Arts and crafts
Overview
 
Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

s or "traditional crafts" (doing things the old way) and "the rest". Some crafts have been practised for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularisations of crafts which were originally practised in a very small geographic area.

Most crafts require a combination of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more basic level by virtually anyone.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with one's hands and skill. These can be sub-divided into handicraft
Handicraft
Handicraft, more precisely expressed as artisanic handicraft, sometimes also called artisanry, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or by using only simple tools. It is a traditional main sector of craft. Usually the term is applied to traditional means...

s or "traditional crafts" (doing things the old way) and "the rest". Some crafts have been practised for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularisations of crafts which were originally practised in a very small geographic area.

Most crafts require a combination of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more basic level by virtually anyone. Many community centre
Community centre
Community centres or community centers or jumping recreation centers are public locations where members of a community tend to gather for group activities, social support, public information, and other purposes. They may sometimes be open for the whole community or for a specialised group within...

s 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 (a few months, or a few years), spreading rapidly among the crafting population as everyone emulates the first examples, then their popularity wanes until a later resurgence.

Movement

Arts and crafts also refers to the Arts and Crafts Movement
Arts and Crafts movement
Arts and Crafts was an international design philosophy that originated in England and flourished between 1860 and 1910 , continuing its influence until the 1930s...

, a late 19th century design reform and social movement. Its proponents were motivated by the ideals of William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 and John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

, who proposed that in pre-industrial societies, such as the European Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, people had achieved fulfillment through the creative process of handicrafts. This was held up in contrast to what was perceived to be the alienating effects of industrial labour.
These activities are called craft
Craft
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...

s
because originally many of them were professions under the guild
Guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

 system. Adolescents were apprenticed to a master-craftsman, and they refined their skills over a period of years in exchange for low wages. By the time their training was complete, they were well-equipped to set up in trade for themselves, earning their living with the skill that could be traded directly within the community, often for goods and services. The Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 and the increasing mechanisation of production processes gradually reduced or eliminated many of the roles professional craftspeople played, and today "crafts" are most commonly seen as a form of hobby
Hobby
A hobby is a regular activity or interest that is undertaken for pleasure, typically done during one's leisure time.- Etymology :A hobby horse is a wooden or wickerwork toy made to be ridden just like a real horse...

 or art.

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 labour
Manual labour
Manual labour , manual or manual work is physical work done by people, most especially in contrast to that done by machines, and also to that done by working animals...

 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 ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

s, glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

, textiles, metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

 and wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

. These products are produced within a specific community of practice
Community of practice
A community of practice is, according to cognitive anthropologists Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger, a group of people who share an interest, a craft, and/or a profession. The group can evolve naturally because of the members' common interest in a particular domain or area, or it can be created...

 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
Rural crafts
Rural crafts refers to the traditional crafts production that is carried on, simply for everyday practical use, in the agricultural countryside. Once widespread and commonplace, the survival of some rural crafts is now in doubt....

 of the agricultural countryside.
Craftsmanship refers to Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

'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.

Types of arts and 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:

Crafts involving textiles

  • Banner-making
    Banner-making
    Banner-making is the ancient art or craft of sewing banners. Techniques used include applique, embroidery, fabric painting, patchwork and others.-Trade union banners:...

  • Calligraphy
    Calligraphy
    Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

  • Canvas work
    Canvas work
    Canvas work is a type of embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a canvas or other foundation fabric. Canvas work is a form of counted-thread embroidery...

  • Cross-stitch
    Cross-stitch
    Cross-stitch is a popular form of counted-thread embroidery in which X-shaped stitches in a tiled, raster-like pattern are used to form a picture. Cross-stitch is often executed on easily countable evenweave fabric called aida cloth. The stitcher counts the threads in each direction so that the...

  • Crochet
    Crochet
    Crochet is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by...

    ing
  • Curve stitching
    String art
    String art, or pin and thread art, is characterized by an arrangement of colored thread strung between points to form abstract geometric patterns or representational designs such as a ship's sails, sometimes with other artist material comprising the remainder of the work. Thread, wire, or string is...

