The term Artisan is a distinct title that describes an esteemed group of individuals. The dictionary definition of an Artisan is as follows:
noun: artisan; plural noun: artisans
A worker in a skilled trade, especially one that involves making things by hand.
synonyms: craftsman, craftswoman, craftsperson
Artisans were the dominant producers of consumer products prior to the Industrial Revolution. It was said that they originated as servants to the rulers.
During the Middle Ages, the term "artisan" was applied to those who made things or provided services. It did not apply to unskilled manual laborers.
Artisans were divided into two distinct groups: those who operated their own businesses and those who did not. Those who owned their businesses were called masters, while the latter were the journeymen and apprentices.
The most influential group among the artisans were the masters, the business owners. The owners enjoyed a higher social status in their communities.
In today’s world, there are a wide array of products that are being produced by many different “artisans”. Over the years, people have managed to develop and market things such as candles, jewelry, quilts, and an almost infinite number of products.
Prepared foods made in small batches, like hot sauces, craft beer, jams and jellies became known as "artisan made". Miniature windmills, toys and other handmade wood products came to be called "functional art", of course made by artisans.
Now as the online market has developed and people shop for a wider variety of items, there is no limit to the type of things one can buy.
Most artisans specialize in one trade. This allows them to perfect their skill, while also concentrating on the business end of things. It is not only the creative part of the process that is part of being an artisan. The successful “master” needs to be able to be a marketer, communications guru, bookkeeper and customer service representative. There is a great deal of strategy involved in marketing a product and patience is the virtue that needs to be an integral part of the artisan’s mainstay.
The pride that goes into each individual item is evident in so many of the products that are produced by the Artisans of the Jewelry on Etsy Team. These are some examples of the diversity and expertise which these members offer to prospective customers.