Why We Make Things And Why It Matters with Peter Korn

Author, craftsman, and educator Peter Korn will present “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman” at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday evening, March 11, at 7:00 pm. Korn is the founder and executive director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport.

Author, craftsman, and educator Peter Korn will present “Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman” at the Camden Public Library on Tuesday evening, March 11, at 7:00 pm. Korn is the founder and executive director of the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport.

At the start of his book Why We Make Things and Why It Matters, Korn says, “When I turned my first clear pine board into a cradle, and for many years thereafter, I was beguiled by rediscovering the how of craft. How do you sharpen a chisel? How do you cut a sliding dovetail? How do you make a chair comfortable? Eventually, though, I also began to wonder about the why. What is craft and why does it matter? Why do we make things? Or, more specifically, why do we choose the spiritually, emotionally, and physically demanding work of bringing new objects into the world with creativity and skill?

“The answers I have found – through considering the work of my own hands, through the practical education of a life in craft, and through the shared experiences of others – all seem to lead back to one fundamental truth: we practice contemporary craft as a process of self-transformation.”

Publisher David R. Godine describes the book in this way, “Furniture making practiced as a craft in the twenty-first century, is a decidedly marginal occupation. Yet the view from the periphery can be illuminating. For woodworker Peter 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 exactly what generates the authenticity, meaning, and fulfillment for which many of us yearn.

“In this moving account, 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/maker of fine furniture, takes a turn at teaching and administration at Colorado’s Anderson Ranch Arts Center, and finally founds a school in Maine: the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship, an internationally respected, non-profit institution.”

And painter Chuck Close writes, “Peter Korn’s brilliant new book resonates with me as a visual artist in a profound way. I share his passion for craft and admire his ability to take a plank of wood and fashion anything he sets his mind to. Throughout the centuries, furniture makers and painters have shared a set of belief systems centered on craft. The pleasure and calm that I get as a painter fashioning a complicated work from colored dirt on canvas is, I believe, the same pleasure and peace that Peter Korn and his students get as craftsmen.”

Join us for an evening with Maine craftsman and author Peter Korn to discuss his book and share your thoughts on the creative process. Books will be available for purchase and signing, made available by Sherman’s Books.

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