What Does "artisan" Mean?

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An artisan is a skilled craftsperson. The word has Italian and French origins, although its French origin is often disputed. The etymology is derived from the Latin word "artitus," meaning to "instruct in the arts."

Artisans craft objects by hand. They produce a variety of objects from furniture to jewelry. Before the Industrial Revolution, the work of artisans was commissioned by the ruler. In medieval times, artisans were separated into two categories: masters and apprentices. Masters owned their own establishments and were an influential social group. Another derivative of the word is "artisanal," which describes the skill for which the artisan attains, such as glassmaking.