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Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman | [Peter Korn]

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

In this moving account, Peter Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer and maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and then founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected nonprofit institution.
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Publisher's Summary

In this moving account, Peter Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer and maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and then founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected nonprofit institution.

Furniture making practiced as a craft in the 21st century is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For Korn the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own volition - whether in the arts, the kitchen, or the marketplace - is what generates the meaning and fulfillment that so many of us seek.

This is not a how-to book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular and the satisfactions of creative work in general to understand their essential nature. How does the making of objects shape our identities? How do the products of creative work inform society? In short, what does the process of making things reveal to us about ourselves? Korn draws on four decades of hands-on experience to answer these questions eloquently, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.

©2013 Peter Korn (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks

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    Kevin Adams CLAREMORE, OK, US 06-24-14
    Kevin Adams CLAREMORE, OK, US 06-24-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Thoughtful and Well Written"
    What made the experience of listening to Why We Make Things and Why It Matters the most enjoyable?

    The narrator has a pleasant voice and the author's story was both interesting and insightful.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The truths about life that the story uncovers.


    What does Traber Burns bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Not sure


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No extreme reaction but I will listen to it again.


    Any additional comments?

    Chapter 12 is great

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 06-19-14
    Ray Glendale, AZ, United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Must Read"

    Well, not for everyone, but for those who are at least a little disturbed by the disposable culture we now live in, it's a must read. Not as good "Shop Class as Soulcraft" though to be fair, the author isn't trying to write the same book so perhaps it's just different.

    Easier to read than Pirsig's "Zen" and definitely more to the point, it belongs on the same as shelf as these two books as well Richard Sennett, David Pye et al.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alan Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-17-14
    Alan Minnetonka, MN, United States 05-17-14 Member Since 2009
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    "A guide to living a fulfilling life"

    This book is rich and dense in a good way, and stands up to repeated listenings. Korn weaves together his own life story, a history of the craft movement (the only part of the book where the momentum sags a bit), and a philosophy for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. If you're anyone trying to create something--whether writer, artist, musician, craftsperson, whatever--I haven't found a deeper guide to that journey anywhere. Inspiring!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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