Handicrafts come in hundreds, if not thousands, of distinct varieties. The following list of crafts is provided solely for the purpose of illustration.

Appliqué, Crocheting, Embroidery, Felt-making, Knitting, Lace-making, Macramé, Quilting, Tapestry art, Weaving are all examples of textiles.

Woodcarving, woodturning, cabinet making, furniture making, and lacquerware are all examples of woodcraft.

Collage, Decoupage, Origami paper folding, and Papier-mâché are all examples of papercraft.

Crafts made of clay and glass (see also Ancient Pottery)
Stained glass art materials/methods include ceramics (earthenware, stoneware, porcelain), mosaic art, glass beadmaking, glass blowing, and glass etching.

Metalwork procedures such as embossing, repoussé work, engraving, enamelling (types include champlevé, basse taille, cloisonné, plique-à-jour), granulation, and filigree embellishment are included in jewellery. See Jewellery: History and Techniques for further information.

Other Craftwork Examples

Basket weaving, beer-making, bookbinding, doll-making, enamelling, floral design, Ikebana, jewelry-making, knife-making (cutler), leatherwork, metalwork, model-making, tattoo design, toy-making

Craftsmanship’s Evolution and History

The phrase “Craft Guild” was first used in Europe during the Middle Ages to describe an occupational association made up of all the craftspeople (and occasionally suppliers, retailers, and wholesale merchants) active in a particular field of industry or commerce. Medieval craft guilds (for goldsmithery and metalwork, for example) were largely developed after 1250 and had little variation in their overall organisation. Each had a general assembly with some rule-making power, but actual power was concentrated in the hands of a few senior officials and a council of advisors. Masters, Journeymen, and Apprentices were the three categories of a normal Guild. A guild may have an inner circle of Master Craftsmen in the wealthiest trades. Craft guilds’ major economic goal was to gain a complete monopoly on everyone involved in the profession in order to safeguard and promote its members’ financial interests, although this was rarely accomplished. For this to happen, there were simply too many rival guilds and too much state interest. For example, from the 15th century forward, the state intervened in apprenticeship laws and other major areas of guild governance. As a result, from the late 16th century onwards, craft guilds’ authority and activity began to dwindle, a process exacerbated by the Industrial Revolution’s standardisation and mass-production techniques, as well as the creation of regulated firms and other groups. In France (1791), Rome (1907), Spain (1840), England (1835), Austria and Germany (1860), and Italy, guilds were finally disbanded (1864).

The loss of master-craftsmanship as a fundamental aspect of industry and trade was signalled by the collapse of craft guilds, and its replacement by machine-tool dexterity in both factories and workshops. Much of the discussion over the inherent value of crafts is informed by this dilemma – the redundancy of individual hand-based craft abilities and the emergence of mass-production ways to manufacture faster, cheaper, but less “beautiful” products. The Arts and Crafts Movement, which gained traction in late Victorian times, was the first response to this mechanisation.