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froldt
02-14-2012, 11:32 AM
I've been thinking about all of the work that I created while working toward my art degree, and that made me wonder what exactly Bushcraft Art would be? Hand-made gear (whether knives, packs, tarps, bowls, or something else) The excellent photographs that so many of you take? Or does it have to be a drawing or painting of a bushcrafter out and about, in their natural habitat, so to speak?

So, I present the question to you, what is Bushcraft Art? Examples would be excellent, if possible. :D

WoodsJack
02-14-2012, 11:52 AM
Well, while you're out there, ya' might have time for some "primitive" or "natural" art, too, as part of the overall experience. Things like:

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/5109_1158560596545_1003660151_30508862_3851750_n.j pg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/5109_1158560356539_1003660151_30508856_6654096_n.j pg

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/5109_1158560436541_1003660151_30508858_5897868_n.j pg

And, of course, then there's whittlin'/carvin' etc. too, which also turns into "sculpture" at some point. Leatherworking can delve there. Lots of things.

itsbaker
02-14-2012, 11:56 AM
Andy Goldsworthy. Without a doubt. He forages an area then creates from that. I would venture to say that a well made anything is an art piece. I don't want to sound biased but I would consider the knife makers here artists.
Once craft is performed past utility into the realm of passion it is an art form. Any of you listen to nature, music have a Muse or a need to do bushcraft?

BushTramp
02-14-2012, 12:07 PM
How about this - the making of pics are on my fried computer :(
http://i654.photobucket.com/albums/uu268/Linker71/44166795.jpg

Thaddius Bickerton
02-14-2012, 12:34 PM
More than I can think of, but what is art to me might be something else to some other.

I lately have been admiring all the different decorations on tomahawk handles as I'm in the process of planning a new one for my old pipe hawk.

Gryphonblade
02-14-2012, 12:37 PM
I see any craft as an art. The myriad of things folks here make is all art to my mind. Leatherwork, carvings, blades, shelters, even functional pieces like can stoves and billy pots.

It's all in the design. I find anything that is functional to have it's own elegance of form. When folks take something bare-form functional and endorn it witth wood, leather, stone, brass, etc., then it becomes even moreso art.

It's all in the aesthetics of the mind of the beholder I guess.

brionic
02-14-2012, 12:45 PM
How do you distinguish artisanship from craftsmanship? Semantics aside, we have members and vendors here who create exquisite, functional artifacts and tools, many of which are aesthetically pleasing.

Form follows function when it comes to fashioning and using tools and working. But flourishes, big and small, style, and creativity all express individuality in a leisure pursuit unfettered by guild or dogma.

This is art.
http://i809.photobucket.com/albums/zz16/SkogKniv/DSCN1736.jpg

So is this:
http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h103/kkustoms/DSC01493.jpg

And this:
http://bushcraftusa.com/gallery/files/1/0/5/3/5/josh_s_hoodie.jpg

Trailwalker
02-14-2012, 12:46 PM
I would think all of the above!

Every wooden cup or bowl is a work of art, as are the wooden handles of our hawks and axes that has been modified. Every custom knife, or modified knife could be cast into the arena of "art" as can most leather and metal work.

If not we would not spend as much time looking for just the right wood grains, or burled wood and we would not buy or forge damascuss blades for our knives. Not to mention the hours spent carving your own Kuksa or wooden spoons, or the money spent to buy just the right elk hide to make that possibles bag.

Just my opinion.

EdD270
02-14-2012, 01:51 PM
Many of the projects shown in threads on this forum I think qualify as art. The design and completion of hawks and helves, pots and lids, etc. with their individual artistic touches, such as flame treating the axe handle, are art to me. They go far beyond the simply utilitarian "craft", and way beyond my own primitive efforts.

RangerXanatos
02-14-2012, 09:34 PM
+1 on Andy Goldsworthy. I had to watch a video of him in art class making some of his stuff and it's really awesome. He leaves his stuff where ever he makes it and lets it get reclaimed by nature. His ice sculptures melt away, driftwood and rock piles get washed away in the ocean, etc...
http://webecoist.momtastic.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/2-andy-goldsworthy-art.jpg

Atheris
02-14-2012, 10:10 PM
I think much of this is art. What I think of when I think of "bushcraft art" is something which is very functional but has an aesthetic attractiveness to it. I think the aesthetic can be either intentional or incidental and still be art. A knife, bowl, jacket, shelter, etc. I do have to admit the first think I thought of when I saw the title was some of the amazing knives and carving I have seen posted here.

