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Publisher's Summary

In this moving account, Peter Korn explores the nature and rewards of creative practice. We follow his search for meaning as an Ivy-educated child of the middle class who finds employment as a novice carpenter on Nantucket, transitions to self-employment as a designer and maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado's Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and then founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected nonprofit institution.
Furniture making practiced as a craft in the 21st century is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For Korn the challenging work of bringing something new and meaningful into the world through one's own volition - whether in the arts, the kitchen, or the marketplace - is what generates the meaning and fulfillment that so many of us seek.
This is not a how-to book in any sense. Korn wants to get at the why of craft in particular and the satisfactions of creative work in general to understand their 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, and often poignantly, in this personal, introspective, and revealing book.
©2013 Peter Korn (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Alan on 05-17-14

A guide to living a fulfilling life

This book is rich and dense in a good way, and stands up to repeated listenings. Korn weaves together his own life story, a history of the craft movement (the only part of the book where the momentum sags a bit), and a philosophy for living a meaningful and fulfilling life. If you're anyone trying to create something--whether writer, artist, musician, craftsperson, whatever--I haven't found a deeper guide to that journey anywhere. Inspiring!

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ray on 06-19-14

Must Read

Well, not for everyone, but for those who are at least a little disturbed by the disposable culture we now live in, it's a must read. Not as good "Shop Class as Soulcraft" though to be fair, the author isn't trying to write the same book so perhaps it's just different.

Easier to read than Pirsig's "Zen" and definitely more to the point, it belongs on the same as shelf as these two books as well Richard Sennett, David Pye et al.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Louise Anderson on 03-03-18

Both inspiring and down to earth.

I loved it. A nice mellow listen which was both inspiring and down to earth.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Glenn on 09-03-15

fascinating life story and philosophy

I'm really interested in craft and it's sociological functions and this tapped directly into my interest. Mr Korn tells a life story with the lifelong development of his craft at the centre. in between he expands on his understanding of how his craft has informed his development as a person. I found it very interesting and inspiring and couldn't wait to return to it
I listened while I worked ony canoe. which seemed appropriate!

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