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(Russian, kustari; from the German Künstler, “artist”), makers of commercial products who work for the market, as distinct from artisans (remeslenniki), who work on commissions from buyers.

Under the conditions of a capitalist society, craftsmen belong to a stratum of the petite bourgeoisie that is economically dependent on commercial capital. The most prevalent form of exploitation of the craftsmen by commercial capital consists in giving them raw materials to be worked at a set fee. In this case the “buyer-up” (skupshchik) acts as an industrial entrepreneur, the craftsmen becoming hired persons who work in their homes. This form of operation became very widespread in Russia after the reforms of the 1860’s.

The concentration of production and capital led to the crowding out of these domestic crafts and the separation of the craftsmen into various social strata. In the epoch of imperialism and the general crisis of capitalism, the number of craftsmen fell sharply and their material status worsened. V. I. Lenin noted several times that “small-scale masters” receive net incomes that are considerably smaller than the wages of industrial workers. In the USSR and other socialist countries, production cooperatives were established consisting of craftsmen and artisans working together.

References in periodicals archive ?
Partners benefit from Tradesmen's recruiting expertise, having at their disposal pre-screened craftsmen in all trades, at all skill levels.
He indicated that this step will improve the living standard and income of craftsmen.
Most notably, Chimneyville Crafts Festival, held in December of each year, features 200 of the guild's most skilled artisans and craftsmen.
According to an SCTA report, 410 craftsmen and 506 craftswomen availed themsleves of 56 training programs between 2007 and 2009.
We have launched the American Rug Craftsmen line to satisfy the hunger for American-made products," said Brandon Culpepper, vice president of specialty sales for Mohawk.
The residents have complained that lack of initiative by the government to improve their situation has led to the migration of craftsmen to other places.
The executive director of the Chamber of Craftsmen of the Republic of Macedonia, Olivija Sterjova, said that it is good news that craftsmanship is increasingly more present in government policies now than before.
During the uprising, craftsmen were calling Farghal, complaining that they're going out of business and money is running short, which prompted her to launch Sanay3y.
But off to the side (below) the craftsmen are at work fixing fine metalwork and making replacements for damaged sections.
Availing of such ovens is part of Paci's plans to support craftsmen in various governorates and regions of the Sultanate.
Ashbee, who took a group of poor families from the East End of London to set up a workshop at Chipping Campden, remained designers and had most of the work executed by craftsmen many of whom, apart from having more agreeable surroundings, were little better off than they had been.
Van der Haegen contends that a combination of merchants and craftsmen controlled the city and were free to determine their own fate.