A book for makers, for seekers of all kinds, an exhilarating look into the heart and soul of artisans—and how their collective wisdom can inspire us all.
"Despite our technological advances, we’re busier than ever, our lives more frazzled. That’s why the handmade object, created with care and detail, embodying a history and a tradition, is enormously powerful. It can cut through so much and speak in ways that we don’t often hear, or that we’ve forgotten." —Eric Gorges, from A Craftsman’s Legacy
In this joyful celebration of skilled craftsmen, Eric Gorges, a corporate-refugee-turned-metal-shaper, taps into a growing hunger to get back to what’s real. Through visits with fellow artisans—calligraphers, potters, stone carvers, glassblowers, engravers, woodworkers, and more—many of whom he’s profiled for his popular television program, Gorges identifies values that are useful for all of us: taking time to slow down and enjoy the process, embracing failure, knowing when to stop and when to push through, and accepting that perfection is an illusion. Most of all, A Craftsman’s Legacy shows how all of us can embrace a more creative and authentic life and learn to focus on doing what we love.
“This is a book full of cool stuff and the people who do it . . . Like the kindred-spirit book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Gorges' narrative serves up the lessons that one learns from hard, deliberate, artful work . . . a fine read for DIYers looking to up their game—or get their hands callused in the first place.”
“Invigorating . . . Digressions on the very real dangers of many of these jobs, the challenge of determining price, and the often circuitous path many artisans take before finding their place (as well as the role of failure in that path), satisfyingly round out the book. This is an impressive and emotionally rich appreciation of the work often taken for granted.”
“It’s a serious tome that deals with the significance of work and with principles like honesty, integrity, and purpose, which oddly mirror the world of business. There is indeed much to ponder.”
“A congenial and thoughtful host, Eric Gorges takes us on a guided tour of a rare species—resourceful individuals who buck the herd to build purposeful lives through self-employment at skilled crafts and trades.”
—Peter Korn, author of Why We Make Things and Why It Matters
Eric Gorges has been the host of A Craftsman’s Legacy since it began in 2014. After a health crisis caused him to reevaluate his life, he sought out one of the best metal shapers in the country and signed on as his apprentice. In 1999, he struck out on his own, opening the custom motorcycle shop, Voodoo Choppers, in Detroit, Michigan, where he lives today.