Handmade: A Selected Bibliography

May 7th, 2018

A new classic in the tradition of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Shop Class as SoulcraftHandmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction will help creative people in any field reconnect to the source of their creativity and revitalize their creative energy. In "Handmade," master craftsman Gary Rogowski confronts the greatest obstacles to creative focus in the modern age: distraction; pointless busyness; fear of failure; and the devil of self-doubt that tells you your work doesn’t matter." Handmadeshows that the path around these obstacles is the act of creative work itself. The discipline of working with one’s hands, mind and heart to create unnecessarily beautiful things shapes the builder into a more complete human being. Handmade tells the story of how the young Rogowski, an intellectual college graduate with no formal training in woodworking, became a craftsman through years of persistent labor, which taught him patience, resilience, tolerance for failure, and a love of pursuing beauty and mastery for their own sakes. Rogowski punctuates the story of his growth as a craftsman with accounts of his hiking and mountaineering expeditions with his friend Wheaton, who taught him a different kind of perseverance and patience in the face of danger, discomfort, and the wild beauty of nature. In telling his stories, Rogowski reflects deeply on the lessons he has learned and presents a series of profound meditations on the eternal value of work, creativity, human fallibility, and the stubborn pursuit of quality. Part autobiography, part guide to creativity, and part guide to living an authentic life, Handmade is a book for craftspeople, artists and anyone who seeks clarity, purpose and creativity in their work. Gary will discuss Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction on Monday, 5/14, 6pm at 57th Street Books.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig - A discourse on the nature of Quality that remains as relevant today as when published.

The Craftsman, by Richard Sennett - An intellectual's view on craft, nevertheless a probing study of hands on efforts in many disciplines.

The Evolution of Useful Things, by Henry Petroski - This professor of failure mechanics has given us book after book on the value of failure in design.

The Old Ways, by Robert Macfarlane - A poetic discourse on the value of walking on one of many pathways.

Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry, by Ted Kooser (with Jim Harrison) - A look at simple yet profound aspects of life.

Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott - The best book on writing and creativity ever and the most hilarious and true and honest.

Man's Search for Meaning, by Victor Frankl - A profound book on the importance of meaning and intention in a life, no matter the circumstances surrounding it.

Tools of the Trade, by Jeff Taylor - The heart-warming and hilarious education of a carpenter.

The Nature & Aesthetics of Design, by David Pye - A look at the importance of failure in design.

The Unknown Craftsman, by Soetsu Yanagi - A discussion on the simplicity and implicit magic of hand made crafts.

About Gary Rogowski: Gary Rogowski is a designer, furniture maker, teacher, and author. He skidded off his presumed college path of gathering more degrees in literature to pursue something useless and beautiful building handmade furniture. He has been a non-fiction author since 1989, but is also a playwright, novelist, gardener, and once a proud Beagle owner. In 1997 he started The Northwest Woodworking Studio, A School for Woodworkers, in Portland, Oregon. Classes, workshops, and the Mastery Study Program atwww.northwestwoodworking.com.

Posted in: