Craft: Why Making Things Matters

Mar 18, 2014

Credit spinster cardigan/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Carving birds? Knitting sweaters? Paper cutting? Blowing glass? If you're a crafts person, paid or unpaid, please call and tell us what it adds to your life.

I once wandered into an antique shop, and purchased a bird made out of two silver spoons. There was something tender to me that an anonymous man or woman sat in a basement, no doubt, cleverly bending and shaping that metal. Did the heir think it was junk and sell it at a yard sale? Did its maker die, and the bird ended up in an estate sale? After all my questions, I know I saw it as a little treasure, and still have it.

The craft of making something, whether for fun, passion or profit, has always lent meaning to our lives. In a time of virtual experience, our involvement in the creative arts serves as a counterweight.

I'll talk with Peter Korn, author of Why We Make Things and Why It Matters. Korn is an Ivy-educated child of the middle class, who pursues a craft as a furniture maker on Nantucket. He is now founder of a non-profit school in Maine, The Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.

Questions we hope to find answers to:

  • What is the attraction of making things by hand?
  • Is each object made a snapshot of an idea?
  • Must you sell what you make to establish its meaning?

Peter Korn's hand-crafted furniture has been exhibited in galleries and museums.

Join the conversation by email, on Twitter, or on Facebook.


  • Peter Korn is the author of Why We Make Things and Why It Matters.


  • “Gne Gne,” Montefiori Cocktial
  • “Modul 42,” Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin
  • “Modul 45,” Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin
  • “Dawn Patrol,” Portico Quartet