An Introduction to Arts and crafts

Arts and crafts include a whole host of activities and hobbies that are associated to making things with one’s own hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicrafts or “traditional crafts” and “the rest”. Some crafts have been adept for centuries, while others are modern development, or popularizations of crafts which were originally trained in a very small geographic area. This term also refers to the Arts and Crafts movement, a late 19th century design reform and social movement. Most crafts need a combination of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more basic level by virtually anyone. Many community centers and schools run evening or day classes and workshops offering to teach basic craft skills in a short period of time. Many of these crafts become extremely popular for brief periods of time, distribution rapidly among the crafting population as everyone emulates the first examples, and then their popularity diminish until a later resurgence.

The term craft also refers to the products of artistic production or making that require a high degree of implicit knowledge, are highly technical, require particular 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 term can also refer to the useful rural crafts of the agricultural countryside. Craftsmanship refers to Plato’s idea of specialization, in which the lower society has a specific job in the greater society so that it functions properly as a whole.