What Is a Skilled Craftsperson?

A skilled craftsperson is someone who is proficient at some type of manual craft. Typical crafts associated with a craftsperson include woodworking, furniture making, sculpting, clothes making, metalwork and jewelry making. Certifications exist for certain crafts, but proficiency is usually gained through experience.

The artistic aspect of many crafts has led to the term "artisan" being used interchangeably with "skilled craftsperson." While some crafts are carried out purely for function, most can also be pursued for decorative purposes. The functional side of a creation is what makes crafts different than art. A skilled craftsperson is someone who can combine quality function and artistic design without sacrificing either element.

Furthermore, a craft is usually something done manually that results in a smaller product. For this reason, architecture is not considered a craft, but the various activities that go into architecture, such as door carving, cabinetry, railing work and glasswork are considered crafts. Historically, crafts were activities such as basket-weaving, sculpting, metalwork, pottery making or woodwork. These crafts continue along with other popular pursuits such as jewelry making and producing designer food items and wine. The term "artisanal" is used to indicate that a product was created by a skilled craftsperson by hand, contrasting it with a competing item created by a machine or modern industrial process.