Handmade

Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction
Narrated by: BJ Harrison
Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In an era when there are countless competing claims on one's attention, how does one find the internal focus to be creative? For master furniture craftsman Gary Rogowski, the answer is in the act of creative work itself. The discipline of working with one's hands to create unnecessarily beautiful things shapes the builder into a more complete human being.  

In the tradition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Shop Class as Soulcraft, Rogowski's Handmade is a profound meditation on the eternal value of manual work, creativity, human fallibility, and the stubborn pursuit of quality work. Rogowski tells his life story of how he became a craftsman and how years of persistent work have taught him patience, resilience, tolerance for failure, and a love of pursuing beauty and mastery for its own sake.  

Part autobiography, part guide to creativity, and part guide to living, Handmade is an audiobook for craftspeople, artists, and anyone who seeks clarity, purpose, and creativity in his or her work - and it's the perfect antidote to a modern world that thinks human labor is obsolete.

©2017 Gary Rogowski (P)2019 Tantor

What listeners say about Handmade

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tedious and indulgent

I expected more straight-forward prose, but the author took 45 minutes to retell mostly pointless anecdotes of College, with no hint of more appealing content further in the book. At no point in the first hour or so, did the author communicate his purpose, nor provide any useful insight. I do not wish to invest my time listening to an aimless, indulgent, meandering, and largely pointless hour of navel-gazing. The author is somewhat obsessed with his idea of "mastery", and is quite proud of his abilities. Writing and storytelling are not areas he should boast too heavily. Concerning the audio book performance, at first the reader's high pitched and unsure voice was distracting, but then I realized his voice was a perfect match for the book, so I do feel the need to mark the performance higher. I am asking for a refund.

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self aggrandizing

I don't know if it was the tone or the content, but the author fell far short of humble. Not a bad message, but not a great book.

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Awesome

This photo was so good that I think it’s probably one of the greatest books ever written. I think it’s even better than “Zen in the item motorcycle maintenance”. Every artist should read it. Every craftsman should read it. Every student should read it. I wish it had been written and I had read it when I was a hungry young mind. Now I’m a hungry old mind and just glad that I found it. I sent a copy to an Art professor of mine from college. It actually sounded like him speaking to me. Gary is a great writer and the book was much more interesting than Thoreau’s work. The reader is excellent and the experience was nostalgic and beautiful.