2 3 live&learn&rejoice: More on the idea of artisanal

January 15, 2011

More on the idea of artisanal

So, per the OED, an artisan is 'a worker in a skilled trade, a craftsman, esp. one utilizing traditional or non-mechanized methods,' and artisanal means 'of, or relating to an artisan or skilled craftsman, involving or using traditional or small scale methods or techniques.'  So, small scale might fit with the idea of vegetables, but the craftsman idea really doesn't.  All the examples of artisanal in the OED really do involve making something, rather than nurturing something (e.g., artisanal cheeses, artisanal wine, artisanal baguette, artisanal birdhouses), except there is a reference to artisanal fisherman, which is really confusing and doesn't make too much sense.  At one point in time, again per the OED, an artisan occupied a social level somewhere between a wage laborer and a property owner.

     "The meanest artisan‥contributes more to the accommodation of life, than the profound scholar."  -- Johnson

But the second definition of artisan in the OED is ' person who cultivates one of the fine arts, an artist.'  But that usage is now rare.

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