a B.A, (Hons) Degree in Arrt as a mature student. So I have problems. Artist, Jeweller?

I prefer to call myself an Artisan

Tim