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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Street craft (metalwork in India)
A craft house

A craft is a skill, especially involving practical arts. It may refer to a trade or particular art.

The term is often used as part of a longer word (and also in the plural). For example, a craft-brother is a fellow worker in a particular trade and a craft-guild is, historically, a guild of workers in the same trade. "Ringcraft" is part of a boxer's skill. See some further examples below.

The term is often used to describe the family of artistic practices within the decorative arts that traditionally are defined by their relationship to functional or utilitarian products (such as sculptural forms in the vessel tradition) or by their use of such natural media as wood, clay, glass, textiles, and metal. Crafts practiced by independent artists working alone or in small groups are often referred to as studio craft. Studio craft includes studio pottery, metal work, weaving, wood turning and other forms of wood working, glass blowing, and glass art.

A craft fair is an organized event to display crafts by a number of exhibitors. There are also craft shops where such goods are sold.

Folk art follows craft traditions, in contrast to fine art or "high art".

Both Freemasonry and Wicca are known as 'The Craft' by their adherents.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CRAFT (a word common to Teutonic languages for strength, or power; cf. Ger. Kraft), a word confined in English only, of the Teutonic languages in which it occurs, to intellectual power, and used as a synonym of "art." It then means skill or ingenuity, especially in the manual arts, hence its use in the expression "Arts and Crafts" (q.v.), and it is thus applied to the trade or profession in which such skill is displayed, to an association of workmen of a particular trade, a trade gild, and in particular to Freemasons, "the craft"; the word appears also in words such as "handicraft" or "craftsman." Skill applied to outwit or deceive gives the common sense of cunning or trickery, and it is this meaning which is implied in such combined words as "priestcraft," "witchcraft" and the like. A more particular use of the word is in the nautical sense of vessels of transport by water; this is probably a colloquially shortened form either of "vessels of a fisherman's, lighterman's &c., craft," i.e. " art," or of "-vessels of a heavier or lighter craft," i.e. burden or capacity; in both cases the qualifying words are dropped and the word comes to be used of vessels in general.

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Simple English

Craft is a word for many different activities about making things with one's own hands and skills. The different types of crafts can be put in groups according to the material being used. In the Middle Ages the most common materials were metal, wood or clay.

A craftsman is a person who has the knowledge and skills of a craft. When they have a lot of experience they may be called a master craftsman. If they are young people learning a craft they are called an apprentice

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