I am on the fence as to whether I feel aesthetic natural art would qualify as bushcraft art to me. Maybe if it is only pleasing to look at it is natural art rather than bushcraft art, since I can't think of much bushcraft that is purely aesthetic? Am I just nit-picking semantics or does anyone else think there may be a distinction? Not that I'm against purely aesthetic art at all :14:

Quinn
02-14-2012, 10:41 PM
Somewhere in a box I have a degree from an art school. (at least I think I still have that piece of paper somewhere...).
A dilemma for me had always been 'what makes an artist', or something like that. Is it the marks one makes, be they lines on paper, paint on canvas, carved wood or bent metal, etc, etc..., or is it something else?
The conclusion I came to some time ago was that what made an 'artist' was how one lived in the world. One's awareness of and skill in living. It really had nothing whatever to to with 'leaving marks'...as markings were simply the residue left behind from kinds of activity. In my opinion, and it's only my opinion, nothing more, 'Art' as we think of it today is neutered, sterile. Art sprang from 'magic', and at its core 'magic' is nothing more than an awareness of the mysteries of the natural world, and taking actions in the world based on that awareness. Making the 'unseen' visible, if you will.
So, stringing it out...'bushcraft' (or anythings else for that matter) itself can be 'art' , depending on one's awareness of the natural world...and isn't the whole point of 'bushcraft' to become aware of the world?
(apologies for the long-windedness of this, but, you did ask for opinions...) ;)

KajunKat
02-15-2012, 08:22 AM
To me art is a persons interpretation of something they experience in this life. It could be and object, an emotion or even a color. I think to be real art it has to move your emotions. An example would be the Vietnam memorial in DC. You have to have a heart of stone to not be deeply moved when you are surrounded by the names of dead soldiers and see your reflection in the cold granite walls. A truly life changing experience. Bush craft art should remind you of the beauty of nature and your interaction with it. I think knives are a fine example. A finely made knife is not only beautiful but feels like and extension of your body. When you use it, it become an interface with you and nature.

froldt
02-16-2012, 08:31 AM
Thanks for the replies, everyone!

Interesting to see the different responses and I love the examples given!

Bush Otter
02-16-2012, 09:20 AM
All of the above for sure but for me a well laid fire and a neatly pitched piece of canvas , an axe cutting just right ,a Shirly Temple curly cue type feather stick and a browned just right bannock.

walnut
02-16-2012, 09:23 AM
This is a great thread, thanks everyone.

I believe a working definition of "bushcraft art" could be: A creative expression of the natural world depicted through the natural world as a medium.

Or, using natural materials creatively to express the natural world. Perhaps including that one should use the simplest means available in creating the art.

Sgt. Mac
02-16-2012, 09:25 AM
I pooped a Picasso one time in the woods. It was amazing lol:p

madmax
02-16-2012, 09:29 AM
I pooped a Picasso one time in the woods. It was amazing lol:p

Everyone has their special talents. :4: :4:

Bush Otter
02-16-2012, 09:30 AM
I pooped a Picasso one time in the woods. It was amazing lol:p

Mona lisa , Mona Lisa men have named you,LOL:4:

jnaylr7578
02-16-2012, 03:27 PM
i make as much of my kit (and anything else i can think of )as possible and belive art is in the eye of the beholder. granted i am shooting for usefulnes but when im finished i have something to truely be proud of and it is art to me. i have never felt the kind of joy looking at a picture on the wall or a sculpture in a museum that i feel ising a good tool hand made with pribe by myself or any other craftsman. i guess what im trying to say is the "crafts" that many of us produce are art long before someone takes a picture of it.

mymindisamob
02-16-2012, 03:37 PM
Wow! My degree is in Visual Communication and I had not heard of Andy Goldsworthy. I can't believe I've been missing out on his genius. Absolutely love it. Anyhow, there has always been a debate between craft and art. Much of what we do here falls under the category of craft. I personally feel that art does not fall under the "useful" banner, but more along the lines of purely aesthetic. That is still a little ambiguous, but I do feel that many of the crafts that we work/create are done very artfully. My $.02 and YMMV. Good topic and Thanks for the thread.

mainewoods
02-16-2012, 04:21 PM
My Self would Say " What I would consider Bushcraft Art" Would Be The hundreds and Hundreds Of Out stand Pics of Nature, The outings and the skill WEAll Do Here. For a simple staining of a hawk handle to pics of the great Country We all Live in. I Feel We all Give Bushcraft Art it Name "Life" of a Bushcrafter !

