The Endless Divide Between Art and Craft

Crafting + Art Making

The other day I went into Blick (Art Supply Store) pretty much anticipating that they would not have what I needed. I needed one of those water soluble fabric markers – the kind you can use to draw on fabric and then wash it away. They sell them at fabric stores and craft stores but I don’t have one of those near me so I figured I would try Blick…

Me: Hi I am looking for a water soluble marker, to use on fabric…
Guy: A fabric marker or a washable marker? They are two different things…
Me: A marker I can use on fabric that will wash away, for marking fabric temporarily.
Guy: Okay…
*guy starts walking, I follow*
Guy: This is what we have. *Points to Crayola markers*
Me: No, I need the kind that is made specifically for washing out of fabric.
Guy: These are washable
Me: These are washable for, like, if kids scribble on each other or the walls…
Guy: It says they are washable…
Me: Well this isn’t what I want, I’m not just going to draw on my fabric with a Crayola marker and hope this fully washes out.
Guy: These markers are made to be washed out.
*Now I double check to make sure this isn’t some fancy kind of Crayola marker i’ve never seen before, it is not*
Me: They don’t wash out of paper…
*he is getting mad at me because he is confused*
Guy: what you are looking for doesn’t exist.
Me: I have tons of them, they are just dried up… it’s the kind maybe fashion designers would use (Trying to put it more into perspective) before they cut any fabric, maybe they would mark it…
Guy: Well, we have Prismacolor markers but those won’t wash out…
*This is where I think I laughed*
Me: okay, I don’t think you have what I need…
Guy: Exactly
And then he walked away…

I understand that there are reasons for having art supply stores separate from craft stores. Kind of.  I do see some reasons for that. But what I don’t understand is how the usually very knowledgable people at Blick would act as if they have NEVER heard of such a tool, like the one I was looking for.

Is the divide between art and craft, either actually or just for this one person, really so huge that he thought, “oh this chick needs something crafty, let me take her to the lesser quality, random shit we have in the store for kids…” ?

Had he understood what I meant when I first said “Water soluble marker for fabric” he simply could’ve said, “No, we don’t have those.” Rather than bring me a wild goose chase around the children’s section…

That’s another thing, just a tiny observation, all the yarn, embroidery floss, knitting materials, felt and the like… are in the children’s area of the store. All the “crafty” things are in the children’s section of the art store.

Does this mean that the company believes craft comes before art?
Or that crafts are the lesser form of art?

It’s probably the latter, or, it’s possible that it means nothing at all, although, I doubt it…

Probably shouldn’t really be upset about it – I mean, Marina Abramovic wouldn’t expect to go to Blick and find what she needed…

Just to clarify, it is my personal opinion that you cannot have art without craft, and that craft is a form of art. Now is not the time to expand upon that but maybe someday.


hello + welcome

Oh, hi! Welcome to The Merriweather Council. I’m Danielle and I am a maker in business and mentor to other makers in business. I teach you how to turn your crafty tendencies into profits!

Oh, I’m also really into crafts, boy bands + iced coffee. Email me anytime to say hello or send cute Backstreet Boy videos or dog pictures .. or whatever! danielle (at) Thanks for stopping by.

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