Portraits of the American Craftsman is a collection of portraits of the people and products made in small workshops all over the country, with lyrical descriptions of what they make, who they are, and the tradition embedded in their trade. This book is a celebration of the handmade at a time when it’s being embraced by a new generation of DIY and local-focused consumers who are averse to the mass-produced.
Award-winning photographer Tadd Myers is four years into a cross-country journey to capture images of the American craftsman engaged in his work. At a time when the public is growing disenchanted by the disposable items that litter the American landscape, the workers in Tadd’s portraits are still using human eyes to guide human hands; the objects they make carry the souls of their makers. His beautifully rendered photographs and profiles celebrate the thriving American culture of true craftsmanship, which is alive and well in all parts of the country: from the Steinway factory in Queens, NY to hatmakers in Tennessee; from a carousel works shop in Ohio to guitar makers in Texas; from hatmakers in Chicago to boatbuilders in Vermont.
In the connected realm of photo-rich social media platforms such as Pinterest and Etsy, and in reaction to the mammoth corporations that create and sell us our wares, we’re seeing a boom of Americans of all ages re-evaluating the values that actually inspire them. Away from these conglomerates, the American craftsman keeps a different, more personal kind of work alive – work that is uniquely inspirational and genuine.