It is called crafts both the work and the creations made by the craftsmen (a person who performs manual work). It is a type of art in which you work primarily with your hands, molding various objects for commercial or merely artistic or creative purposes. One of the fundamental characteristics of this work is that it develops without the help of machines or automated processes . This makes each craft work a unique and incomparable object, which gives it an extremely special character.
Some examples where the term appears are: “When we toured the north, I bought several typical crafts”, “My aunt gave me aboriginal crafts to decorate my new house”, “Most of the local population lives on handicrafts”.
In opposition to industrial or serial productions, a craft is defined as a thorough and detailed work where each object is unique and should receive special attention. To carry out this work the artisans put into practice various techniques manuals learned and developed over time.
Within the cultural baggage of a town and its traditional culture Crafts occupy an important place. So it is that the origins of this type of manual work go back to times before rise of the industrial era . Thousands of years ago there were already crafts and were developed with various materials. In each place, taking into account the possibilities of the environment varied the type of crafts that were manufactured: according to the raw material that each space offered.
It is important to note that crafts can have a aesthetic purpose (for example, a decorative painting), ritual (a mask) or functional (a vessel to put water). At this point it is strongly differentiated from industrial work since in the creation of each object the combination of design and art is pursued.
Marketing and competition
As we have already said, craft work requires a lot of dedication because each piece is developed manually; therefore, a large number of objects cannot be made at a time. This it makes marketing very difficult of these products in large stores and commercial chains and forces artisans to look for other means of dissemination and commercialization.
The commercialization of handicrafts is usually carried out directly (from the artisan to the buyer) or through small markets or cooperatives
On the other hand, these products must compete with industrialists that, many times, have similar characteristics, in an attempt to imitate the unique properties of handicrafts. And here there is a latent problem for artisans: not only is the industry's production level higher in quantity, but it is also more economical.
At industrial world series production allows low production costs which results in cheaper final prices. Apart from the fact that the raw material used by the industry is usually of lower quality, these problems are presented as important obstacles for all those who try to sell handicrafts and live off the business. For all this, sometimes, artisans must resort to greater versatility ; for example, to develop different types of products to offer a greater variety and thereby attract potential customers in different commercial fields.
Despite the problems that competition may mean for manual work, it is important to mention that the products themselves have no comparison: the crafts enjoy a quality that makes them unique (thanks to having been developed with special attention one by one) while industrial products are only dozens of identical objects that lack soul and have not been thought of as individuality as a artistic object .