A Craftsman’s Legacy

When I was a kid, some of my favorite moments were watching Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood episodes featuring how things were made and the people who made them. I am so fascinated to learn the trades, skills and talents of others. Though we currently have many options for do-it-youself and how-to videos online and on TV, it’s a rare thing to peek inside the studio, life and workings of most artisans and craftsmen. Eric Gorges, a custom motorcycle builder from Detroit is out to change that.

10497901_10202595880319331_8746073057377005822_oEric travels the country to discover and share the challenges and rewards of highly skilled craftsmen and women.

“In the first season of A Craftsman’s Legacy, Gorges, who builds motorcycles, visits thirteen craftspeople including a woodworker, glassblower, guitar maker, stone carver, goldsmith, potter, saddle maker, gun maker, blacksmith, book maker, bladesmith, boat maker, and basket weaver, and tries his hand at each of their skills.  Acting as an apprentice, he learns the history and traditions of each craft and its value in our modern-day culture.”

I’ve had the opportunity to watch one full episode of A Craftsman’s Legacy featuring glass blower April Wagner. Together April and Eric discuss everything from artist vs. craftsman, setting up a full studio, her path to becoming the talented glass blower and business woman she is today, and living the dream of making a living crafting by hand and the rewards and sacrifices that come with it. April’s breathtaking gallery of work is featured throughout the episode. Once the ovens are fired, April teaches Eric the basics of making a simple drinking glass, a very fascinating process that clearly takes many years of practice, trial and error. So more than just watching an object being made, you will come away enriched from stepping into the day in the life of the person behind the craft, and appreciate the blood sweat and tears of a craftsman’s legacy.

Airing will begin in early September on American Public Television, check your local listings or the show’s website after September 4, 2014 for details.

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