Crafts are the art and technique of making objects or products by hand, with little or no intervention of machinery, and according to traditional methods.
In this sense, handicrafts consist of manual work with raw materials, generally from the region or locality inhabited by the artisan, using methods and techniques that are intangible heritage of their specific cultural community.
In artisan work, rudimentary tools or instruments are often used, and automated machinery or processes are rarely used. However, sometimes some processes of mechanical function are used to speed up certain tasks.
Artisanal products have a unique value, they are the expression of the symbolic values or ideology of a culture, and are made with special quality and expertise from ancient techniques, which vary from region to region, from culture to culture, and , even, depending on the weather, resources or history of a place.
Handicrafts can have different uses, ranging from domestic and ornamental, to ceremonial or symbolic uses, or as costumes or work instruments.
Some branches of handicrafts are pottery, jewelry, ceramics, basketry, woodwork, goldsmithing, saddlery, wood carving or upholstery, among others.
Products made using industrial techniques and processes are the main competence for handicrafts, since they have a better distribution and are manufactured at a considerably lower cost. Crafts, however, have a greater symbolic and cultural value.
Crafts and handicrafts
Crafts should not be confused with crafts. Crafts are work done by hand, especially by school children to learn to work with different techniques and materials. The handicraft, on the other hand, also elaborated by hand, through a set of traditional techniques, has a unique artistic, cultural and symbolic value.