"CRAFT" Definitions


1. "A pastime or a profession that requires some particular kind of skilled work. In a historical sense, particularly as pertinent to the Middle Ages and earlier, the term is usually applied to people occupied in small-scale production of goods, or their maintenance, for example by tinkers. The traditional terms craftsman and craftswoman are nowadays often replaced by artisan [or "maker"] and rarely by craftsperson (craftspeople).  

    (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craft

2. "An occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or skilled artistry [or] the membership of such an occupation or trade; guild."   

    (The Free Online Dictionary, Encyclopedia, and Thesaurus):  http://www.thefreedictionary.com/craft

3. "Skill in planning, making, or executing; an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill."

    (Merriam-Webster):    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/craft

4. "Craft practice" defies easy categorization because it ranges from innovative work that is experimental both in terms of its vision and its use of material, to traditional craft that supports and preserves our cultural heritage. It covers a spread of material disciplines from textiles to ceramics, woodwork to jewelry and a range of products from small portable items to architectural structures of considerable scale. It is exemplified by an engagement with material, form and function. There are a range of definitions of craft in the public domain created by different organizations, for differing purposes and all impacting on the landscape within which makers operate and the support they receive. Within this breadth of approach there are key elements which are generally recognized as synonymous with craft making such as the understanding of and engagement with materials, the application of haptic skills and hand-controlled tools, the honing of skills learnt over time, one-off or relatively small batch rather than mass production, maker impact on conception, design and aesthetics of finished product and cultural embedding of finished product."

Summary definition: ‘’Practices which employ manual dexterity and skill, and an understanding of traditional materials, designs and techniques to make or repair useful things."

[From: "Towards a Definition of Heritage Crafts," by Hilary Jennings - United Kingdom, c. 2011]

5. The word 'craft' comes from the Middle English word for 'strength' or 'skill' derived from the Old English word craeft which comes from Old High German kraft, for strength, and means “skill in planning, making, executing” and, by extension, “an occupation or trade requiring skill” and crafts, then, being those objects resulting from the application of that skill.  

[From: World History Encyclopedia, "Definition of Crafts"
6. "For me, craft has always meant something like 'making something well through hand skill,' no more and no less.... I have come to realize that no such innocent usage of the term is possible. That is because craft is a modern artifact in its own right.  For convenience, I use the terms 'artisan' and 'artisanal' when I want to talk about skilled people and skill-intensive practice in a less ideologically-charged manner."[From: Adamson, Glenn, The Invention of Craft, xxix.] 

HANDICRAFT, also known as craft work or simply craft, is a type of work where useful and decorative devices are made completely by hand or using only simple tools. 

[Wikipedia: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Handicraft]