Why We Make Things and Why It Matters


The Education of a craftsman


PETER KORN

LIBRARY JOURNAL | OCTOBER 15, 2013

Here, furniture maker Korn (Woodworking Basics: Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship) shifts from how-to guides to a more philosophical approach to woodcraft. Tracing his evolution as an artist, he chronicles his beginning with carpentry/early efforts, then describes his ownership of a storefront in New York City’s Little Italy in the 1970s and his first solo show in 1981 at the Gross McCleaf Gallery in Philadelphia. Korn taught at Anderson Ranch in Colorado and eventually opened a school, the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, in Rockport, ME. He discusses having cancer as a young man and describes its return when he was older and the impact it had on his life. This book documents Korn’s personal philosophy, interweaves art and existence, and is based on a strong belief in his work. He mentions as influential Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman, and Matthew B. Crawford’s Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work, as well as other books that have explored similar territory. VERDICT An uplifting title for artisans, novice or skilled, who will benefit from the ideas of a kindred spirit.—Barbara Kundanis, Longmont P.L., CO