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  • Published: 5 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473520684
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

Why We Make Things and Why it Matters

The Education of a Craftsman




Heartfelt and thought-provoking, an eloquent meditation on the nature of work and craftsmanship and why it matters, more than ever, that we value the process of making things well.

Why do we make things? Why do we choose the emotionally and physically demanding work of bringing new objects into the world with creativity and skill? Why does it matter that we make things well? What is the nature of work? And what is the nature of a good life?

Part memoir, part polemic, part philosophical reflection, this is a book about the process of creation and what it means to be a craftsman in a mass-produced world. For woodworker Peter Korn, the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own efforts is exactly what generates authenticity, meaning, and fulfilment, for which many of us yearn. This is not a 'how-to' book in any sense, Korn wants to get at the 'why' of craft in particular, and the satisfaction of creative work in general, to understand its 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 in this heartfelt, personal and revealing book.

  • Published: 5 February 2015
  • ISBN: 9781473520684
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the author

Peter Korn

Peter Korn is the founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Furniture Craftmanship, a woodworking and design school in Rockport, Maine. A furniture maker since 1974, his work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the United States. In addition to writing Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman, which won the 2014 Maine Literary Award, Korn is the author of several how-to books. These include the bestselling Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship and The Woodworker’s Guide to Hand Tools.

Praise for Why We Make Things and Why it Matters

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 has been a let-down, 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. It is also timely [ ... ] I don't own so much as a chisel. After finishing this wise and inspiring book, I'm sorely tempted to get one. I might even try to learn what to do with it

Robert Crampton, The Times

A beautiful little book

Bath Chronicle

If you are in the building trade or just love creating things as a hobby, you will find this book fascinating

Tania Findlay, Sun

This is a thoroughly readable and touching account of a craftsman's life from the inside out

Good Book Guide

Peter's story is a good one and unflinchingly deals with many of the hurdles he had to face. I found his account of a search for truth and reason a fascinating one

Mark Cass, Woodworker & Woodturner

It's a beautifully written account of one man's journey, making beautiful items over his lifetime.

Vanessa King, Psychologies

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