The Work Of Craft

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As craft differentiation proliferated, numerous crafts wound up producing the same or similar articles. This stimulated competitive forces among craftsmen who needed to assure themselves of raw materials and a market. Because of this, masters were tempted to employ members of other crafts, and conflicts inevitably arose. The same widening of the market led to differentiation of classes within a craft. As the trading function grew more important, those who remained craftsmen fell into a condition of dependence upon the traders.

Eventually, merchant guilds —originally representatives of traders only—absorbed the craft guilds.

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The craft guilds also suffered a breakdown in structure. Because the masters sought to retain the profits of the growing market for themselves, they made it increasingly difficult for journeymen to enter their class, preferring instead to employ them as wage workers. Apprentices similarly had little hope of rising to mastership. Thus, the master-journeyman-apprentice relationship gave way to an employer-employee arrangement, with the master performing the functions of merchant while his employees did craftwork.

Conditions for development of the early industrial system rose out of the disintegration of this craft-guild system. The excluded journeymen eventually became a class of free labourers who practiced their craft for wages outside the town walls—and outside the limitations of the guild regulations. Certain industries that were small at the outset of the Middle Ages grew to be quite large in scale, and this growth influenced changes in the organization of work. The most important of these was the wool-cloth industry.

For reasons of cost and availability, wool was the basic clothing material in western Europe until the beginning of modern times. Linen and silk were too costly for any large-scale use, and cotton was grown only in small volumes. The production of cloth from wool involved several time-consuming steps: cleaning and carding straightening curled and knotted fibres sheared from the sheep , spinning the fibres into thread, weaving the thread into cloth, shearing off knots and roughness, and dyeing.

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All these processes could be carried on within a single peasant household, for they required only simple apparatus and rudimentary skills. Typically, children carded the wool, women operated the spinning wheel , and men worked the loom shuttles. The cloth produced by such crude tools and relatively unskilled workers was rough but serviceable. Those above the peasant class, however, desired the more comfortable and attractive clothing that was produced by skilled craftsmen. The resulting demand for better textiles caused the industry to outgrow the peasant household means of production.

Because the spinners and weavers remained peasants, they also earned part of their living from the plots on which their cottages stood, meaning that agriculture and industry were pursued as something of an integrated enterprise.

Median Pay

The man could work in the field while his wife spun, and in winter the man helped with textile production. At harvest time every hand was out in the fields, leaving the spinning wheels and looms temporarily idle. The putting-out system differed from peasant household production in that the merchant clothier, or entrepreneur , bought the raw wool and owned the product through all stages of its preparation the cottage workers still owned their own spinning wheels, looms, and other tools.

Thus, the peasant farmer came to work on materials that did not belong to him.

“Craft is more than just a way of making things; perhaps it’s a way of thinking.”

Nevertheless, the merchant clothier who began putting out cloth came to control the entire production process. This represented a step toward the industrial capitalism that emerged in the 19th century. Growth in the scale of commerce during the Middle Ages was coupled with advances in technology. Both these phenomena helped transform the nature of work. Of central importance were the applications of wind power and waterpower ; these marked the beginning of the replacement of human labour by machine power.

Starting in the late 10th century, waterwheels , long used for grinding grain, were applied to many industrial processes that included tanning , olive pressing, sawing wood, polishing armour, pulverizing stone, and operating blast-furnace bellows. The first horizontal-axle windmill appeared in western Europe in , and within a short time windmills could be found from northern England to the Middle East.

The mechanization of the process of fulling i. The fulling mill invented during the Middle Ages was a twofold innovation: first, two wooden hammers replaced human feet; and second, the hammers were raised and dropped by the power of a water mill. Many artists work in fine-art studios or commercial art studios located in office buildings, warehouses, or lofts. Others work in private studios in their homes. Some artists share studio space, where they also may exhibit their work. Studios are usually well lit and ventilated. However, artists may be exposed to fumes from glue, paint, ink, and other materials.

