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Arts and crafts comprise a numerous amount of various hobbies and activities that are related to personally creating things skillfully. These can be split into two different categories, one into handicrafts or "traditional crafts" and "the rest". Some crafts have been practised for hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of years, while others are the result modern inventions, or from the popularisation of specific crafts regionally.

Additionally, Arts and Crafts can refer to a movement, which took place during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which was a social revolution whose proponents included the likes of Edwin Lutyens and William Morris. Morris and Lutyens held the belief that medieval craftsmen found joy and fulfillment in the quality of their work, which they strove to duplicate.

These hobbies activities are presently referred to as crafts because originally many of them were professions under the old guild system. Children and teenagers were apprenticed to a master-craftsman, and they refined their skills over several years in exchange for very low wages. Eventually their training would become complete, and they were well-equipped to set up in trade for themselves, earning their living with the skill that could create many things to be traded with the community, often for goods or other services. Many of the roles that professional craftspeople played were elimated during The Industrial Revolution, thanks to the increasing mechanisation of production processes. Many of today's 'crafts' are most commonly seen as a form of hobby or art.

Most crafts require some degree of skill, speed, and patience, but they can also be learnt on a more simple level by nearly anybody. Many community centers 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 became extremely popular for short durations (a few months, or a few years), spreading rapidly among crafters as everyone emulates those that became popular, then their popularity drops off until a possible resurgence.

The term craft also refers to artistic products that required a high degree of tacit knowledge to create, are very detailed, require specialized equipment to produce, involve extensive manual labor, and are constructed from materials with histories that exceed the boundaries of western art history, such as wood, glass, textiles, metal or ceramics. These products are produced within a specific community of practice and while they are unique from the products produced within the communities of art and design, they have characteristics that are often shared and can result in hybrid objects. Sometimes causing confusing, as the intepreting and labling of art is frequently a matter of the perception of individuals, an audience may believe crafted objects as art objects when these objects are viewed within an art context, such as in a museum or when displayed prominently in one’s home.

The term sometimes may refer to agrigcultural crafts, commonly found in the rural regions of the countryside. Craftmanship refers to Plato'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/ 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 many different categories:

Crafts involving textiles

Crafts involving wood, metal or clay

  • Cabinet making
  • Chip carving
  • Jewelry making
  • Marquetry
  • Metalworking
  • Pottery
  • Sculpture
  • Wood burning
  • Wood turning
  • Woodworking

Crafts involving paper or canvas

  • Bookbinding
  • Calligraphy
  • Cardmaking
  • Card Modelling
  • Collage
  • Decoupage
  • Iris Folding
  • Marbling
  • Origami
  • Papercraft
  • Papier-mache
  • Pergamano - parchment craft
  • Quilling or Paper Filigree
  • Scrapbooking
  • Stamping

Crafts involving plants

  • Basket weaving
  • Corn dolly making
  • Flower crafts
  • Straw Marquetry

Other crafts

  • Balloon animal
  • Beadwork
  • Doll and dollhouse crafting
  • Egg decorating
  • Etching
  • Glassblowing
  • Lapidary
  • Mosaics
  • Pioneering
  • Stained glass
  • Tatooing
  • Toy making

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