  • Embroidery
    Embroidery
    Embroidery is the art or handicraft of decorating fabric or other materials with needle and thread or yarn. Embroidery may also incorporate other materials such as metal strips, pearls, beads, quills, and sequins....

  • Felting
  • Knitting
    Knitting
    Knitting is a method by which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Knitted fabric consists of consecutive rows of loops, called stitches. As each row progresses, a new loop is pulled through an existing loop. The active stitches are held on a needle until another loop can...

  • Lace-making
  • Lucet
    Lucet
    A lucet is a tool used in cordmaking or braiding which is believed to date back to the Viking and Medieval periods, when it was utilized to create cords that were used on clothing, or to hang useful items from the belt. Lucet cord is square, strong, and slightly springy. It closely resembles...

  • Macrame
    Macramé
    Macramé or macrame is a form of textile-making using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of "hitching": full hitch and double half hitches...

  • Millinery
  • Needlepoint
    Needlepoint
    Needlepoint is a form of counted thread embroidery in which yarn is stitched through a stiff open weave canvas. Most needlepoint designs completely cover the canvas...

  • Patchwork
    Patchwork
    Patchwork or "pieced work" is a form of needlework that involves sewing together pieces of fabric into a larger design. The larger design is usually based on repeat patterns built up with different colored shapes. These shapes are carefully measured and cut, straight-sided, basic geometric shapes...

  • Quilting
    Quilting
    Quilting is a sewing method done to join two or more layers of material together to make a thicker padded material. A quilter is the name given to someone who works at quilting. Quilting can be done by hand, by sewing machine, or by a specialist longarm quilting system.The process of quilting uses...

  • Ribbon embroidery
  • Rug making
    Rug making
    Rug making is an ancient craft, and covers a variety of techniques.-Braided:Braided rugs are made by using three or more strips of fabric, usually wool, folding the raw edges to the middle and braiding them together. For an oval rug the center braid should be one inch longer than the width-length...

  • Sewing
    Sewing
    Sewing is the craft of fastening or attaching objects using stitches made with a needle and thread. Sewing is one of the oldest of the textile arts, arising in the Paleolithic era...

  • Shoemaking
    Shoemaking
    Shoemaking is the process of making footwear. Originally, shoes were made one at a time by hand. Traditional handicraft shoemaking has now been largely superseded in volume of shoes produced by industrial mass production of footwear, but not necessarily in quality, attention to detail, or...

  • Spinning (textiles)
    Spinning (textiles)
    Spinning is a major industry. It is part of the textile manufacturing process where three types of fibre are converted into yarn, then fabric, then textiles. The textiles are then fabricated into clothes or other artifacts. There are three industrial processes available to spin yarn, and a...

  • Spirelli (also see Scrapbooking
    Scrapbooking
    Scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of a scrapbook. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling...

    )
  • String art
    String art
    String art, or pin and thread art, is characterized by an arrangement of colored thread strung between points to form abstract geometric patterns or representational designs such as a ship's sails, sometimes with other artist material comprising the remainder of the work. Thread, wire, or string is...

  • Tapestry
    Tapestry
    Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

  • Tatting
    Tatting
    Tatting is a technique for handcrafting a particularly durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Tatting can be used to make lace edging as well as doilies, collars, and other decorative pieces. The lace is formed by a pattern of rings and chains formed from a series of cow hitch,...

  • T-shirt art
    T-shirt
    A T-shirt is a style of shirt. A T-shirt is buttonless and collarless, with short sleeves and frequently a round neck line....

  • Weaving
    Weaving
    Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...


Crafts involving wood, metal or clay

  • Cabinet making
    Cabinet making
    Cabinet making is the practice of using various woodworking skills to create cabinets, shelving and furniture.Cabinet making involves techniques such as creating appropriate joints, dados, bevels, chamfers and shelving systems, the use of finishing tools such as routers to create decorative...

  • Carpentry
    Carpentry
    A carpenter is a skilled craftsperson who works with timber to construct, install and maintain buildings, furniture, and other objects. The work, known as carpentry, may involve manual labor and work outdoors....

