In an age of cheap, mass-produced items, things that are handcrafted by skilled makers in the United States have become coveted.
“A Craftsman’s Legacy,” debuting on PBS on Saturday, aims to showcase folks who still take the time to make things by hand. The series is hosted by Detroiter Eric Gorges, an IT-guy-turned-motorcycle metalsmith. His shop, Voodoo Chopper, is in Auburn Hills.
“It nearly broke me” says Gorges of his former 9-to-5 job in the opening of the show. “So I threw it all away and started over. I decided to work with my hands to feed my soul and I never looked back. I believe there’s a craftsman in all of us.”
Shot around Michigan, “A Craftsman’s Legacy” shows Gorges learning skills, sharing experiences and showing the process of how things — from guitars to horse saddles — are handcrafted.
Throughout the series’ 13-episode season, Gorges will team up with glassblower April Wagner of Epiphany Studios in Pontiac, guitar maker Bryan Galloup of Big Rapids and others.
Saturday’s debut episode features woodworker John Wilson of Charlotte. Gorges interviewed him about his trade and the history of his tools and materials.
“I was really able to learn about the simplicity, the functionality, the beauty and the high-quality craftsmanship that they take pride in,” says Gorges about working with Wilson. “One of the things I respect most about John is that he’s willing to teach other people. It’s so important to craftsmen to share their knowledge.”
‘A Craftsman’s Legacy’
11:30 a.m. Saturday
Detroit Public Television