John Wilson is a writer, a teacher and a woodworker. Host Eric Gorges visits John at his home shop and learns how to make a shoulder plane. Eric learns the history of shop made tools, how to home temper tool-steel and the importance of salt in the woodshop.
Host Eric Gorges visits a friend, April Wagner. April is a glass blower who works in abstract art. Eric learns how hot a glass studio is and how to make a glass cup. Eric and April discuss the connection between making a sacrifice when starting up a business and the give and take that successful craft people have to make and the rewards that eventually come.
Bryan Galloup builds guitars and runs a school to teach others the craft of guitar making. Host Eric Gorges visits the school and learns what it takes to build a guitar from scratch. The discussion about the tonal properties of wood, steam bending and some of the key steps of guitar building.
Host Eric Gorges visits with Walter Arnold. Walter is an accomplished stone carver who started his career at a very early age. Eric learns a little about what it takes to carve lime stone and marble. The history of stone carving and early days of Walter’s apprenticeship in Italy, including kicking around the same quarry that Michelangelo went shopping for his marble.
Host Eric Gorges visits a goldsmith in the mountains. Susan McDonough works in a small studio on her family’s farm. Eric makes a silver ring using a technique over 3000 years old. The conversation turns to the paths that craftpeople take in their journey. It’s neither straight nor connected. Some people take years to end up doing what they want. Along the way skills in Kitchens, Bakeries, School Bus Driving, EMT, Firefighter and Librarians are not unique. Susan just happened to hit all of those careers in her journey.
Host Eric Gorges visits potter and musician Akira Satake. Akira discovered his love of pottery later in life. Eric makes a ceramic teapot. Eric and Akira discuss the serendipity that leads craftsmen to their craft. Akira, started his career as an accomplished photographer in Japan, then another successful career in New York as a recording studio owner and a session banjo player before, at the age of 42 deciding that Pottery was his true passion.
Charon and Tom Caldwell changed the horse saddle industry.
Host Eric Gorges visits the Caldwell ranch and learns how saddles are made. Charon and Tom Caldwell embody the craftperson who knows when it’s time to strike out on their own. After years of successfully working for a top saddle maker, they charted their own paths and created a revolution in the way that saddles are fitted to the horse.
Mike Brooks builds long rifles based on designs over 100 years old. Host Eric Gorges discovers the history of a long rifle and shoots one. Eric learns that the old ways of the gunsmith are alive and well. Building skills that brought the long riffle to the American south and heartland are the same methods that are used today.
Host Eric Gorges visits with Lorelei Sims. Lorelei is a talented blacksmith in a mostly male dominated trade.
Eric learns how to make a dagger. Over the course of the conversation, the life of a blacksmith is revealed. It’s communal and family oriented and often time the way of life expands from the shop to the home.
Knife-maker Tim Zowada's creations start with sand collected from Lake Superior. Host Eric Gorges visits with Tim and makes a knife.
Chad Pastotnik makes fine art books. Host Eric Gorges visits Chad’s studio to learn about 400-year-old printing and binding techniques.
John Yothers builds beautiful and very functional wooden boats. Host Eric Gorges learns the proper way to blueprint a boat and also what goes into building a boat from scratch.