Making useful items by hand has been a tradition since the Stone Age. Back then, hunting was an important occupation. Making stone tips for spears and arrows was a full time job in many tribes. This craft was taught to young people for the benefit of the entire tribe. There are few people taught this particular craft today whether they are young or old. It is no longer necessary to hunt with spears or bows and arrows. Studying this craft is done for curiosity rather than necessity.
Many crafts have fallen by the wayside in the past few centuries. First factories were created to make necessary items in bulk. Many craftsmen lost their customers to the assembly lines. It was cheaper to produce goods when several people on a line made them. Each person was given one task only to complete. This meant an object could be created faster and cheaper than having one person who was specially trained to make the entire object. Even long time customers saw the value in mass produced goods.
Some crafts are making a comeback today. Micro breweries are responsible for barrel making becoming a necessary craft again. Large beer manufacturers use metal barrels to age their beer. Micro breweries produce less product, and they count on having a unique flavor. Using hand crafted wooden barrels gives their beer a flavor that cannot be produced in a metal barrel. This represents a new phase in crafting. Old skills are now being used to produce new products. Micro breweries are helping one craft skill, the hand manufacture of wooden barrels, be revived.
Pottery has been a craft that has enjoyed popularity for many years. Long ago, it was necessary for ancient tribes to make their own pots out of clay. Dishes, bowls and platters were eventually made with this craft skill. Modern man still produces these items today in large factories. Fortunately, there have always been people who hand crafted their own pottery. Classes are more popular than ever, and there is less chance this craft will die out. Modern methods even help with those who do not care to hand decorate their work. Ceramic decals and ceramic transfers are available to cut down the decorating time so newer crafts people can concentrate on learning how to work the clay rather than embellish it.