What is a female artisan called?

What is a female artisan called? - Fix It Cape Town

Female artisans have played a significant role in the world of art and craftsmanship throughout history. These talented women have created stunning works of art and have contributed greatly to various artistic and cultural movements. In this article, we will explore the term used to refer to female artisans and shed light on their immense contribution to the art world.

The Term: Craftswomen or Craftswoman?

When referring to female artisans, the term “craftswomen” or “craftswoman” is often used. Both terms signify women who practice a craft or trade, creating handmade objects of art or utility. The term “craftswomen” is a plural noun referring to a group of female artisans, while “craftswoman” is a singular noun used to describe an individual female artisan.

The usage of these terms is not only a recognition of their skill and expertise but also serves as a way to acknowledge the historical and societal barriers they have faced in pursuing their crafts. By using gender-specific terminology, we emphasize the unique contributions of women in the arts and crafts.

The Rich History of Female Artisans

Women have been involved in artistic and craft-related activities since ancient times. Despite facing social constraints and limited opportunities, women found ways to express their creativity and contribute to the arts. Here are a few examples of famous female artisans throughout history:

  1. Hypatia of Alexandria – An Egyptian mathematician, philosopher, and inventor of the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Hypatia’s expertise ranged from mathematics and astronomy to philosophy and mechanics.
  2. Artemisia Gentileschi – An Italian Baroque painter during the seventeenth century. Gentileschi’s artwork often featured strong female characters and depicted powerful narratives.
  3. Mary Cassatt – An American Impressionist painter and printmaker of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Cassatt focused on capturing intimate moments of women’s lives, highlighting their role in society.

Reasons for the Underrepresentation of Female Artisans

Despite the significant contributions of female artisans throughout history, they have often been underrepresented compared to their male counterparts. Several factors have contributed to this underrepresentation, including:

  1. Societal Expectations: Traditional gender roles have often confined women to domestic and caregiving roles, limiting their opportunities to pursue careers in the arts.
  2. Lack of Access to Education: Historically, women have faced barriers in accessing education and training in artistic disciplines, making it more challenging for them to develop their craft.
  3. Discrimination and Bias: Female artisans have faced discrimination and bias in the art industry, with their work being undervalued or dismissed due to gender stereotypes.

Contemporary Initiatives to Support Female Artisans

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the need to support and promote female artisans. Various initiatives and organizations have emerged, aiming to address the historical underrepresentation and provide opportunities for women in the art world. These initiatives include:

  1. Women’s Craft Cooperatives: Collaborative networks that empower women by providing training, tools, and a platform to showcase their crafts.
  2. Online Marketplaces: E-commerce platforms dedicated to supporting female artisans, allowing them to reach a global audience and sell their creations directly.
  3. Mentorship Programs: Programs that connect emerging female artisans with established professionals, helping them develop their skills and navigate the art industry.


Q: Are there specific crafts or artistic disciplines associated with female artisans?
A: Female artisans have excelled in various crafts and artistic disciplines, including textile arts, ceramics, jewelry-making, painting, and sculpture, among others.

Q: Can men also be referred to as craftswomen?
A: While the term “craftswomen” is predominantly used to describe female artisans, it is not exclusively gender-specific. If a man practices a craft traditionally associated with women, he can also be referred to as a craftswoman.

Q: How can I support female artisans?
A: Supporting female artisans can be as simple as purchasing their artwork, promoting their work on social media, or attending local craft fairs and exhibitions that showcase their creations.


Female artisans have made significant contributions to the arts and crafts throughout history, despite facing societal barriers and gender-based discrimination. By recognizing their unique talents and using gender-specific terminology, we emphasize the importance of their craftsmanship. Through continued support and empowerment, we can ensure that female artisans receive the recognition and opportunities they deserve in the art world.

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