Archives For Craft

 

A review of

Creator Spirit:
The Holy Spirit and the Art of Becoming Human.

Steven R. Guthrie.
Paperback: Baker Academic, 2011.
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Review by Sarah Winfrey.

While working on my novel the other day, I had an unusual experience. My characters were talking along, when one of them said something profound. It wasn’t the profundity of her words that surprised me, but rather the fact that what she said wasn’t something I knew, or at least wasn’t something I could have articulated before she said it. In fact, her words seemed to come from someplace other than myself, somewhere outside of me.

Artists and other creative people, as well as those who enjoy their works, have long touted the close relationship between spirituality and creative endeavors. This is especially true among Christians, who like to talk about creativity coming directly from the Holy Spirit, as one of His many gifts. According to these people, what happened with my character wasn’t as unusual as it felt in that moment, but is actually commonplace among those who spend much time practicing art.

In Creator Spirit, Steven R. Guthrie attempts to examine these creative experiences, not necessarily to illuminate the creative process, though some of that happens along the way, but to see what we can learn about the Spirit through these experiences.

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“The Colorful Genesis of An Art

A review of
The Paper Garden:
An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72

by Molly Peacock.

Review by Brittany Buczynski.

Paper Garden - Molly PeacockThe Paper Garden:
An Artist Begins Her Life’s Work at 72

Molly Peacock.
Hardback: Bloomsbury, 2011.
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It’s not often that the genesis of a new art form can be pinpointed. Who wrote the first rhyming couplet? Who composed the first symphony? Who first strung and twisted together yarn until it became a knitted whole? Most of these initial eureka moments are lost, even though the art they birthed could survive for thousands of years.

The Paper Garden has the rare honor of tracing the history behind an original art form, the craft we now know as paper collage, and with it the patchwork life of its elderly inventor, one Mrs. Mary Granville Pendarves Delany.

As if that circuitous name doesn’t give it away, Mrs. Delany led quite an eventful life, which is explored in detail in Molly Peacock’s lovingly rendered—and beautifully illustrated—history of the artist behind the work. Here are the basics, just to give a flavor of Mary’s impressive biography and the extensive research that the author had to do in retelling her life story.

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A Review of

From Head to Hand:
Art and the Manual
.
David Levi Strauss.
Hardback: Oxford UP, 2010.
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Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.

FROM HEAD TO HAND - David Levi StraussIt’s hard to describe exactly the scope of David Levi Strauss’ new book From Head to Hand: Art and the Manual; it begins where I might expect, with several essays narrating the physical materialization of ideas in the work of hands-on, process-oriented artists. Continuing through this book, though, the focus broadens to include larger social contexts, the cultural tradition of art, and artists and writers influential for Strauss as a writer. Very early on, anyway, Strauss introduces “making things by hand” as a radical act in our disconnected age, in that “it puts human beings in a direct, rather than hidden, relation to labor” (2); stated more broadly, “ ‘to utter that which is unutterable, to render audible that which is ineffable, to render visible that which is hidden’ ” (159) is the translation ‘from head to hand’ by which all human art is performed. The Word becoming Flesh is an irresistible metaphor (and partially the subject of the final chapter), an ultimate creative act by which separations such as mind and body and spirit become much more fluid. Human work, then, that deals directly with the transformation of materials, and specifically visual or textual art, is also bound up in the reciprocal process between ideas and materials.

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