About the Show
In today’s disposable, “get-it-the next-day” consumer world, one might even struggle with the question “Why is a Craftsman important?”
You can answer that question by asking yourself whether you prefer a home grilled steak over a frozen one you throw in the microwave? Or would you prefer a hand written note from someone you care about, over a mass produced greeting that a million people have held in their hands.
And it goes back to our very core as people. When you first made a hand-turkey in grade school, and gave it to your Mother, was it ever about the piece of construction paper and how accurate the feathers were? No. It was meaningful because it came from you. Your hands, your talent, your imagination and creativity. And that’s why your Mom never threw it away. It was a part of you and that’s not something she ever wanted to lose.
For centuries, women and men have created things others needed or wanted and they became specialists in that creation, usually after a long period of apprenticing under another Craftsman. The cobbler making shoes, the blacksmith making cooking utensils, the glassblower making a vase. No matter what it was, it was made by someone who used their inner talents, combined with their education and experience to make something that would last. Its quality was the Craftsman’s very reputation.
Maybe we don’t need a hand carved set of salad bowls on our dinner table, but it doesn’t mean they don’t still represent something important. It only means we’ve lost our ability to appreciate the quality and the fact that someone put part of themselves into that creation. But if you’ve ever paid attention to the 25 year-old carpenter who’s finishing your cabinets, or watched a 90 year-old Cuban woman roll a cigar with her aging hands, there’s no question it’s important to them.
A Craftsman’s Legacy will open up a world for you that was always there…maybe it’s a world you used to know, or watched your grandfather live in. A world where people forsake money over pride in the work. People who don’t just choose to work with their hands, like a poet or a singer, they have to walk this path. Your host, Eric Gorges is a Craftsman and he’ll guide you back down the path of American ingenuity and creative honesty. For Eric Gorges,
It’s VERY personal.
Like his hometown of Detroit, Eric’s story is one of repurposing and rebuilding. After a devastating health crisis in the late ‘90’s, Eric, a self- confessed IT nerd, walked away from a lucrative corporate career for good. At that period in his life, he knew three very simple things; he loved bikes, he loved working with his hands and he needed a job. He sought out Ron Fournier at Fournier Enterprises, one of the best metal shapers in the country and eventually signed on as his apprentice. Starting in the business from the ground floor up, with Ron as his handcrafting guru, Eric started working on vintage cars and building “one of a kind” hot rods. In April of 1999, with years of building and design work under his belt, he decided to strike out on his own and Voodoo Choppers was born. (See his work at www.voodoochoppers.com)
For this fiercely independent entrepreneur, a custom bike shop was the only way to go. Says Gorges,” I didn’t want to assemble bikes, buying parts from suppliers and bolting everything together. I wanted to be able to build whatever I could dream and didn’t want to be constrained by other people’s ideas.” Moreover, as the dad of a ten year old daughter, Gorges views this work as more than just a way to make a living.
In a disposable world, he regards craftsmanship as a lasting and loving legacy to future generations.