Metalworker, blacksmith, and artisan, Hephaestus was the only Greek god that worked. In mythology, he is honored for having taught mankind that work is noble (Homeric Hymn to Hephaestus), and having imparted the desire not not only to work, but to excel at one's craft. Understandably, he therefore became the patron god of artists and craftsmen of all kinds - metalworkers, blacksmiths, leatherworkers, weavers, potters, painters.
Much of the time, Hephaestus was at his volcanic forge, passionately engaged in solitary creative work, resulting in creations that spoke to the psychic depths of both gods and humans. He had the power to reach into the collective unconscious, and to create works (such as Achilles shield) which were extraordinarily beautiful, detailed, and lifelike.
One reason for Hephaestus' appeal to many men and women throughout the ages is that he personifies the psychological archetype of the wounded creator or artist - rejected initially by both mother and father....
Via Bonnie Bright