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Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction

All the happy inspiring talk about the importance of playful creativity in a healthy life makes for good copy on a greeting card, but creativity is also a deadly serious, learned process to professional painters, potters, chefs, sculptors, and other artists who work with their hands—even as it’s altogether different from the creative processes used by writers, described in thousands of books over the centuries.

How interesting, then, to hear from Gary Rogowski, a man who carves, builds, and turns beautiful objects in wood. In Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction, he writes of his love of tools, patience, discipline, the beauty and behavior of wood, learning to forgive his daily mistakes at the bench, why he believes in maintaining exceptionally high standards, and so much more of use to all who care deeply about craft and practice.

He is drawn to wood working because “It is as if, by doing this work, you can capture a moment, freeze it in space, give it form, and offer it life.” And, yes, it takes such a long time to create his precious things with his hands, “but the beauty of delineation, the clarity, the definition of an idea can be such fun.”

Reviewed by Matt Sutherland

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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