Craft guilds of the late middle ages and the industrial revolution: Craft is a changing.
What do we associate with the labels Craft, Art & Design? If we were to think in cliches..
Craft: domestic, practical, functional, recreational, traditional, technique / skill, carving, textiles, jewelery, ceramics, glass.
Art: expressive, conceptual painting, sculpture, drawing, representational, abstract, museum, gallery, unique, looked at and thought about.
Design: commercial, functional, reproduction, advertising,
Our idea of craft now is quite different to how it was used previous to the industrial revolution. In the time of the craft guilds in the mid to late middle ages there was no distinction between craft, art and design. The craft guilds and the merchant classes were products of the population decrease after the 'black death (1348-1350)'.
Artists and artisan's worked collectively and apart from some very rare cases individual names where never known.
Guilds introduced many benefits for their members, even if to our eye today the rules and regulations seem rather restrictive and stifling. Compared to the option of being some feudal lord's serf a guild suddenly looks quite good. The guilds entered another level in the feudal system. Standards & prices were set, morals upheld, insurance for members and families, job security and protection! As in the feudal system they worked within guilds had a hierarchical structure. Masters at the top with journeyman in between the apprentices at the bottom.
Eventually the masters became corrupt. Nobility came to the guild for loans often to fund a holy war or suchlike. Guild families and nobility often intermarried..a desire for either money or titles.
To be continued...
The guild for environmental protesters