There is no singular craftsman’s guild, but rather, several. However, the basic purpose and organization of the various guilds are very similar. Each guild is dedicated to a specific craft, will have guild halls set up in various cities, and will be run by elected members. Membership into a craftsman’s guild requires an apprenticeship, and then the individual must prove themselves worthy of higher ranks within the guild. The ranks, from lowest to highest, are probate, apprentice, journeyman, craftsman, master, and grand master. Those who have achieved journeyman status may use certain guild resources, and those of craftsman level and higher may vote on guild issues.
The purpose of guilds is to provide mutual support, and to provide social and political influence for artisans. The guilds help to set standardized prices for required goods, and for services rendered, and provide protection for their members.
Not all guilds exist in all cities, or even all countries – certain crafts are impractical in some areas. It should also be noted that not all practitioners of a craft are necessarily a member of a guild.
Rough List of Guilds
- Woodworker’s Guild
- Stonemason’s Guild
- Glassblower’s Guild
- Smith’s Guild
- Shipwright’s Guild
- Weaver’s Guild (also includes dye-makers and tailors)
- Artist’s Guild (painters, mosaicists, sculptors)