WoodsJack
02-16-2012, 04:47 PM
Wow! My degree is in Visual Communication and I had not heard of Andy Goldsworthy. I can't believe I've been missing out on his genius. Absolutely love it. Anyhow, there has always been a debate between craft and art. Much of what we do here falls under the category of craft. I personally feel that art does not fall under the "useful" banner, but more along the lines of purely aesthetic. That is still a little ambiguous, but I do feel that many of the crafts that we work/create are done very artfully. My $.02 and YMMV. Good topic and Thanks for the thread.

And we haven't yet even mosied into the realm of distinctions between design, decoration, etc. I live smack dab in the midst of that messiness.

But, personally, I do believe that just as "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" and our awe at "nature's" beauty is, in part, also a function of "nature" ... the nature within us that built in the capacity to experience that beauty.

So the "practical" crafts enter the zone of including a mix with aesthetics which can move along the scale further away from the practical, too. If it's all out in the bush, directly using what's out there, then skills become crafts become art...

All of which is just some fireside philosophizin' anyway.

:4:

x39
02-23-2012, 09:13 PM
The conclusion I came to some time ago was that what made an 'artist' was how one lived in the world. One's awareness of and skill in living. It really had nothing whatever to to with 'leaving marks'..

Very, very nicely put. Thank you.

Leather&Wool
02-23-2012, 11:15 PM
In further consideration of "leaving marks"

If someone with poetic thoughts never puts a pen to paper or a voice to the silence,
If someone with creative ideas never shapes such ideas into some form of expression,
If a man moves through the world but never intentionally changes it in his passing, can he really be an artist?

x39
02-23-2012, 11:21 PM
Leather & Wool, point taken, but ultimately the artist need only please him or her self.

snowwalker
02-24-2012, 12:57 AM
Thanks for posting this thread. I share opinion that Bushcraft is an Art on itself. Painters were always going out to the Nature for inspiration. I like to play and write music and many songs were born while I was sitting by the campfire being inspired by great Artwork of Nature. Playing instrument and jamming with birds is another great learning experience for me I am always looking forward to. They are among the Artists in the Woods and I respect them for their talent and patience to jam with us humans.I admire all the Artwork posted on this forum ,thanks for sharing it.

Leather&Wool
02-24-2012, 02:14 AM
It seems to me art is not something that can be done alone, in a vacumn. Art is a process of relationship. A give and take of force and resistance.
A force because you seek to impose a new order upon the world. A resistance because the world already has an established order beyond your imagination.
Lets say you intend to shape a wooden bowl. You have a image in your mind that you attempt to create in the wood. But the wood has inherent characteristics and structure that will deflect to some degree your original intentions. And this begins the change or evolution of your intent. Art is the marriage of creative intent and physical reality. And like all relationships the end product is a history of give and take until a balance is reached or the creative spirit is defeated. Art is the history of that relationship, like ash is the history of the campfire. But the force of that reality is the combustion made possible through the relationships involved.

ckirk1311
02-25-2012, 03:46 PM
So, I present the question to you, what is Bushcraft Art? Examples would be excellent, if possible. :D

Anything Dick Proenneke ever made is considered bushcraft art to me. Gazebos and trellis' made of hand hewn lumber kinda tickle my fancy. Most all campcraft is art to me on some level or another.

If it can't be used in some way to accomplish something, it's generally considered a worthless thing to me so things that hang on walls or stand in the center of town squares, rooms in a house or anywhere else isn't art. Many will disagree and so be it. :)

To me a thing is either useful to some extent or it's not useful. There is no art.

Leather&Wool
02-25-2012, 05:27 PM
Anything Dick Proenneke ever made is considered bushcraft art to me. Gazebos and trellis' made of hand hewn lumber kinda tickle my fancy. Most all campcraft is art to me on some level or another.

If it can't be used in some way to accomplish something, it's generally considered a worthless thing to me so things that hang on walls or stand in the center of town squares, rooms in a house or anywhere else isn't art. Many will disagree and so be it. :)

To me a thing is either useful to some extent or it's not useful. There is no art.

If useful means it is something that can only cut, bind, burn etc. Then by that criteria alone one could say " there is no art", only levals of craftsmanship.
But if an object or activity that serves serves to cut, burn or bind etc. also awakens the human mind to greater awareness in its relationship and response to life; then I would say it approaches art.

It may be noteworthy that native american art, the art created by some master bushcrafters; typically had a connection to awareness of spirit. Objects of utility in the physical world also had their use in the spirit world. And in exploring the world of spirit, of human awareness, the artisan would find inspiration and return with beauty in their minds that found expression in their work.

x39
02-25-2012, 10:42 PM
Leather&Wool, some very interesting and well thought out ideas. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.