Indian Arts and Crafts Association
4010 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Promote, Preserve and Protect
Authentic American Indian Art
Thoughts by Jacque Foutz, Monsterslayer
Tell us what you think! Send your comments email@example.com.
This is an age old question. Here are my thoughts…
You are buying the artistry of the carver, or jeweler and not the material from which it was carved. As long as the
piece is honestly labeled as block turquoise, fine. Otherwise absolutely not!
Let’s take clay which is a natural material. Potters have been using clay for centuries in North America. BUT what if we take that
clay, make a slip and pour that into molds in order to mass produce a lot of pottery like plates or mugs? One is art and the other a uten-
sil. Each has its place, but not perhaps in an IACA show.
What about casting metal? Again the process is the argument and not the material. If you can cast 50 or 100 of an ob-
ject at once, some people feel that it’s no longer art — or maybe just not handmade art. There are some casting practices that can only
be used once or twice, or a limited edition is cast after which the mold is destroyed. IACA market rules do allow limited and numbered
edition castings for jewelry and sculpture.
And there’s laser cutting with a computer. Is that art? I don’t know.
I don’t see painters arguing about acrylic versus oil paints versus water colors. It’s the artistry and not the medium in that
genre. But what if the painting was done on a cast pot or a sculpture made in China?
I’m sure there’s a happy medium. As long as the buyer is fully aware of all the choices and materials used maybe it doesn’t make any
difference. There’s the rub though – not all information is fully shared. Artists and wholesalers like to use the “Didn’t ask – didn’t share”