Julian Stocks, glass sculptor
‘It is the etymology of words that stimulates my thinking. When I was at art college I remember looking up “art” in both the Concise Oxford Dictionary and American Heritage Dictionary, and found two very different concepts.
The English definition concentrated on the idea of skill, while the American definition stressed the idea of beauty. I remember thinking that if the compilers of these dictionaries did not agree on a definition of art, why should I worry about the definitions of my practice, This gave me a freedom. I did what I did, for reasons that I could declare, and that was the end of the matter. I would be my own authority.
And for me, craft is synonymous with art, opening the door to an identical territory limited only by human imagination and the physical limitations of materials. So, it is the English emphasis on skill, imaginative or manipulative, that has the greatest charm for me. Something again that we find in our language, whether this is a crafty magician performing some impossible trick, or the Artful Dodger plucking silk handkerchiefs from your pockets.'