cover image Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman

Peter Korn. Godine, $24.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-56792-511-1

In this philosophical reflection, Korn (Woodworking Basics), a long-time furniture maker who founded the non-profit Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, takes readers on a journey both spiritual and personal, recounting his life spent as a builder and teacher. Clearly, endless hours alone in the workshop have given him time to think; this introspective study alternates between biographical sequences and navel-gazing, endless questions related to craft and purpose, function and design, bubbling to the surface. As he states, "%E2%80%A6creative effort is a process of challenging embedded narratives of belief in order to think the world into being for oneself, and that the work involved in doing so provides a wellspring of spiritual fulfillment." When talking about his personal growth%E2%80%94his attempts to start a business, his battles with cancer , his struggle to create a teaching space%E2%80%94Korn is straight-forward and engaging. When he delves into the more abstract and ephemeral notions, evoking the classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the narrative loses both focus and intensity, becoming a hazy, meditative piece. Color photos. (Nov.)