Where Can I Find Resources About The History Of Craftsmanship?

If you have ever found yourself curious about the fascinating world of craftsmanship and its rich history, then look no further! In this article, we will explore various avenues and sources where you can find an abundance of information about the history of craftsmanship. From books and online archives to museums and specialized libraries, prepare to embark on a journey that will uncover the hidden gems of the craft world and deepen your understanding and appreciation for centuries-old techniques and traditions. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and get ready to discover a treasure trove of knowledge! Craftsmanship is an integral part of our history and culture. It encompasses a wide range of trades and skills that have been passed down through generations. Whether you’re interested in learning about the general history of craftsmanship or want to delve into specific trades, there are plenty of resources available to satisfy your curiosity. From books to online articles, museums to educational institutions, and documentaries to conferences, here are some of the best places to explore the rich history of craftsmanship.


General Craftsmanship History

When it comes to books on the history of craftsmanship, you’ll find an abundance of options to choose from. These books provide a comprehensive overview of various crafts, tracing their origins and development through the centuries. From ancient techniques to modern innovations, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the evolution of craftsmanship as you flip through the pages. Some notable titles include “The Craftsman” by Richard Sennett, “The Anarchist’s Tool Chest” by Christopher Schwarz, and “The Craftsman’s Handbook” by Cennino Cennini.

Specific Craftsmanship Trades

If you’re looking to explore a specific trade in-depth, there are numerous books available that focus on individual craftsmanship trades. Whether your interest lies in woodworking, ceramics, metalworking, or any other craft, you can find detailed guides and historical accounts that delve into the techniques and cultural significance of each trade. “The Essential Woodworker” by Robert Wearing, “The Potter’s Dictionary of Materials and Techniques” by Frank Hamer, and “The Complete Metalsmith” by Tim McCreight are just a few examples of books that can provide valuable insights into specific craftsmanship trades.

Online Articles and Websites

Craftsmanship History Websites

The internet is a treasure trove of information, and it’s no different when it comes to craftsmanship history. There are dedicated websites that specialize in documenting and sharing the stories of various crafts and artisans. These websites often feature articles, interviews, and photo galleries that bring the history of craftsmanship to life. Websites like The Craftsman’s Path, Craft in America, and Craft Scotland are excellent resources to explore and learn about the history of craftsmanship through engaging online content.

Online Articles on Craftsmanship History

In addition to dedicated websites, there are countless online articles that delve into specific aspects of craftsmanship history. These articles often provide deep insights into particular trades, historical events, and influential figures in the world of craftsmanship. You can find articles on platforms like Craftsmanship Quarterly, JSTOR, and various academic publications. These articles not only offer valuable information but also provide different perspectives and interpretations of craftsmanship history.

Museums and Exhibitions

Craftsmanship Museums

For a more immersive experience, visiting craftsmanship museums is a fantastic option. Museums dedicated to craftsmanship preserve and showcase artifacts, tools, and works of art that offer glimpses into the history and evolution of various crafts. These museums often host exhibitions, events, and workshops that allow visitors to learn firsthand about different crafts and interact with skilled artisans. Notable craftsmanship museums around the world include The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Louvre Museum in Paris, and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Exhibitions on Craftsmanship History

In addition to permanent museum collections, there are also temporary exhibitions that focus on craftsmanship history. These exhibitions are curated to explore specific themes, time periods, or regions related to craftsmanship. Attending these exhibitions provides a unique opportunity to see rare artifacts and masterpieces up close, while also gaining insight into the cultural, social, and economic contexts of the various crafts. Keep an eye out for exhibitions at your local museums and galleries, as well as international craft fairs and events.

Educational Institutions

University Departments

Many universities around the world offer departments or programs focused on craftsmanship and its history. These departments often conduct research, offer courses, and organize seminars and conferences on various aspects of craftsmanship. Attending academic lectures and engaging with experts in the field can offer valuable insights and open up new avenues of learning. Check the course catalogs and research centers of universities renowned for their arts and humanities programs to explore opportunities for studying craftsmanship history.

Craftsmanship Courses

If you’re looking for a hands-on approach to learning about craftsmanship history, enrolling in craftsmanship courses can be a rewarding experience. Many educational institutions offer courses that cover the history, techniques, and cultural significance of different crafts. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, these courses can provide practical knowledge and foster a deep appreciation for the craftsmanship tradition. Look for local community colleges, vocational schools, and art centers that offer courses on woodworking, ceramics, metalworking, and other crafts.

Research Centers

Research centers dedicated to craftsmanship history are valuable resources for both academics and enthusiasts. These centers often collaborate with universities, museums, and cultural institutions to conduct in-depth research, publish scholarly articles, and organize conferences. Research centers like the Center for Craft and the Craft Research Fund promote interdisciplinary studies that explore the historical, cultural, and theoretical aspects of craftsmanship. Engaging with these research centers through their publications, events, and online resources can provide a comprehensive understanding of craftsmanship history.

Craftsmanship Organizations

National Craftsmanship Associations

National craftsmanship associations play a crucial role in preserving and promoting traditional crafts within a country. These associations bring together artisans, craft businesses, and enthusiasts to support, advocate for, and celebrate craftsmanship. Membership in these associations often grants access to resources such as workshops, training programs, and networking opportunities. National associations like the American Craft Council, the Japan Craft Design Association, and the Crafts Council UK are excellent platforms to connect with fellow craft enthusiasts and stay up to date on craftsmanship history.

