Several philosophies and thoughts have emerged over the years. In his book The New Ceramics: Trends and Traditions, Author Peter Domer (1994) asserted that:
With hindsight it is discernable that in the 1980's ceramics existed in a middle house between craft and art rather than design and art. In the 1990's this situation has become strongly apparent. The contemporary fine art world is centred on the galleries and the museums.......ceramicists want to join this enclosed, increasingly private realm of art...an art that has successfully disconnected itself from the responsibilities of the outside world and where practitioners deny any role to do with design, function or common meaning. But in artists, curators and other priests of art I'm not keen to embrace clay workers. (p.196)
In examining the issues raised by Domer we must not forget our world is constantly evolving and developing new ways of doing things. We will take a look at the his assertions, searching for common ground or difference(s) in opinions or beliefs under the following headings;
The notion thatCeramics as Craft and Art;
The notion that craft is art has generated numerous comments; in describing the differences between craft and art against their functionality or usefulness, Kevin A. Hluch (1990), Professor of Art, quotes from Octavia Paz book In Praise of Hands that "there was a constant shifting ....between usefulness and beauty. This continual exchange has a name: pleasure. Things are pleasing because they are useful and beautiful. This copulative conjunction defines craftwork, just as the disjunctive conjunction defines art and technology: usefulness or beauty" (1). To buttress this point Kevin Hlutch (1990) stated that fine art is defined by contemporary art orthodoxy as that type of human expression that is at its core functionally useless (1). Hlutch further contends that to "equate craft as art and crafts people as artist" misses the point because craft and art have different aesthetics (1990, 1) He somewhat concludes that "as the original definition of craft looses credence in the craft world, the ceramic form that signifies that definition, utilitarian pottery has lost its 'market share' in that world" (Hluch, 1990).
Ceramics as Design and Art
If defining a place for ceramics in Arts and craft posited debates, as Domer himself pointed out, ceramics should have been seen as design and art, not as craft and art. Kevin Murray (2003) a ceramicist believes that the terms 'craft' and 'design' rest on a continuum and the continuum is understood as the degree of responsibility by the individual for the physical construction of a work. In the case of craft, it is assumed that an individual has made the work him- or herself, whether by hand or machine [while] design in contrast is often executed by others (9). He claims that "the design aura is an obvious advantage to those wanting to give their products extra value and protect their intellectual capital" explaining that "It is reasonable for designers to develop their 'brand identity' as much as their 'product'" (Murray,