An artisan (from French: artisan, Italian: artigiano) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates material objects partly or entirely by hand. These objects may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative art, sculpture, clothing, food items, household items and tools and mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.
The adjective "artisanal" is often used in describing hand-processing in contrast to an industrial process, such as in the phrase artisanal mining. Thus, "artisanal" is sometimes used in marketing and advertising as a buzz word to describe or imply some relation with the crafting of handmade food products, such as bread, beverages or cheese. Many of these have traditionally been handmade, rural or pastoral goods but are also now commonly made on a larger scale with automated mechanization in factories and other industrial areas.
Artisans were the dominant producers of consumer products before the Industrial Revolution.
In ancient Greece, artisans were drawn to agoras and often built workshops nearby.