Artisan crafts are handcrafted by skilled manual workers who use tools and, very rarely, machinery in a special way to produce unique articles. Artisans, also known as craftsmen, have been using their hands and imaginations for many centuries. Some artisan jewelry dates back as far as 7000 BC when gold and copper began to be used for adornment.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, craftsmen organized into guilds, which were associations of master artisans granted charters by local authorities. To become an artisan in a guild, a person worked as an unpaid apprentice under a master artisan.
If the apprentice completed the training, he became a paid journeyman, but to become a master artisan, he had to produce a masterpiece that met the standards of the guild.
Artisans were the dominant producers of goods before the industrial revolution. Even today, the most beautiful pottery, furniture, jewelry, tapestries, and glassware are made by artisans. Some of the most renowned examples of artisan crafts include the master artisan glassblowers in Venice and the artisan tapestry weavers in France.
In some remote villages in Italy and Peru, the entire community depends on the income from the work of their artisans.
Handcrafted artisan jewelry is particularly valued, especially if it represents a particular culture. Italian cameos are made by artisans, and Native American artisans produce some of the most stunning turquoise pieces. Other artisan crafts include rugs, woven baskets, and wood carvings, such as those made by African tribal artisans.
In conclusion, artisan crafts are unique, high-quality items made by skilled workers who use their hands and creativity to produce beautiful and functional objects. They have a long history and continue to be an important part of many cultures and communities around the world.