Friday, June 3, 2011

Artisan vs. Crafter

It always fascinates me how individuals perceive things differently. Even more fascinating to me is how a group of people can perceive things differently, even if they are like minded in the same arena. This has fascinated me for years; there is a philosophy I learned in a communication class I took one time. Basically put it was that when dealing with others remember, that each person perceives things based on their personal life experiences. That each unique experience someone goes through shapes how our brains interpret incoming information.

You may be wondering what this has to do with artisan vs. crafter, well let me tell you. Recently I have been involved in several conversations about the buying public’s perception of the terms crafter vs. artisan in the handmade community. This is actually a very important discussion for us as business owners and creators of handmade jewelry. As it is important for us to have a grasp of what the buying public is thinking and understanding how they perceive things.

In researching the definitions in an attempt to determine which would be the correct term for us to be using, I looked up the definitions. What I found in the Webster’s dictionary is paraphrased below:

*Crafter – is someone with great skill in the manual arts

*Artisan – is a skilled manual worker who makes functional or decorative items

In essence they mean exactly the same thing. Especially when you stop and consider an artisan crafts their creations, the same as a crafter.

What I have noticed in talking with prospective clients is that most of them expect to pay top dollar to someone who refers to themselves and their creations as artisans. Whereas I have observed that most of the buying public expect to pay someone who refers to themselves as a crafter significantly less money. And on occasion they are offended if they think your prices are too high.

We are wondering why the perception differences and what has caused it? Is this limited to location? Is this because the buying public views crafters as hobbyists and artisans as professionals?

We want to hear from you your perception, your thoughts, and your opinions!

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