on 30 April 2011
I'm not a "crafts" expert, I am a dry stone waller.
However, reading Howard Risatti's book took me on a journey (not easy! but logical and understandable) to see how I could understand walling in the current context of discussions about the status of "craft" in its historical and present context in the western world.
(*I came across this on page 34:- "while shelters may be thought of as a set that that has some connection to the sets that constitute the class craft, they are not objects because of their large size and immobility, and therefore, strictly speaking, cannot be considered part of craft".
So building drystone walls is not a craft? I think not...)
Seriously, this book is a really useful discussion of some current issues, and develops logical arguments to support his theory. Mr Risatti knows that of which he speaks... I hope this huge contribution to the academic discussion gets the attention it deserves.
If you also read Garth Crooks' "How envy killed the crafts movement" and perhaps "Thinking through craft" by Glenn Adamson then you will have a better understanding of the current debate.
There must be a similar discussion on this side of the atlantic, but I suspect this may well be in a different form... as is always the case with the arts vs. crafts debate...