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A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity [Paperback]

By William Coperthwaite (Author), Peter Forbes (Photographer) & John Saltmarsh (Author)
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Item description for A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity by William Coperthwaite, Peter Forbes & John Saltmarsh...

William Coperthwaite is a teacher, builder, designer, and writer who for many years has explored the possibilities of true simplicity on a homestead on the north coast of Maine. In the spirit of Henry David Thoreau, Emily Dickinson, and Helen and Scott Nearing, Coperthwaite has fashioned a livelihood of integrity and completeness-buying almost nothing, providing for his own needs, and serving as a guide and companion to hundreds of apprentices drawn to his unique way of being.A Handmade Life carries Coperthwaite's ongoing experiments with hand tools, hand-grown and gathered food, and handmade shelter, clothing, and furnishings out into the world to challenge and inspire. His writing is both philosophical and practical, exploring themes of beauty, work, education, and design while giving instruction on the hand-crafting of the necessities of life. Richly illustrated with luminous color photographs by Peter Forbes, the book is a moving and inspirational testament to a new practice of old ways of life.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   117
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.94" Width: 9.04" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 7, 2007
Publisher   Chelsea Green Publishing
ISBN  1933392479  
ISBN13  9781933392479  

Availability  0 units.

More About William Coperthwaite, Peter Forbes & John Saltmarsh

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William Coperthwaite is a native of Maine who has traveled the world in search of folk-art techniques and subsistence skills. Impressed by the beauty and intelligence of the traditional Central Asian nomadic tents called "yurts," Coperthwaite adapted and introduced to North America yurt design and construction. In the past four decades has participated in building more than three hundred yurts for family homes, schools, camps, and outbuildings. Awarded a doctorate from Harvard University's School of Education for his work with Eskimo villagers, Coperthwaite has taught in a variety of innovative educational settings. His organization, the Yurt Foundation, now serves to promote sensible and economical self-reliance through workshops, lectures, and publications.

Peter Forbes is a longtime leader in the American land conservation movement, both through his work with the Trust for Public Land and his talks, writings, and photography. The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people, to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations.

John Saltmarsh is one of the founders of The Good Life Center, the Nearing's former homestead in Harborside, Maine. He is an associate professor at Northeastern University in Boston with a joint appointment in the departments of Cooperative Education and History. He has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Feinstein Institute for Public Service for Providence College. He resides in Wayland, Massachusetts.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Self-Help > General
2Books > Subjects > Home & Garden > How-to & Home Improvements > Household Hints
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Consciousness & Thought
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Movements > Humanism
6Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > Cultural
7Books > Subjects > Science > Technology > Renewable Energy

Reviews - What do customers think about A Handmade Life: In Search of Simplicity?

A good read, inspiring  Sep 12, 2008
This book is one of those lazy saturday reads, where you lay outside in a hammock and dream of how to live more simply. This book inspires you to live such a life. However, the inspiration comes from wishing that you could have a life in Maine, free from some of the encumberances of the world around you. Sadly, the reality is that most of us don't have the luxury of living a simple life, confined to our mortgages, buying food from the grocery down the street, and wishing that we weren't caught up in the corporate shackle of consumerism just to live. Most people can't affort property on the coastline, and certainly can't afford to live more simply -- their location, poverty, hand-to-mouth daily struggle leaves them no time to wish for a simpler life. Simply because living more simply sometimes takes money to do so. All in all, a thoughtful book and an inspiration to try...
One of those books  Sep 7, 2008
This book is beautiful. It is well-written, and the author put a lot of careful thought into his work.

This book has much to say about simplicity and wanting less and getting more for the effort. This is one of those books that everyone should read. Especially all of us who live in industrialized nations and take simple skills and ways for granted.

This book makes you realize that sometimes buying things costs more than you bargain for and you may just be better off doing some things for yourself.

I also like the analogy of working a job you hate just for money as prostitution.
This Handsome Book Evokes the Simple But Deep Living Aesthetics It Preaches  Jul 13, 2007
It's funny how even a quick browsing of this book tells you it has integrity. It's some combination of the artful layout, the paper quality, and of course the author's inspiration living-the-talk life. A Handmade Life evokes a simple but deep way to live. I should confess, however, that I haven't read the whole book, but I love it anyway and keep it on my desk by computer, sipping it now and again like a wine brewed for inspiration. It's a reminder to slow down, focus more on craft than result and quality more than quantity.

Another one in this genre is The Hand-Sculpted House.
A Handmade Life  Apr 18, 2006
The book was not as beautiful as the experience. The first time I went I left a feather and stones and couldn't bear to leave, subsequent visits were as powerful but in the way a life is crafted, one builing upon another. Bill is superlative. The book is good but needs to be taken in small portions, savored,it added to my experience. Building a yurt should be done by any awake human. Bill's the only authentic one I know of-the rest, shallow imitations, posers, pretenders, charlatans and just plain not it. Even though I'm sure they are earnest folks.
The Search for Simplicity  Jul 6, 2004
I didn't go looking for this book. It simply fell into place. Literally. While I was browsing in the satellite branch of my local public library for books about business this volume fell on my head. It had been left precariously on top of the shelf.
Aesthetics appeal to me, to the cover was intriguing. I skipped the book about where mobile and wireless technology is taking society and immediately checked out A Handmade Life.
It is a beautifully presented book. The photographs of an idyllic life in Maine are appealingly presented. The text proposes a way of life that, even here on the paradisical edge of the Pacific Ocean, on the edge of the world, even, it is hard not to yearn for. And maybe that is true value of the book. It awakened a hankering in me for a more naieve way. Strangely it also help me make a number of business choices I had been faced with. Appropriate considering there is a side-bar in the book:

"Borrow from cultures old and new
And with our imaginations

Blend those borrowings
To Create new ways to live
That are simpler, gentler
More generous and beautiful."

Is that my cell-phone ringing?


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