“This collection of profiles about great American craftsmen is itself the handiwork of a great American craftsman.”
–David Grogan, This Old House Magazine
For Acts of Creation, award-winning journalist Walt Harrington travels America searching for the magical nexus of craft, talent, and mastery that gives birth to a functional work of art—and leaves its maker with a sense of satisfaction and achievement known well to fine craftsmen across the ages.
A builder of monumental fireplaces in Maine. A cabinet maker in Maryland. A millwright in Virginia. A locksmith and a house framer in Ohio. A hardwood floor man in Indiana. A blacksmith in Illinois. A stone carver in California. Not one of the fourteen craftsmen profiled believes he is working only to build a house, to renovate a watermill, to cast a plaster medallion. Each imbues his work with grander purpose—Michael Seward wants the people who buy his furniture to experience an emotional connection; Chuck Crispin wants his clients’ lives to be evoked in his floor designs; Charles Keller wants the highly educated world to appreciate the complicated genius of not only fine blacksmithing but all fine craftsmen.
The profiles in Acts of Creation help to reclaim the place of craftsmanship in a consumerist era that places higher value on profit and branding than it does on dedicated excellence. These craftsmen offer not only lessons about craftsmanship, but also about life.
For more info, please see: www.WaltHarrington.com
“Acts of Creation is a lovely collection of literary journalism, written by a master of the form. Walt Harrington’s gracefully nuanced prose, full of feeling and finely observed detail, wonderfully conveys the world of craftsmen in all its artful integrity. In the grand tradition of Tracy Kidder, John McPhee and Joseph Mitchell, Harrington offers us a fascinating and enduring homage to men at work.”
–Barry Siegel, Pulitzer Prize winner, director of the Literary Journalism Program, University of California, Irvine