International Craftsmanship Organizations

Craftsmanship is a global phenomenon, and international organizations work to foster collaboration, exchange knowledge, and celebrate the diversity of crafts around the world. These organizations organize events, exhibitions, and conferences that bring together artisans, researchers, and enthusiasts from different countries. The International Council of Museums (ICOM), the World Crafts Council (WCC), and UNESCO’s International List of Intangible Cultural Heritage are examples of international organizations that actively promote the preservation and appreciation of craftsmanship history on a global scale.

Historical Archives and Libraries

National Historical Archives

National historical archives are repositories of historical documents, photographs, and recordings that offer a wealth of information on various aspects of our past, including craftsmanship history. These archives often have dedicated sections or collections that focus on traditional crafts, artisans, and the evolution of craftsmanship techniques. Exploring these archives, either online or in person, can unveil firsthand accounts, manuscripts, and photographs that provide valuable insights into the history of craftsmanship within a specific country or region.

Specialized Libraries

Specialized libraries also play a crucial role in preserving and sharing knowledge about craftsmanship history. These libraries curate collections of books, rare manuscripts, journals, and other publications specifically related to crafts and artisans. Whether it’s a university library, a museum library, or an independent research library, you’ll find an array of resources that cater to different interests and research needs. These libraries are often open to the public or accessible through membership, offering a quiet space for reading, studying, and conducting research on craftsmanship history.

Documentaries and Films

Craftsmanship History Documentaries

Documentaries are an engaging and immersive way to explore the history of craftsmanship. Many filmmakers and production companies have created documentaries that showcase the stories of master craftsmen, traditional techniques, and the cultural significance of various crafts. Through visually captivating storytelling, these documentaries provide a deeper understanding of craftsmanship history, offering glimpses into the lives and works of artisans from different eras and cultures. Look for documentaries like “Craft in America,” “Handmade in Japan,” and “The Lost Trades of Samarkand” to embark on a visual journey through craftsmanship history.

Films on Craftsmanship Traditions

In addition to documentaries, there are also fictional films that beautifully portray craftsmanship traditions and their historical contexts. These films shine a spotlight on the artistry, dedication, and cultural significance of various crafts, while also providing entertainment. From classics like “The Red Violin” and “The Last Samurai” to more recent films like “Coco” and “The Painted Bird,” the stories and visuals in these films offer a unique perspective on craftsmanship history and the impact it has on individuals and societies.

Craftsmanship Conferences and Events

National Craftsmanship Conferences

Craftsmanship conferences are excellent opportunities to connect with artisans, researchers, and enthusiasts who share a passion for craftsmanship history. These conferences often feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops, and exhibitions that explore different aspects of crafts and their historical evolution. National craftsmanship conferences are held in various countries and cater to specific crafts or themes. Attending these conferences allows you to engage in thought-provoking discussions, learn from experts in the field, and network with like-minded individuals who are equally passionate about craftsmanship history.

International Craftsmanship Events

For a more expansive perspective on craftsmanship history, international craftsmanship events are a must-attend. These events gather artisans, experts, and enthusiasts from all corners of the globe to celebrate the diversity and richness of crafts. International events like the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, the Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, and the International Ceramic Art Festival in Mino offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the global craft community, learn about different traditions, and witness firsthand the skill and creativity of artisans from around the world.

Online Forums and Communities

Craftsmanship History Forums

Online forums dedicated to craftsmanship history provide a platform for enthusiasts and researchers to connect, share knowledge, and discuss various aspects of crafts. These forums foster vibrant communities where members can ask questions, seek advice, and engage in conversations about craftsmanship traditions, techniques, and cultural contexts. Platforms like The Craftsman’s Gazette, WoodNet, and The Reddit Craftsmanship Community are great places to participate in discussions and learn from the collective wisdom of the community.

Craftsmanship Enthusiast Communities

Craftsmanship isn’t limited to professionals; there are numerous communities of enthusiasts who are passionate about traditional crafts. These communities often organize local meetups, workshops, and events where members can share their knowledge, learn from each other, and foster a sense of camaraderie. Joining these enthusiast communities allows you to connect with fellow craft lovers, discover new techniques, and explore the rich history of crafts from the perspective of passionate individuals.

Local Craftsmanship Groups

Craft Guilds

Craft guilds have been an integral part of craftsmanship history for centuries, and they continue to play a significant role in many communities worldwide. These guilds bring together craftsmen and women who practice a specific trade or craft, offering workshops, training, and networking opportunities. Joining a craft guild allows you to immerse yourself in the tradition, techniques, and cultural heritage of a particular craft, while also building relationships with fellow artisans. Local craft guilds can be found in many cities and towns and offer a nurturing environment for both beginners and experienced craftspeople.

Community Workshops

Community workshops provide accessible spaces for individuals to learn and practice traditional crafts. These workshops often offer classes, open studio sessions, and mentorship programs that cater to people of all skill levels. By joining a community workshop, you can learn craftsmanship techniques, gain hands-on experience, and be part of a supportive community that values the preservation and promotion of traditional crafts. Look for community centers, makerspaces, and arts organizations in your area that host workshops focused on various crafts.

In conclusion, there is an abundance of resources available for those seeking to explore the history of craftsmanship. From books and online articles to museums and exhibitions, educational institutions to craftsmanship organizations, and historical archives to documentaries, a comprehensive understanding of craftsmanship history can be attained through these diverse channels. By immersing yourself in the stories, techniques, and cultural contexts of different crafts, you can develop a deep appreciation for the artistry, skill, and cultural heritage that craftsmanship embodies. So, embark on your journey into the world of craftsmanship history, and let the past guide and inspire you on your own creative endeavors.