Jump to navigation

Crafts Council

Home // News & Features // Seven-Course Tenor Lute, Stephen Gottlieb
  • Seven-Course Tenor Lute, Stephen Gottlieb, 1979. Photo: Nick Moss

Seven-Course Tenor Lute, Stephen Gottlieb

Chosen by Rebecca Mellor, First Decade Volunteer 

We ask makers, curators, designers, creative practitioners and the Crafts Council team to select their favourite object from the Crafts Council Collection and to tell us why.

Rebecca Mellor, First Decade Volunteer 

What differentiates art from craft and function from form. I feel that this object embodies that conflict.

This Seven-Course Tenor Lute created in 1979 really brought back memories of my early musical training. More than that, however, as I've been delving deeper into the craft world, I have become interested in what differentiates art from craft and function from form. I feel that this object embodies that conflict. Here is an object that is really part of an historical tradition, perhaps matching my own love for the classics, that has a new life in the contemporary craft world. At what point does the craftsmanship of an object overtake the functionality of an object? To be a successful instrument craftsman, the tactile and auditory elements of your work are equally as important as the visual, particularly when you want to stay true to the historical significance and heritage of something like a lute. Is this true of all craft in the contemporary world? At what point does this object move away from its function as a musical instrument to become part of the British craft tradition?

View this object on Collections Online

The First Decade project is an online resource of material related to objects acquired by the Crafts Council Collection between 1972 and 1982 and a learning and volunteer and research programme.

Home
Close