What are two types of artisans?

What are two types of artisans? - Fix It Cape Town

Artisans are skilled craftsmen and women who create unique, handcrafted products. They are known for their attention to detail, creativity, and passion for their craft. While all artisans share these qualities, there are two distinct types that can be identified based on their approach to their work and the products they create. In this article, we will explore these two types of artisans and what sets them apart.

1. Traditional Artisans

Traditional artisans are those who adhere to traditional methods and techniques passed down through generations. They value preserving and honoring the traditional ways of creating their art forms. Here are some key characteristics of traditional artisans:

a) Emphasis on heritage and culture

Traditional artisans often come from families or communities with a rich artistic heritage. They prioritize the preservation of their cultural heritage and use their craft as a way to connect with their roots. They incorporate traditional designs, motifs, and techniques passed down through generations into their work.

b) Mastery of traditional techniques

Traditional artisans have spent years perfecting their skills and mastering the traditional techniques associated with their craft. They have a deep understanding of the materials and tools used in their art form, as well as the intricacies of the process. Their work reflects a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

c) Focus on authenticity and longevity

Traditional artisans prioritize creating products that are authentic and long-lasting. They believe in creating heirloom-quality pieces that can be passed down through generations. They often use natural and sustainable materials, ensuring that their products not only look beautiful but also stand the test of time.

d) Limited production

Traditional artisans typically produce their products in limited quantities. They invest a significant amount of time and effort into each piece, resulting in a slower production rate. This limited production approach adds to the exclusivity and value of their work, attracting collectors and individuals who appreciate the uniqueness of handmade goods.

2. Contemporary Artisans

Contemporary artisans, on the other hand, embrace modern techniques, materials, and designs while still maintaining the essence of craftsmanship. They blend traditional craftsmanship with contemporary ideas to create innovative and unique products. Here are some key characteristics of contemporary artisans:

a) Adoption of modern technology

Contemporary artisans leverage modern technology and tools to enhance their creative process. They use software, 3D printers, and other digital tools to design and prototype their products. This integration of technology allows them to experiment with new forms, materials, and techniques.

b) Creative freedom and experimentation

Unlike traditional artisans, contemporary artisans are more inclined to explore new ideas and push the boundaries of their craft. They are open to experimentation and enjoy incorporating unconventional materials, techniques, and designs into their work. Their ability to blend tradition with innovation sets them apart.

c) Accessibility and mass production

Contemporary artisans often produce their products on a larger scale to cater to a broader market. While they still value quality and craftsmanship, they embrace mass production techniques that allow them to meet the demand for their products. This accessibility enables a wider range of individuals to enjoy and own their handcrafted creations.

d) Emphasis on personal expression

Contemporary artisans emphasize personal expression in their work. They create pieces that reflect their unique style and vision. Their creations often bear their signature aesthetic, making their work easily identifiable. They prioritize the connection between the artist and the consumer, creating products with a personal touch.


  1. What is the main difference between traditional and contemporary artisans?

The main difference lies in their approach to their craft. Traditional artisans focus on preserving heritage and using time-honored techniques, while contemporary artisans blend tradition with modern techniques and experiment with new ideas.

  1. Can traditional and contemporary artisans collaborate?

Absolutely! Collaborations between traditional and contemporary artisans can result in remarkable creations that combine the best of both worlds. They can bring together the craftsmanship and authenticity of traditional artisans with the innovation and fresh perspectives of contemporary artisans.

  1. How does the market for traditional and contemporary artisan products differ?

The market for traditional artisan products often targets individuals who appreciate craftsmanship, cultural heritage, and the unique stories behind each piece. On the other hand, the market for contemporary artisan products is broader and includes individuals who seek modern, innovative, and accessible handmade goods.


Both traditional and contemporary artisans contribute to the richness and diversity of the artisanal world. While traditional artisans honor heritage and focus on creating authentic, heirloom-quality pieces, contemporary artisans embrace innovation and experiment with modern techniques. Whether you appreciate the deep connection to tradition or the boundless creativity of contemporary craftsmanship, both types of artisans have their unique charm and offer a wide range of extraordinary products.

Handyman Cape Town

Open chat
Contact us now
Scan the code
Hello 👋
Can we help you get a free quote?