What is aesthetic if there is not a form on for hand?
Is it possible to visualize aesthetic? Is there a method, philosophically, for contemporary art and
I am from Norway, writing my final BA in Art, Ceramics.
It is difficult to understand precisely what you mean, especially by the words "form on for hand". I
assume by "visual aesthetic" you are asking whether we can see artistic features of a work and that
with regard to "method" you want to know if there is an account of how artistic features of a work are
produced. Ceramics is interesting in these respects because it is not essentially an art.
- G. Collingwood in The Principles of Artdistinguishes between art and craft. A craft, Collingwood
holds, is a specialized skill and a person with such a skill can produce artefacts which are considered
to have aesthetic qualities, or held to be works of art, but need not do so. The ordinary craftsman
works with a raw material, e.g. clay, which he plans to make into an end product, and he has a
precise idea in mind of how the product is to end up. It is essential to the craftsman that he has an
idea in mind of what it is he wants to actually make before he begins because he is working to make
something for which there is some demand: He is not, as the artist is, essentially driven by a creative
Like a craftsman or ordinary potter, you possess a taught technique of skill but it doesn't follow that
you are simply a craftsman. With ceramics, you may or may not be planning for your work to be used.
If you have an urge to create because of an innate talent, you may take it that you are, at least
potentially, an artist. If you want to create something which is beautiful, which you want to be
contemplated as such by others, as opposed to an artefact which is to be used, then you have the
approach of an artist. However, you are only an artist if you successfully create an object worthy of
contemplation and appreciation. For an object to be a work of art it must have aesthetic features.
Unfortunately, the aesthetic features of a work of art which cannot be described. This is simply
because they are aesthetic, i.e. ineffable, elusive qualities which require an aesthetic attitude, an
ability or the imagination, to be appreciated. Although we cannot pick out aesthetic features this
doesn't mean that they are not seen. If we couldn't see them, they wouldn't be visual features of the
object. But it is generally thought that beauty is something which is seen even if this is described as
an "impression" in response to the work of art.
You ask about "form" and "the hand".
Firstly, on form, it is peculiar to the craft that an object is made out of the particular matter, clay, and
the craftsman gives this the form of a vase. But the form of a vase is not sufficient in itself to produce
the artistic features. There must be a further aesthetic quality which you, as the artist produce and by
means of which you can distinguish yourself from the craftsman.
As to the fact that you use your hands, you can still create art. Modern art allows all manner of
techniques. You might create a work of art by painting with your hands.
Finally, there is not a "method", as such, for the creation of art. As above, it is assumed that there
should be an artistic creative drive, as opposed to a desire to create a useful object, in addition to
excellent technique. There must also be ultimate success in producing an object worthy of aesthetic
appreciation. To know if you have achieved this, there needs to be some criterion of evaluation.
There are approaches in philosophy which try to say what it is to appreciate a work of art, or what
makes something a work of art. Some accounts have it that simply to display something as a work of
art, or to hold it up to be contemplated by others, makes it art. Other philosophers hold that a work of
art falls within a history of art and to know the place of an object within the world of art is to be able to
appreciate it properly. I expect you can find some introductory books which summarize these
approaches to help with your work.