An artisan, also called a craftsman, is a skilled manual worker who crafts items that may be functional or strictly decorative, including furniture, clothing, jewelry, household items, and tools. The use of hands and hand tools impart an individuality to each item lacking in manufactured goods. Artisans traditionally work in media such as wood, ceramics, glass, common and precious metals, basketry, textiles, and leather, but as an adjective the term is also used to describe handcrafted foods and beverages.
Artisan originsArtisans were the dominant producers of goods before the Industrial Revolution. According to Classical economics theory, the division of labor occurs with internal market development (Adam Smith). However, according to economist John Hicks, merchants and artisans originated as servants to the rulers, which occurred much earlier. Artisans employ creative thinking and manual dexterity to produce their goods.
Artisan jewelryArtisan jewelry dates back as far as 7000 BCE, when gold and copper began to be sculpted to adorn the human form, and the practice continues today. Although rarely price-competitive with machine-made items, artisan handmade jewelry is prized for its uniqueness, variety, and often unsurpassed beauty. Reflecting the talents of the artisan onto the wearer, the broad spectrum of artisan jewelry is available to provide satisfaction to royalty, rock stars, and "everyday folk." Thousands of jewelry artisans exist around the globe. Some fine examples of artisan jewelry can be seen at The Metropolitan Museum http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/ajew/hd_ajew.htm, and Sif Sigli http://www.sifsigli.com.
Quilt artisansQuilt-maker artisans are called quilters. These artisans are mostly women who make quilts especially in their houses. Quilt making is traditional folk art worldwide, including south Asia where their traditional quilts are called Ralli quilts.
craftspeople in Catalan: Artesà
craftspeople in Danish: Håndværker
craftspeople in German: Kunsthandwerk
craftspeople in Estonian: Käsitööline
craftspeople in Spanish: Artesano
craftspeople in French: Artisanat
craftspeople in Italian: Artigiano
craftspeople in Hebrew: אומן
craftspeople in Japanese: 職人
craftspeople in Norwegian: Handverker
craftspeople in Norwegian Nynorsk: Handverkar
craftspeople in Polish: Rzemieślnik
craftspeople in Swedish: Hantverkare