How does CERF+ define "craft" as an artistic discipline?
Craft is the creation of original objects through the skillful manipulation of materials. These materials were traditionally considered to be clay, fiber, metal, wood, or glass. However, today’s craft artist may also employ concrete, plastic, synthetic fibers, recycled materials and other non-traditional materials. Craft objects may be functional or nonfunctional, but both types derive part of their meaning from their association with traditional functional forms such as chairs, vessels, garments or implements. Qualities that contribute to the success of a craft object include the skill of the maker, the beauty of the material, the refinement of the design, the familiarity of the form, the originality of expression – or all of these.
In addition to satisfying the above definition, eligible work must:
- Be well designed and executed, exhibiting integrity as traditional or contemporary craft
- Demonstrate technical competency and personal identity
- Be created by the applicant artist in a studio; some of the work may be created by others under his/her direct supervision
- Not be produced with commercial kits, molds, patterns, plans, prefabricated forms or other commercial methods
- Be created in the United States or by a U.S. artist while temporarily working abroad.
CERF+ assistance is given to individual craft artists in three categories:
1) Professional Craft Artist
For the three years before your recent emergency, you must have earned at least 50% of your income from the sale of your craft art (a portion of this income may come from a related activity, such as teaching craft) and spent at least 50% of your work time producing and marketing your work.
2) Professional Craft Artist/ Alternative
CERF+ recognizes that certain craft artists are producing bodies of work that are experimental, sufficiently new, or may not be commercially viable in the short term, yet are an important part of the vitality of the craft field. We understand that in some of these cases an artist may need to generate the majority of his or her income from sources other than the sale of this work. An applicant in this category must meet other, more stringent qualifications than the income/time requirement above. To be eligible, you must demonstrate outstanding quality and depth of work and commitment to your career through added documentation. See Supporting Documentation page for details.
3) Craft Artist/ Emerging Professional
CERF+ recognizes that many of the most acclaimed craft artists of tomorrow have only started to establish their careers today. We understand that these promising artists may not have years of significant income from their craft, but have gained recognition for their skill and creativity, and have taken strides to enter the professional realm. We are eager to assist a craft artist who can show his/her young career was on a clear trajectory to professional success before a recent, severe emergency took it off course. However, an applicant in this category must meet other, more stringent qualifications than the income/time requirement specified for a professional craft artist. To be eligible, you must demonstrate outstanding quality and depth of work and commitment to your career through added documentation. See Supporting Documentation page for details.
In addition to meeting one of the three craft artist category requirements above, all applicants must meet these eligibility requirements:
1) Suffered a recent career-threatening emergency
You must have experienced a recent, unforeseen emergency or triggering event that has significantly and adversely affected your ability to produce and/or market your work and, thus, creates the need for immediate relief funds and/or assistance.
2) Be a legal U.S. resident
Have questions about CERF+’s emergency relief assistance for professional craft artists? Complete our Emergency Assistance Inquiry form and we will contact you.