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A Craftsman's Legacy: Why Working with Our Hands Gives Us Meaning

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The host of TV’s A Craftsman’s Legacy makes the case that the craftsman’s way--the philosophy, the skills, and the mindset--can provide a helpful blueprint for all of us in our increasingly hurried, mass-manufactured world.

Today, even as so many of us spend hours in front of screens and in the virtual world, there is a growing movement that recognizes the power in the
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Algonquin Books
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Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great and inspiring read
Kerry Pickens
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
This book reminds of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, which was published when I was in college. Its a collection of stories about how craftsmanship brings meaning to people's lives. I work in an office, and although the work I do is technical I can still value and see the need for people that work in mechanical, construction, and agricultural fields. In fact I watch YouTube videos about a farrier in Scotland that works on dairy cows. There is something captivating about how much ...more
John Shedd
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a long time since I felt the need to take notes and copy quotes while reading a book. There's so much here about life in general, not just about being a craftsman.
Judy Aulik
Dec 27, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I certainly hope the regular edition had photos, because the author's descriptive skills were not up to the task of explaining all the traditional skills, especially blacksmithing.
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really thoughtful book. If you're a "maker" like I am, this will touch your heart.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, non-fiction
I often look at handcrafted goods and think that I could never create something so beautiful, but as Gorges astutely states in his book, "everyone has a day one."

Gorges book sparks inspiration as you read the struggles and successes of various craftsmen--glass blowers to furniture makers, jeans makers to a hatter, a yarn spinner to a swordsmith, and many others. But his story is the most inspiring--leaving a lucrative corporate job to work as an apprentice to a craftsman after struggling with
Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
*I won this book through Goodreads Giveaways*
Eric Gorges' A Craftsman's Legacy that is based off his PBS show of the same name.
He made a book profiling and writing about many of the same people featured on his show.
He takes you through his own journey of behind a curious kid playing around with spare wood & metal in his basement, to suffering from panic attacks and leaving a cushy job at Xerox, because he felt he was called to do something with his hands-- he was called to create. So he
Craig Scandrett-Leatherman
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In much of the developed world where work centers around computer screens, this is a refreshing examination of artisans who use their hands to make things. The book's chapters are theme-titled but several of them focus on a particular artisan and their craft: a potter, furniture maker, stone carver, glassblower, calligrapher, etc. The author's own biography is creatively interwoven throughout: he worked in the tech industry, developed mental health issues which were relieved as he became a ...more
Stacy Bearse
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Many dedicate their lives to seeking wealth and material items. Here are a series of vignettes about people who eschew materialism to find joy and fulfillment by working with their hands. They might be called craftsmen, artisans or artists. Author Eric Gorges profiles their unique worlds, and ties their stories together with observations on the creative life: The battle for perfection, the pursuit of beauty, and the peace that accompanies focus and determination. Gorges traded a career in a ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Human beings simply cannot create perfection with our hands. We can make things eye-perfect, but measurements will never lie. An object made by hand will have that human stamp on it. That's what gives a piece its soul. Rather than turn away from this reality, various cultures have decided to lean in to this fact."
Dan Crowther
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
While the life stories/interviews of various craftsmen across many disciplines was well done, I REALLY wanted the book to answer "Why Working with Our Hands Gives Us Meaning". Unfortunately, it doesn't even come close to doing so. No psychological theories, no statistics on how tangibles prolong life, not even suppositions by the author.
Kellie Wolke
Overall, I enjoyed this book. Learning about each of the craftsmen the author had worked with was fascinating, and there were a lot of little profound bits of wisdom. But the book was very repetitive, and there was quite a bit about the author's own life.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've watched any of the episodes of the author's PBS show, this book documents the same craftspeople. Eric also weaves memoir-type texts into various chapters which give the book depth. The spattering of quotes throughout the book is a thoughtful touch.
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Enjoyed reading stories about the various craftsmen and women.
Deanna S.
This was a different kind of look at people and why they do things. Very introspective of the author's life as well.
Mike Dahlstrom
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring, deep and meaningful. I didn’t know he had a show, but you don’t need to to love this book.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meditative, philosophical, inspiring
Nathan Colglazier
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I genuinely enjoyed reading the experiences and wisdom of the featured craftsmen in this book. I'm also inspired to create more.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I admit that I'm not familiar with Gorges' PBS TV show of the same name . . . but now I will look it up. The book combines memoir with insights from craftspeople/artisans practicing in many mediums and genres. I've marked many passages that are as relevant to me as a quilt maker as they are to the glassblower, swordsmith, weaver, spur maker, potter, furniture maker, and others who are profiled.
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book to promote a tv show. Relive your favourite episodes kind of thing. Without watching the show, others have done this type of book better. “Craeft” by Langlands. Sennet. Crawford. Pirsig. Thoreau.
Nancy Noble
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was great fun to read - I had never heard of the author nor his television show, but I loved his writing and enthusiasm and story, and was very inspired. I looked up each website for all the people he spoke about and with.
Judith Rask
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Relatable, likeable, craftsmen and women who literally forged ahead with life-changing passions, sprinkled with Eric Gorges personal travails and humour. Soul searchers and seekers, a must-read. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Enjoy the ride.
Elizabeth - Book Blogger
Calling all makers, crafters, and artists! Here’s a fabulous book for you that helps us understand what drives us to use our hands to create and how that window shapes our world and has over thousands of years.

We’ve made so many advances in technology but I’ve noticed that we still stay true to our roots when it comes to working with our hands and creating either works of art or practical pieces that can be used everyday. If you’ve ever made something from nothing, you’ll appreciate the work
May 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Musings on craftsmanship spliced with bits of memoir and visits to other crafts practitioners.
David Szweduik
rated it it was amazing
Jul 13, 2019
rated it really liked it
Nov 27, 2019
Mayor of Dunkin
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Nov 09, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2019
Rob Johnson
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Feb 05, 2020
rated it did not like it
Aug 30, 2019
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