Craftsman's Legacy

Host Eric Gorges goes on a quest to discover the true craftsmen in today's world. Traveling across the country, Gorges interviews the men and women responsible for carrying the tools, trades and traditions of fine craftsmanship into the 21st century. From a glass blower to a guitar maker, a weaver to a potter, every episode explains the history of a traditional craft and the importance of that craft in the United States today. Gorges, a welder by trade, meets and interviews master craftsmen, and learns why they chose their craft, where they learned their skills, how they live using their talents, and the challenges and importance of keeping that tradition alive in a modern-day world. He then takes on the role of apprentice on a project under the guidance of the master craftsman.

Distributed by: American Public Television (APT)
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Eric Gorges

Eric Gorges

Like his hometown of Detroit, A Craftsman's Legacy host Eric Gorges' story is one of repurposing and rebuilding.

The Woodworker

Episode #101H · Host Eric Gorges visits John Wilson, a writer, a teacher and a woodworker, 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.

The Glassblower

Episode #102H · Host Eric Gorges visits a friend, April Wagner, a glassblower working in abstract art. Eric and April discuss the connection between making a sacrifice when starting up a business and the give-and-take that successful craft people must make and the rewards that eventually come. Eric learns how hot a glass studio can get and how to make a glass cup.

The Guitar Maker

Episode #103H · Brain 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. They discuss the tonal properties of wood, steam bending and key steps of guitar building.

The Stone Carver

Episode #104H · Host Eric Gorges visits with Walter Arnold, an accomplished stone carver. Eric learns about what it takes to carve limestone and marble. He also hears about the history of stone carving and early days of Walter's apprenticeship in Italy, including kicking around the same quarry where Michelangelo shopped for his marble.

The Goldsmith

Episode #105H · Host Eric Gorges visits goldsmith Susan McDonough, who works in a small studio on her family's farm in the mountains. Eric makes a silver ring using a 3,000-year-old technique. The conversation turns to the paths craftspeople take in their journey. Susan describes working in kitchens and bakeries, as a school-bus driver, EMT, firefighter and librarian, on her long journey to becoming a goldsmith.

The Potter

Episode #106H · Host Eric Gorges visits potter and musician Akira Satake, who 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 found another successful career in New York as a recording studio owner and a session banjo player before finding his true passion in pottery.

The Saddle Maker

Episode #107H · Charon and Tom Caldwell changed the horse saddle industry. Host Eric Gorges visits the Caldwell ranch and learns about the making saddles. Charon and Tom Caldwell embody the craftsperson 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 saddles are fitted to the horse.

The Gun Maker

Episode #108H · Mike Brooks builds long rifles based on designs more than 100 years old. Host Eric Gorges discovers the history of a long rifle and along the way, learns that the old ways of the gunsmith are alive and well.

The Blacksmith

Episode #109H · Host Eric Gorges visits with Lorelei Sims, a talented blacksmith working in a mostly male-dominated trade. Their conversation reveals the blacksmith's way of life - communal, family-oriented and often, an extension of home life. Eric also learns how to make a dagger.

The Book Maker

Episode #110H · Chad Pastotnik makes fine art books. Host Eric Gorges visits Chad's studio to learn about 400-year-old printing and binding techniques.

The Bladesmith

Episode #111H · Knife-maker Tim Zowada's creations start from sand collected from Lake Michigan. Host Eric Gorges visits with Tim and makes a knife.

The Boat Maker

Episode #112H · 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.

The Basket Weaver

Episode #113H · Host Eric Gorges visits with Ron Paquin, a Native American who teaches others the fine craft of bark basket weaving. Eric and Ron both build baskets together.

The Clockmaker

Episode #201H · Welcome to the magical world of a clockmaker, where the gears are lovingly handmade and time truly does stand still as host Eric Gorges and young clock maker Nate Bowers create a beautiful exposed gear clock.

The Metal Engraver

Episode #202H · With intricate flourishes, filigree, and a lot of magnification, host Eric Gorges and metal engraver David Riccardo create a breathtaking metal engraving.

The Wood Turner

Episode #203H · Let the chips fly! Host Eric Gorges and master wood turner Alan Hollar turn a wooden bowl in the Appalachian Mountains.

The Stained Glassmaker

Episode #204H · Ekaterina Reier and host Eric Gorges play with light and glass in this episode where viewers learn that following your dream can really pay off.

The Chairmaker

Episode #205H · The century old tradition of building the Windsor Chair is a practical and elegant pursuit - host Eric Gorges and master craftsman Curtis Buchanan give the viewer a front seat.

The Weave Master

Episode #206H · Weaver Jaunita Hofstrom wanted to have a place just for weavers to gather and pursue their love of weaving. She bought a little church around the corner from her house and started living that dream. Host Eric Gorges explores the ins and outs and up and overs of this traditional craft.

The Cheesemaker

Episode #207H · Cheese, please! Join master cheesemaker Bruce Workman and host Eric Gorges for an inside view of an award winning creamery. Who knew master cheesemakers started their day at 2am?

The Primitive Bowmaker

Episode #208H · Experienced naturalist and wilderness survivor, Greg Anderson is also a master bow maker. Host Eric Gorges learns how to craft a traditional bow with Greg as his guide and tests his skills with the bulls-eye.

The Medieval Armormaker

Episode #209H · James Gillaspie has been making medieval/Renaissance armor for over 20 years. Host Eric Gorges plays to his base as a fellow metal shaper. James and Eric do a little jousting and a lot of shop-talk!

The Quilter

Episode #210H · Theadra Fleming hands over the needle and thread to host Eric Gorges as this quilter explains the African American tradition of quilting with a focus on colors, symbolism and the history of African textiles.

The Shoemakers

Episode #211H · Best foot (ware) forward! Host Eric Gorges picks up the hammer and nail to try his hand at being a shoemaker. Master shoemakers Jesse Moore and Marika Verploegh Chasse give expert guidance along the way.

The Bicycle Maker

Episode #212H · Oh, the freedom of two wheels! Host Eric Gorges discovers how master bicycle maker, Stephen Bilenky, brazes bikes and has made a living for over 30 years doing exactly what he loves.

The Furnituremaker

Episode #213H · Host Eric Gorges visits Alan Kaniarz, an innovator in the world of furniture design. Together they discuss the love of making furniture, environmentally conscious approaches to the craft and award-winning workmanship.