Zen and the Art of Woodworking

A short documentary exlpores Blue Ox Millworks in Eureka, California.

More

“It’s about the pride of making something,” says master wood craftsman Eric Hollenbeck. “It’s about the pride of doing for yourself.”

In this cinematic profile, Hollenbeck explains the restorative power of building your own designs. The Vietnam veteran, who first deployed to combat at age 19, uses woodworking as both an escape and a form of healing. Through his work, he also helps others find an outlet (and sometimes even a job) for their creative passions. Hollenbeck teaches struggling high school students, and recently started work on a program for returning war veterans. “When you make something,” says Hollenbeck. “When you go through the process, all the steps, and at the end you have a finished product, that you made with your own hands, out of your own mind, that is your own design; it’s a reflection of your soul.”

The short documentary from filmmaker Ben Proudfoot focuses on Hollenbeck’s work at Blue Ox Millworks in California, but more broadly it celebrates humanity's limitless potential. “The engineer and designer who engineered the golden gate bridge engineered a bridge he knew full well could not be built,” says Hollenbeck. “But he had complete faith in the craftsmen of the time to get the job done; and they did.”

To see more from Ben Proudfoot visit breakwaterstudios.com.

Jump to comments

Paul Rosenfeld writes and produces for Atlantic Video. His work has also appeared on The Daily Beast and CNN.com.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon About the Toys in Your Cereal Box

The story of an action figure and his reluctant sidekick, who trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Video

Just In