  • Chip carving
    Chip carving
    Chip carving or chip-carving, kerbschnitt in German, is a style of carving in which knives or chisels are used to remove small chips of the material from a flat surface in a single piece. The style became important in Migration Period metalwork, mainly Animal style jewellery, where the faceted...

  • Jewelry
  • Marquetry
    Marquetry
    Marquetry is the art and craft of applying pieces of veneer to a structure to form decorative patterns, designs or pictures. The technique may be applied to case furniture or even seat furniture, to decorative small objects with smooth, veneerable surfaces or to freestanding pictorial panels...

  • Metalworking
    Metalworking
    Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills,...

  • Pottery
    Pottery
    Pottery is the material from which the potteryware is made, of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery . Pottery also refers to the art or craft of the potter or the manufacture of pottery...

  • Sculpture
    Sculpture
    Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

  • Wood burning
  • Wood turning
  • Woodworking
    Woodworking
    Woodworking is the process of building, making or carving something using wood.-History:Along with stone, mud, and animal parts, wood was one of the first materials worked by early humans. Microwear analysis of the Mousterian stone tools used by the Neanderthals show that many were used to work wood...

  • Fretwork
    Fretwork
    Fretwork is an interlaced decorative design that is either carved in low relief on a solid background, or cut out with a fretsaw, coping saw, jigsaw or scroll saw. Most fretwork patterns are geometric in design. The materials most commonly used are wood and metal. Fretwork is used to adorn...


Crafts involving paper or canvas

  • Paper craft
    • Altered Books
    • Bookbinding
    • Cardmaking
      Cardmaking
      Cardmaking is the craft of hand-making greeting cards. Many people with interests in allied crafts such as scrapbooking and stamping have begun to use their skills to start making handmade cards. This has contributed to cardmaking becoming a popular hobby....

    • Collage
      Collage
      A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

    • Decollage
      Décollage
      Décollage, in art, is the opposite of collage; instead of an image being built up of all or parts of existing images, it is created by cutting, tearing away or otherwise removing, pieces of an original image. Examples include inimage or etrécissements and excavations...

    • Decoupage
      Decoupage
      Decoupage is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf and so on. Commonly an object like a small box or an item of furniture is covered by cutouts from magazines or from purpose-manufactured papers...

    • Embossing
    • Iris Folding
      Iris Folding
      Iris folding is a paper craft technique that involves folding strips of colored paper in such a way to form a design. The center of the design forms an iris — a shape reminiscent of the iris diaphragm of a camera lens.-History:...

    • Papermaking
      Papermaking
      Papermaking is the process of making paper, a substance which is used universally today for writing and packaging.In papermaking a dilute suspension of fibres in water is drained through a screen, so that a mat of randomly interwoven fibres is laid down. Water is removed from this mat of fibres by...

    • Marbling
      Paper marbling
      Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other stone. The patterns are the result of color floated on either plain water or a viscous solution known as size, and then carefully transferred to an absorbent surface, such as paper or...

    • Origami
      Origami
      is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, which started in the 17th century AD at the latest and was popularized outside Japan in the mid-1900s. It has since then evolved into a modern art form...

       or Paper folding
    • Papier-mâché
      Papier-mâché
      Papier-mâché , alternatively, paper-mache, is a composite material consisting of paper pieces or pulp, sometimes reinforced with textiles, bound with an adhesive, such as glue, starch, or wallpaper paste....

    • Pop-up book
      Pop-up book
      The term pop-up book is often applied to any three-dimensional or movable book, although properly the umbrella term movable book covers pop-ups, transformations, tunnel books, volvelles, flaps, pull-tabs, pop-outs, pull-downs, and more, each of which performs in a different manner...

    • Quilling
      Quilling
      Quilling or paper filigree is an art form that involves the use of strips of paper that are rolled, shaped, and glued together to create decorative designs. The paper is wound around a quill to create a basic coil shape...

       or Paper Filigree
    • Paper model
      Paper model
      Paper models, also called card models or papercraft, are models constructed mainly from sheets of heavy paper, paperboard, or card stock.- Details :...

