Richard Sennet, the renowned American professor at the London School of Economics, in his book, The Craftsman, writes:
“Craftsmanship may suggest a way of life that waned with the advent of industrial society — but this is misleading. Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for its own sake. Craftsmanship cuts a far wider swathe than unskilled manual labor: parenting improves when it is practiced as a skilled craft, as does citizenship.”
Ever since the emergence of the European culture or the “common culture heritage”, its roots have been found to be deeply engulfed in the arts of film, music, architecture, pottery, textile, woodwork, origami, metal work, jewelry making and even culinary arts.
In 2017 a two-year project was launched in Europe for the purpose of accumulating insights on its cultural and creative sectors. Four thematic workshops on innovation, Human Resource Management, role of social dialogue and digital environment were set up in different regions of Europe for this purpose. On April 29th 2019 the results of these outcomes were published.
Its purpose was also to discover crafts that were gradually becoming obsolete. The results were rather surprising.
It may seem that due to the advancements in technology and globalization the tradition of creating crafts or craftsmanship is in a wane but its revival is taking place.
In 2019 an association known as the Polish Serfenta associations was formed by a group of young crafts-loving people in Poland for the purpose of keeping the basketry tradition alive. What started as a small franchise soon became an emerging trend crossing borders.
Besides from its famous baskets, the polish have outdone themselves in pottery too. Their unique designs have stood out across Europe and have influenced many other regions.
Hungary was reputable for its leather industry and shoemaking. Although its trend soon started diminishing after World war II, it still stands as the home of some of the most famous shoemakers in the world.
It is said that even in the 21st century where machinery and technology has taken over the mass generation of arts and crafts, the Ukrainian people have kept their ancestral tradition alive and hand-make majority of their textiles.
Undoubtedly, the world today is facing a great demise in these traditional handicrafts around the globe but nonetheless its presence in Europe is still very prominent. These crafts have contributed to its economy and have kept its ancestral tradition alive. The Heritage Crafts Association has advised the government to keep encouraging the local arts of handmade crafts and artifacts underlining its great significance.