Becker in his essay â€˜The Arts and Craftsâ€™ has attempted to resolve and discuss, in some respects, the contradictions that developed during the post war era. He tries to define or perhaps realign the contexts in which these ideas are used by analyzing the relationship between arts and crafts through the evolution or perhaps devolution of craft to art and vice-versa; relying particularly on the example of ceramics in the 1960â€™s and 70â€™s.
In the chapter â€˜Arts and Craftsâ€™ he discusses the relationship between the arts and crafts and the boundaries that divide them or lack thereof: based on his experience in the United States. His biggest downfall to his argument is his lack of examples and references from other sources and mediums.
Becker's approach is fairly objective, giving a viable explanation to the topics approached. He writes that there is no clear and decisive interpretation of definition between arts and crafts and that depending on the contexts it is put into there can be a certain amount of transgression between the two worlds. Becker defines craft as the following, â€œIn the pure folk definition the craft consists of a body of knowledge and skill which can be used to produce useful objectsâ€. Or from the slightly different point of view, it consists of the ability to perform in a useful way. He goes on to outline the tangible aspects of usefulness, depending upon the context they are used in, being the external or internal factors of the world referred to.
In addition to function, â€˜skillâ€™ is determined to be a measure of the craft or craftsmanship. Becker continues to say that in certain circumstances beauty can also be part of the criteria, which weighs the balance of debate. Furthermore, although these criteria have been recognised and accepted by artists / craftsmen there are certain inconsistencies in the definitions, because different values have been placed on these criteria by groups.