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January 20, 2010
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This is the first in a series of knowledge articles on artisan craft. If there is a certain related topic you would like me to write about, please send me a note. There are further links in the sidebar.

Which gallery is right for your artwork? - Categorizing Crafts and Sculptures

Here on dA we have the Sculpture galleries (within Traditional Art) as well as the Artisan Craft galleries. I have often heard confusion and discussions about this, so I would like to take a moment to try to explain how to determine where to post your deviations.


What is the difference between Artisan Craft and Sculpture?
(I am heavily sourcing Wikipedia in this bit)

An artisan (from Italian: artigiano) is a skilled worker who crafts items that may be functional or strictly decorative. This includes furniture, clothing, jewelry, household items and tools. The term can also be used to refer to the hand making of food products, such as bread, beverages, cheese and pastry items. Artisan crafts are usually made by hand with hand tools and have unique and individual qualities, in contrast to mass produced goods where every one is nearly identical. However, some artisans produce several pieces that are nearly the same, usually utilizing casts or molds, and then enhance the items, for example by hand painting them. Artisans traditionally work with wood, ceramics, glass, metals, textiles, leather, clay and many other materials.

Sculpture is traditionally defined as a three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining materials such as metals, glass, clay, wood, stone and many other hard and/or soft materials. Some sculptures are created in one piece, for example by carving, others are assembled by welding, molding, casting or other methods. Sculptures are often painted. They are usually larger in size and are often displayed as public art in buildings, parks, landmarks and other places of interest.

As you can see, the two definitions slightly blend into each other, so there is a lot of gray area when it comes to categorizing your art. So how do you determine where to place your deviation?

Now, how do I decide where to place my deviation?

There are several different categories for you to choose from. It is desirable to be as specific as possible and find the category that you think most fits your item. Artisan Craft is mainly for utilitarian items, but can also apply to strictly decorative products. You will basically want to find a category other than “miscellaneous”, which should always be used as a last resort if there really isn't anything more suitable for your work of art.
First, think about the type of item you have. Questions you might want to ask yourself here include:
:bulletgreen: What type of materials are used?
:bulletgreen: What is the item intended for?
:bulletgreen: How would other people most likely try to search for an item like this?
Go through the different categories and see which one you think applies best.

While a ring made from steel would definitely fit perfectly in Artisan Craft > Jewelry, it could also be placed into Artisan Craft > Metalwork. A carved wooden totem pole could be either classified as Traditional Art > Sculpture > Figurative or Artisan Crafts > Woodworking. A hand made silicon face mask could very well be uploaded to Traditional Art > Sculpture > Busts (people) or (maybe even more suitable, depending on the techniques used) Artisan Craft > Costumery > Masks.

Ultimately, it is up to the artist to decide where to place their work. I would advise that you do take some time to consider which category would best suit your item to make sure it is easy for people to find and feels comfortable among equals. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you should not upload it to a gallery that is not intended for such items. For example, a wooden ornament should not go into Artisan Craft > Ceramics, Pottery & Clay > Ornaments & Objects, but rather into Artisan Craft > Woodworking. A glass vase should be uploaded to the Artisan Craft > Glass > Bowls & Vases gallery.

If you are in doubt as to where to place your item, browse the applicable galleries for a few pages to see whether your item would fit in or not. If you still are at a loss, feel free to contact the gallery moderator to ask for assistance.

Please remember that the Artisan Craft as well as the Traditional Art > Sculpture galleries are for items hand made by the deviant him-/herself only, not for bought items, and only the tangible finished product should be uploaded here! Patterns, charts, graphs, tutorials should all be uploaded to Resources & Images > Tutorials > Artisan Crafts. Designs and concept drawings would best fit into on of the galleries within Designs & Interfaces. Work In Progress pictures should ideally be uploaded to your scrap gallery (you can link to these items from your finished product's deviation description).

I hope this article will help you in categorizing your work in the future. If you still have any questions, do feel free to contact me. As a little help and overview I have listed all Sculpture and Artisan Craft galleries with their corresponding descriptions to help you find what you need faster, you can find the complete list in this blog at ArtisanCraft.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconpreethi524:
preethi524 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Just what I was looking for! Haven't been able to decide whether to place mine in artisan crafts or sculptures :confused:
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012   Writer
:icondownarrowplz: ... :iconuparrowplz: ... Now I'm confused. Why does the date go back to Jan. 2010 here? :B
Reply
:iconmyntkat:
MyntKat Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Because the article was posted in 2010. :D
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012   Writer
I figured it out too late. 0.0
Reply
:iconmyntkat:
MyntKat Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
:giggle:
Reply
:iconxlntwtch:
xlntwtch Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012   Writer
This is a great beginning for #ArtHistoryProject's Artisan Crafts month -- and to you as a new GM. Congrats on both!
Reply
:iconmyana:
Myana Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2010  Professional Artisan Crafter
Very great explanation indeed! :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconmyntkat:
MyntKat Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you :)
Reply
:iconnonparticipant:
nonparticipant Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010
:) when did you take over? it seems I recall AC as being modless for a time.
Reply
:iconmyntkat:
MyntKat Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2010  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I took over just a week ago :)
Reply
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