Handicrafting has its roots in the rural crafts—the material-goods necessities—of ancient civilizations, and many specific crafts have been practiced for centuries, while others are modern inventions, or popularizations of crafts which were originally practiced in a limited geographic area.
These activities were called crafts because originally many of them were professions under the guild system. Adolescents were apprenticed to a master craftsman, and refined their skills over a period of years in exchange for low wages. By the time their training was complete, they were well equipped to set up in trade for themselves, earning their living with the skill that could be traded directly within the community, often for goods and services.
Many community centers and schools run evening or day classes and workshops, for adults and children, offering to teach basic craft skills in a short period of time.
Dickerson says Etsy does monitor the site; users flag shops that look suspicious and Etsy investigates. "We ask for documentation and photos and basically proof of how the item is being produced and then we make a decision on whether to allow that item or that shop the ability to stay on Etsy," he says.