More likely the fact that he has been building motorcycles for nearly twenty years Eric Gorges would consider himself a motorcycle craftsman that used to be an IT guy. Gorges builds bike for his company Voodoo Choppers and is based out of an area just north of Detroit. What you don’t see when you visit his shop is a mass production or the lot of people working all together. Maintaining a small shop and creating custom bikes that are handcrafted is a huge part of the care, precision, artistry and perfection that has become the offerings made by his shop.
Gorges grew up in the Detroit area and thanks his upbringing for his approach to motorcycle building. That upbringing showed him that he should be able to craft anything he needs to fix whatever needs fixed. Never seeing a service man come to the house for a repair or service his father taught him how to craft materials and make what he needed to with his hands. This is especially beneficial in an area such as Detroit where raw materials are plentiful to get the job done and allow him the creativity to create the bikes he wants to for his customers.
Currently Gorges is featured on the PBS series A Craftsman’s Legacy in which he now visits artisans and craftsman around the country who still find it important to create items by hand. These guests have included a Socratic woodworker, a basket weaver who uses local materials and many more. The point of the show is to discuss the importance of craftsmanship and creating items by hand to be more rare, custom made and valuable than the mass produced versions of the same things. Because all of his components on his bikes are made by hand he is a bit of an expert in this area.
Gorges was actually an IT guy and worked for Xerox when he had an anxiety attack that led to an actually anxiety disorder in 1998. This wasn’t a simple fix for him, it was a development over time that led to him losing weight and losing connection with people around him. After about six months he quit his job at Xerox, knowing he had to find something else to do because his job was slowly causing him physical pain and sickness that he needed to change very soon.
Gorges spent time working with professionals in the industry when he decided to begin to build motorcycles by hand. Crafting by hand was a passion of his as a kid and he was able to regain that passion in Voodoo Choppers which gives him the opportunity to create from scratch some of the most amazing motorcycles we have seen on the market today. Even though he took the long way to this road, Gorges has found his passion, even though with his TV show he’s not in the shop as much as he used to be, and certainly gives us a look at what skilled hands can do with passion and drive.