Woodworking being done in a workshop
Shoes are repaired by a skilled shoemaker, here he evaluates a pair of shoes with a customer watching

A craft is a branch of a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. In historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Medieval history and earlier, the term is usually applied towards people occupied in small-scale production of goods.


Development from the past until today

Historically, craftsmen tended to concentrate in urban centers and formed the guilds. Trade occupation and the need to be permanently involved in the exchange of goods also demanded a generally higher level of education and in societal hierarchy the craftsmen were usually in a more privileged position than the peasantry.

The households of the members of the society occupied in trade professions were not as self-sufficient as of those engaged in agricultural work and, as such, had to rely on exchange of goods.

Once an apprentice of a craft had finished his apprenticeship, he would become a journeyman searching for a place to set up his own shop and make a living. After he set up his own shop he could then be called a master of his craft.

This system of a stepwise approach to mastery of a craft which invokes the obtainment of a certain amount of education and the learning of skills, has survived in some countries of the world until today, although craft has undergone deep structural changes during the era of the Industrial Revolution in which mass production of goods of the industry has limited craft to areas of life which large scale industry could not satisfy - due to its modes of functioning - or in which mass-produced goods would not meet the preferences of potential buyers. Moreover, as an outcome of these changes, craftspeople increasingly make use of semi-finished components or materials today, and accomplish and adapt such a kind of ware to their customers' requirements or demands and, if necessary, to the environments of their customers, taking it in hand, in case fitting-work is needed, and thus augment what the industry already had produced - through participating in a certain division of labour between industry and craft.

Work branches of craft

For getting an overview of the work branches, see:

Handicraft: The "traditional" main sector of craft

Street handicraft: here a skilled metalsmith in Agra, India sits between scooters in a commercial area making careful observations in the practice of his trade

The Arts and Crafts Movement

A product of handicraft: a relief of a simple house façade made as a decorative item

The term crafts is often used to describe the family of artistic practices within the family decorative arts that traditionally are defined by their relationship to functional or utilitarian products (such as sculptural forms in the vessel tradition) or by their use of such natural media as wood, clay, glass, textiles, and metal.

Studio crafts

Crafts practiced by independent artists working alone or in small groups are often referred to as studio craft.

Studio craft includes studio pottery, metal work, weaving, wood turning and other forms of wood working, glass blowing, and glass art.

Craft fairs

A craft fair is an organized event to display crafts by a number of exhibitors. There are craft shops where such goods are sold and craft communities, such as Craftster, where expertise is shared.

Craft as a classification

In English, to describe something as a craft is to describe it as lying somewhere between an art (which relies on talent) and a science (which relies on knowledge). In this sense, the English word craft is roughly equivalent to the ancient Greek term techne.

Folk art follows craft traditions, in contrast to fine art or "high art".

Related uses

Both Freemasonry and Wicca are known as 'The Craft' by their adherents.


See also

External links

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Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Craft — (kr[.a]ft), n. [AS. cr[ae]ft strength, skill, art, cunning; akin to OS., G., Sw., & Dan. kraft strength, D. kracht, Icel. kraptr; perh. originally, a drawing together, stretching, from the root of E. cramp.] 1. Strength; might; secret power. [Obs …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • craft´i|ly — craft|y «KRAF tee, KRAHF », adjective, craft|i|er, craft|i|est. 1. skillful in deceiving others; sly; tricky: »a crafty villain. The crafty fox lured the rabbit from its hole …   Useful english dictionary

  • craft|y — «KRAF tee, KRAHF », adjective, craft|i|er, craft|i|est. 1. skillful in deceiving others; sly; tricky: »a crafty villain. The crafty fox lured the rabbit from its hole …   Useful english dictionary

  • craft — [krɑːft ǁ kræft] noun [countable] JOBS a job or activity that takes a lot of skill, usually one in which you make things using your hands and special tools: • the blacksmith s craft • He learnt the film making craft at Pinewood studios …   Financial and business terms

  • craft — [n1] expertise, skill ability, adeptness, adroitness, aptitude, art, artistry, cleverness, competence, cunning, dexterity, expertness, ingenuity, knack, know how*, proficiency, technique; concepts 409,706 craft [n2] deceit, scheme art, artfulness …   New thesaurus

  • craft — [kraft, kräft] n. [ME < OE cræft, strength, power; akin to Ger kraft, strength, force (sense “skill” only in E) < IE * grep < base * ger , to twist, turn (see CRADLE): basic sense “cramping of muscles during exertion of strength”] 1. a… …   English World dictionary

  • Craft — Craft, v. t. To play tricks; to practice artifice. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] You have crafted fair. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • -craft — [kraft, kräft] 〚/span> CRAFT〛 combining form the work, skill, or practice of * * * …   Universalium

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  • craft — index business (occupation), calling, career, contrivance, deception, device (contrivance), discretion …   Law dictionary

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