      , Papercraft or Card modelling
  • Artist Trading Cards
    Artist trading cards
    Artist Trading Cards are miniature works of art about the same size as modern baseball cards, or 2 ½ X 3 ½ inches , small enough to fit inside standard card-collector pockets, sleeves or sheets. The ATC movement developed out of the mail art movement and has its origins in Switzerland...

  • Calligraphy
    Calligraphy
    Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

  • Parchment craft
    Parchment craft
    Parchment Craft, also known as Pergamano, is the art of embellishing and decorating parchment paper through the use of techniques such as: embossing, perforating, stippling, cutting and coloring....

  • Scrapbooking
    Scrapbooking
    Scrapbooking is a method for preserving personal and family history in the form of a scrapbook. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journaling...

  • Rubber Stamping/Acrylic Stamping
    Rubber stamp
    Rubber stamping, also called stamping, is a craft in which some type of ink made of dye or pigment is applied to an image or pattern that has been carved, molded, laser engraved or vulcanized, onto a sheet of rubber. The rubber is often mounted onto a more stable object such as a wood, brick or an...


Crafts involving plants

  • Basket
    Basket
    A basket is a container which is traditionally constructed from stiff fibres, which can be made from a range of materials, including wood splints, runners, and cane. While most baskets are made from plant materials, other materials such as horsehair, baleen, or metal wire can be used. Baskets are...

     weaving
    Weaving
    Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making and felting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling...

  • Corn dolly making
    Corn dolly
    Corn dollies or corn mothers are a form of straw work made as part of harvest customs of Europe before mechanization.Before Christianisation, in traditional pagan European culture it was believed that the spirit of the corn lived amongst the crop, and that the harvest made it effectively homeless...

  • Floral Design
    Floral design
    Floral design is the art of using plant materials and flowers to create a pleasing and balanced composition. Evidence of refined floristry is found as far back as the culture of Ancient Egypt....

  • Pressed flower craft
    Pressed flower craft
    Pressed flower craft consists of drying flower petals and leaves in a flower press to flatten and exclude light and moisture. Pressing flowers makes them appear flat, and often there is a change in color, ranging from faded colors to a greater intensity of vibrant colors.The pressed flowers and...

  • Straw Marquetry
    Straw marquetry
    Straw marquetry is a craft very similar to that of wood marquetry, except that straw replaces the wood veneer. It is thought to have first been practised in the East; examples were brought to England in the 17th century....


Other crafts

  • Balloon animal
  • Beadwork
    Beadwork
    Beadwork is the art or craft of attaching beads to one another or to cloth, usually by the use of a needle and thread or soft, flexible wire. Most beadwork takes the form of jewelry or other personal adornment, but beads are also used in wall hangings and sculpture.Beadwork techniques are broadly...

  • Doll making
  • Dollhouse
    Dollhouse
    A dollhouse is a toy home, made in miniature. For the last century, dollhouses have primarily been the domain of children but their collection and crafting is also a hobby for many adults. The term dollhouse is common in the United States and Canada...

     construction and furnishing
  • Egg decorating
    Egg decorating
    Egg decorating is the art or craft of decorating eggs. It is quite a popular art/craft form because of the attractive, smooth, oval shape of the egg...

  • Etching
    Etching
    Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

  • Glassblowing
    Glassblowing
    Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble, or parison, with the aid of a blowpipe, or blow tube...

  • Lapidary
    Lapidary
    A lapidary is an artist or artisan who forms stone, mineral, gemstones, and other suitably durable materials into decorative items such as engraved gems, including cameos, or cabochons, and faceted designs...

  • Miniatures
    Scale model
    A scale model is a physical model, a representation or copy of an object that is larger or smaller than the actual size of the object, which seeks to maintain the relative proportions of the physical size of the original object. Very often the scale model is used as a guide to making the object in...

  • Mosaics
  • Pioneering
  • Stained glass
    Stained glass
    The term stained glass can refer to coloured glass as a material or to works produced from it. Throughout its thousand-year history, the term has been applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches and other significant buildings...

  • Toy making
  • Polymer clay
    Polymer clay
    Polymer clay is a sculptable material based on the polymer polyvinyl chloride . It usually contains no clay minerals, and is only called "clay" because its texture and working properties resemble those of mineral clay...

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