Craft and Fine Artists: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

They may also have to deal with dust or other residue from filings, splattered paint, or spilled cleaning and other fluids. Artists often wear protective gear, such as breathing masks and goggles, in order to remain safe from exposure to harmful materials. Ceramic and glass artists must use caution when they operate equipment and tools that can get very hot, such as kilns. Most craft and fine artists work full time, although part-time and variable work schedules are also common.

Many hold another job in addition to their work as an artist. During busy periods, artists may work additional hours to meet deadlines. Get the education you need: Find schools for Craft and Fine Artists near you! Craft and fine artists improve their skills through practice and repetition. Most fine artists earn a bachelor's or master's degree in fine arts in order to improve their skills and job prospects. Most fine artists pursue postsecondary education to earn degrees that can improve their skills and job prospects.

A formal educational credential is typically not needed for anyone to be a craft artist. However, it is difficult to gain adequate artistic skills without some formal education. High school classes such as art, shop, and home economics can teach prospective craft artists some of the basic skills they will need, such as drawing, woodworking, and sewing.

A large number of colleges and universities offer bachelor's and master's degrees in fine arts. In addition to offering studio art and art history, postsecondary programs may include core subjects, such as English, marketing, social science, and natural science.

Independent schools of art and design also offer postsecondary education programs, which can lead to a certificate in an art-related specialty or to an associate's, bachelor's, or master's degree in fine arts. Most of these schools award a degree in art. Medical illustrators must have a demonstrated artistic ability and a detailed knowledge of human and animal anatomy, living organisms, and surgical and medical procedures.

Work Environment

They usually need a bachelor's degree that combines art and premedical courses. Medical illustrators may choose to get a master's degree in medical illustration. Three accredited schools offer this degree in the United States. Education gives artists an opportunity to develop their portfolio, which is a collection of an artist's work that demonstrates his or her styles and abilities. Portfolios are essential, because art directors, clients, and others look at them when deciding whether to hire an artist or to buy the artist's work.

In addition to compiling a physical portfolio, many artists choose to create a portfolio online so that potential buyers and clients can view their work on the Internet.

Craft or Fine Artist

Those who want to teach fine arts at public elementary or secondary schools usually must have a teaching certificate in addition to a bachelor's degree. They can train in several ways other than—or in addition to—formal schooling. Craft and fine artists can train with simpler projects before attempting something more ambitious.

Some artists learn on the job from more experienced artists. Others attend noncredit classes or workshops or take private lessons, which may be offered in artists' studios or at community colleges, art centers, galleries, museums, or other art-related institutions. Artistic ability. Craft and fine artists create artwork and other objects that are visually appealing or thought provoking. This endeavor usually requires significant skill and attention to detail in one or more art forms. Business skills. Craft and fine artists must promote themselves and their art to build a reputation and to sell their art.

They often study the market for their crafts or artwork to increase their understanding of what potential customers might want. Many craft and fine artists sell their work on the Internet, so developing an online presence is an important part of their art sales. Artists must have active imaginations to develop new and original ideas for their work. Customer-service skills. Craft and fine artists, especially those who sell their work themselves, must be good at dealing with customers and potential buyers. Most artists work with their hands and must be good at manipulating tools and materials to create their art.

Interpersonal skills. Artists often must interact with many people, including coworkers, gallery owners, and the public. Craft and fine artists advance professionally as their work circulates and as they establish a reputation for their particular style. Many of the most successful artists continually develop new ideas, and their work often evolves over time. Many artists do artwork while continuing to hold a full-time job until they are established as professional artists.

Craft and Fine Artists: Jobs, Career, Salary and Education Information

Others work as an artist part time while still in school, to develop experience and to build a portfolio of published work. Self-employed and freelance artists try to establish a set of clients who regularly contract for work. Some of these artists are widely recognized for their skill in a specialty, such as illustrating children's books or cartooning. They may earn high incomes and can choose the types of projects they undertake.

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  • The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The median annual wages for craft and fine artists in the top industries in which they work are as follows:. Earnings for self-employed artists vary widely. Some charge only a nominal fee while they gain experience and build a reputation for their work. Those artists who are well established can earn more than salaried artists.