This category covers books relating to various crafts that grew for the purposes of cultural production into a pastime or hobby for most people. Our Crafts, Hobbies and Self-help catalogue contains classic books on beekeeping, weaving blacksmithing and weaving and more.
Previously, crafts encompassed small-scale production with the help of primitive tools to meet broad household needs and economic (formerly military) needs – its construction and parts of its equipment.
With the sinking of subsistence farming, crafts became separated from home production and increasingly specialized, focussed mainly on cities and towns in the form of small businesses. Products were made to order in reaction to the market.
There is almost no division of labour in artisanal enterprises, except for the partial assistance of family members or apprentices and trainees. The craftsperson is the owner of the workshop and the means of production, they (or with the help of a trained apprentice) are an independent manufacturer of this or that item capable of performing it from start to finish. The craft is their main occupation and source of livelihood.
With the development of technology, certain crafts required a much more detailed and specialized approach to training in addition to skill and domestic experience. During the heyday of its greatest prosperity, the artisans created a separate, closed bourgeois social group, characterized by their life and social importance, with special rights and duties defined by the guild organization. This makes crafts different from the handicraft industry, which is usually just an extra occupation (for example, in their spare time from agricultural work). Crafts differ from manufacture in which there is a greater division of labour, economic initiative, and means of production as well as the availability of the appropriate technical equipment and propulsion (water, wind, etc.). But in the handicraft industry in the industrial age, there are more sophisticated electrical appliances available in addition to basic manual labour (or manual or foot machines). Today most craftspeople want to learn a hobby rather than adopt the craft as a major profession.
Search for a craft that interests you and you will more than likely find it.