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

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by Peter Korn

Why do people bother to make things when most objects are readily available and many are cheaper than the maker’s final cost? For Peter Korn, founder of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, it’s because craft is a central human activity, which connects people to tradition and each other.

Part elegant memoir, part treatise on creativity, Why We Make Things and Why It Matters explores the grace of creating new objects through one’s vision and hard work. It offers insights and fellowship to readers of all backgrounds who find satisfaction in making things.

There are many photographs of Korn's beautiful woodwork, but this isn't a how-to - except as a meditation about how to pursue creative practices that "make our lives richer in meaning and fulfillment than they might otherwise."

"In his beautiful book Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, Peter Korn invites us to understand craftsmanship as an activity that connects us to others, and affirms what is best in ourselves.” - Matthew Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft

"What is the point of craft in a completely mass-produced world? Peter Korn’s life, as told here, holds an answer. This fascinating account offers insights into the significance of the handmade object for the maker as well as for society as a whole. “-Martin Puryear

"What a superb book this is. The measure of its excellence is such that, the central premise being so clearly intelligent, so engagingly correct, it would still prove a worthwhile read even if its execution had been a letdown. As it is, the perfectly planned prose and stylish design could elevate Peter Korn’s account of his life and career, as a craftsman (a furniture maker) to the status of a modern classic. This is one cool piece of work.” - Robert Crampton, The Times (UK)

"The style of Peter Korn’s lovely, patient and fastidious ode to craft, “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters,” mirrors the technical precision and style he has used in his career as a furniture maker and teacher. “ - The New York Times

"Here, furniture maker Korn shifts from how-to guides to a more philosophical approach to woodcraft. […] This book documents Korn’s personal philosophy, interweaves art and existence, and is based on a strong belief in his work.[…] An uplifting title for artisans, novice or skilled, who will benefit from the ideas of a kindred spirit.” - Library Journal


Pages: 176
Binding: TP
Publisher: Fox Chapel

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