If you are intrigued by those who create things with their skilled hands, these books will take you on a rich journey into the lives of the makers. The intricacies of each craft are revealed along with the painstaking care that goes into each endeavor.

Almost Lost Arts: Traditional Crafts and the Artisans Keeping Them Alive by Emily Freidenrich will transport you to workshops across the globe to introduce you to twenty makers, fixers, and collectors who are all dedicated to preserving traditional handicrafts.

Handcrafted Maine: Art, Life, Harvest, and Home by Katy Kelleher will allow you to experience Maine via intimate windows into the lives of more than twenty artists, artisans, and craftspeople including weavers, potters, a painter, an architect, a boat builder, a leather worker, bakers, and seaweed harvesters. Through the atmospheric photographs, you’ll be transported into their lives and the spectacularly varied Maine landscape of mountains, forests, lakes, and coastline.

The Lost Carving: A Journey into the Heart of Making by David Esterly is the true story of the disastrous fire at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court Palace where Grinling Gibbons’ masterpiece was destroyed by the flames. Esterly was the foremost practitioner of Gibbons’s forgotten wood-carving technique, due to a longtime fascination with the artist and his work. Esterly was chosen to undertake the challenge of replacing the Gibbons panel, and he poetically shares the details of working with lime wood while finding meaning and mystery in the carvings he is replacing. Even if woodworking is of little interest to you, Esterly’s impassioned way of looking at everything will leave you you enthralled. To learn even more, I recommend checking out Grinling Gibbons and the Art of Carving in tandem.

Brew like a Monk : Trappist, Abbey, and Strong Belgian ales and How to Brew Them by Stan Hieronymus delves into monastic brewing, and details the beer styles and brewing techniques of the famous Trappist producers. He visits modern producers in both Belgium and America, and provides tips and recipes for those inclined to brew their own.

Forge & Carve: Heritage Crafts: The Search for Well-being and Sustainability in the Modern World is a celebration of the revival of time-honored techniques in blacksmithing, woodworking, woodturning, carving, leather working, knife making, axe making, and bow making.

Shop class as Soulcraft : An Inquiry Into the Value of Work by motorcycle repair shop owner Matthew B. Crawford shares the meaningful experience of making and fixing things with one’s own hands. He advocates for self-reliance and raises important questions about society’s trend towards becoming ‘knowledge only’ workers.

Why We Make Things and Why It Matters: The Education of a Craftsman by woodworker Peter Korn highlights craftsmanship and why we should value the process behind items that are made with quality and care. Relaying the satisfaction of creative work and how craftsmanship is an activity that connects people, he explores the ‘why’ of craft and the meaning of being a craftsman in the modern world.

Made to Last : A Compendium of Artisans, Trades & Projects by Vanessa Murray showcases artisan products being created today with intriguing profiles of their makers. DIY projects are included to inspire you to create something!

The Craft and the Makers: Tradition with Attitude is a showcase of small manufacturers who take pride in their creativity and craftsmanship while producing quality products with heart and durability. The pages on Bellerby & Co Globemakers were especially memorable.

Crafted: A Compendium of Crafts- new, old, and forgotten by Sally Coulthard is a celebration of craft in the 21st century. Explore the history, materials, and techniques of eighty crafts in this visual guide to all things handmade including bookbinding, leatherwork, stained-glass, spoon carving, and candle making.

Thanks for checking out some of our favorite books about Craftsmanship and Handcrafting, be sure to visit our Lists page for more reading suggestions and resource guides.

Written by Linda, 8/12/20