Author: Walt Harrington
Published by: The Sager Group
If you enjoyed Peter Korn’s recently published Why We Make Things and Why it Matters and in general like to muse on the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how of woodworking you may also like this collection of profiles of artisans and craftspeople.
As a former staff writer for the Washington Post Magazine Walt Harrington has written innumerable articles as well as eight other non-fiction books. He has degrees in journalism and sociology and has won many awards. Like the people he profiles in this collection he is also a craftsman, but of the literary kind. The 14 profiles featured first appeared in This Old House Magazine as part of its 'An American Craftsman' series.
In writing about the life purpose of those featured he touches on a range of human values. Intense application of effort over thousands of hours in pursuit of perfection leads the people we call master craftspeople to often shared realisations.
Profiles of a blacksmith, locksmith, parquetry floor layer, millwright, carpenter, copper worker, fireplace builder, plaster crafter, door maker, builder, stone worker and two furniture makers provide fascinating insights into how and why some people live to perfect their crafts.
For woodworkers the best profile in the book must be the one of Sam Maloof. Written just prior to the relocation of the home and lemon grove that Sam Maloof and his wife Alfreda built and worked in over a fifty year period, Harrington’s profile gives insight into this famous maker’s personality. It also sheds light on an expertise and artistry born of the 60 to 100 hours a week that Sam Maloof spent working over the larger part of his life.
See www.waltharrington.com for more information