The Art of Industry


Author/Creator ORCID



Type of Work


Hood College Art and Archeology


Hood College Ceramic Arts

Citation of Original Publication


Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 United States


"An industrialist is an artist" -John Cotton Dana Is this true? It seems that much of the population believes that it is not, and that art and industry are not only distinct categories but are at odds with each other. I believe that those holding this opinion do so largely based on a misunderstanding of the processes that go into manufacturing. There is a belief that, since the industrial revolution, people are no longer involved in manufacturing and that machines do everything. How can it be art if it was made by a machine? Another reason for the misconception is that, even when made aware of the human efforts that go into manufacturing processes, it is the “unskilled” labor of an assembly line that is seen. How can it be art if no one person is the “artist”? But, if you trace the steps backwards, you will realize the artist is the one who orchestrated all the moving parts: machines, people, molds, tools, materials, prototypes, and designs to all come together to make the process which creates the product. This is “the art of industry.”