Arts and crafts comprise many activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's own hands and skills. These can be sub-divided into handicrafts or "traditional crafts" (doing things the old way). Some crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a very small geographic area.
These activities are called crafts because originally many of them were professions. Adolescents were apprenticed to a master-craftsman, and they refined their skills over a period of years. By the time their training was complete, they were well-equipped to set up in trade for themselves, earning their living with the skill of their hands. The Industrial Revolution and the increasing mechanization of production processes gradually reduced or eliminated many of the roles professional craftspeople played, and today 'crafts' are most commonly seen as a hobby. Most crafts require a combination of skill and talent, but they can also be learned on a more basic level by virtually anyone.
The term craft also refers to the products of artistic production or creation that require a high degree of tacit knowledge, are highly technical, require specialized equipment and/or facilities to produce, involve manual labor or a blue-collar work ethic, are accessible to the general public and are constructed from materials with histories that exceed the boundaries of western art history, such as ceramics, glass, textiles, metal and wood. These products are produced within a specific community of practice and while they differ from the products produced within the communities of art and design, the boundaries of such often overlap resulting in hybrid objects. Additionally, as the interpretation and validation of art is frequently a matter of context, an audience may perceive crafted objects as art objects when these objects are viewed within an art context, such as in a museum or in a position of prominence in one’s home.
The specific name "Arts and Crafts movement" was also given to a design movement of the late 19th and early 20th century, whose proponents included William Morris and Edwin Lutyens. They believed that medieval craftsmen achieved a joy in the excellence of their work, which they strove to emulate.
Types of Arts/Crafts
There are almost as many variations on the theme of "arts and crafts" as there are crafters with time on their hands, but they can be broken down into a number of categories as follows.
|Textile Crafts:||Clay or Glass Crafts:||Paper or Canvas Crafts:|
|Quilting||Crafts Involving Plants:||Stamping|
|Rug Making||Basket Weaving||Other Crafts:|
|Sewing||Pressed Flower Craft||Doll Making|