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LET us begin by understanding the myriad roles a craftsperson plays in the society as a designer, a problemsolver, a creator and as an innovator, leave alone the maker and seller of craft objects. The craftsperson therefore is not just the maker of an object, and a craft object is not just a beautiful thing—it has been created to serve a particular function to meet a specific need of a client.
For instance, the client or the consumer may ask the craftsperson to make him/her a cup which he/she can comfortably hold and from which sip a hot drink. The craftsperson, in this case, a ceramicist, will design a cup with a handle comfortable to hold, and shape the cup in such a way that it is neither too heavy nor too big.
In this example you can see that the client has given the craftsperson a problem to solve—to make a cup for a hot drink. The craftsperson has found a good solution to the problem by designing a cup with a handle. The design elements in this case are the handle, the shape of the cup, its weight and a suitable size to make it comfortable to use. If the cup is pleasing to look at, that would be an additional benefit and we could say that the cup designed by the craftsperson is also aesthetically pleasing. The critical factor, however, is not the motifs and decoration on the cup, but rather the craftsperson’s skill in finding appropriate and innovative solutions to the client’s problem.
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