Craft Workshops (Smiths) (ETW-WC building)
|Craft Workshops (Smiths)|
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Artisans and their craft workshops are the basis of all manufacturing work and trade. They are vital to the growth of a local economy.
Craft workshops are the basis of a thriving economy. Each craftsman and his family work from dawn to dusk to produce a bale of cloth, a carpet, cutlery, swords, guns – anything, in fact, that needs to be made. The system has hardly changed in centuries.
Craftsmen are paid piecework rates, making it in their interests to have the whole family labouring away. Each workshop produces a complete item from start to finish of the manufacturing process, and there is little organisation involved in producing the finished goods. This small-scale approach does impose limits on overall production.
Historically, it was possible for craft-based techniques to produce large quantities of goods, but only by having entire communities working in the same craft. The steel town of Sheffield, England, became a centre of cutlery making (and later steel production) on the strength of its craft-based workshops. The coming of mills would sweep away generations of expertise, as jobs were de-skilled and mechanised.