Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book

Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book is now available through Black Dog Publishing and Amazon UK! The book contains heaps of basic craft how-to, as well as "recipes" for more elaborate projects contributed by crafters from around the globe- including my recipe for hand-bound Record Sleeve Notebooks! Making Stuff is due for release in the US in November and Canada in December. The following are descriptions from Black Dog's website and Amazon. You can consult both sites for more detailed info on the book's specifics, and for a sneak preview of some of it's pages!

"Making Stuff
is a craft book for the 21st century. Filled with exciting and inspirational ideas to make at home, ranging from felted teacosies, to knitted i-pod covers, bread lampshades crocheted plastic bag hats, and everything in between, this book is for all those who are beginning to tire of the high street, and who are looking for something a little bit more personal, a little bit more individual... something they’ve made themselves.

The book is laid out clearly and accessibly; An introduction by Bust contributor Victoria Woodcock explains how the perception of craft has changed over the past century. Her writing is an informal, energetic call to arms, and the proceeding pages explain how to respond to that call. The first section of the book provides explanations of the basic skills; knitting, crocheting, sewing, felting and paper mache. The rest of the book is a collection of over 50 ideas, or 'recipes', if you will, for things that people can make in their own home. This is subdivided into five categories:

• Made to Measure - clothing and acessories
• All that Glitters - jewellery to complement the look
• Hipper Homes - a collection of homewares
• Sticks and Stones and Ice Cream Cones - a selection of random fun things to make
• Small Wonders - things to make for and with children

The ideas have been supplied by crafts-people and makers from all over the world—both professionals and amateurs. Each one is personably laid out in easy to read, step-by-step instructions, with a short biography of the contributor at the end. Photography and hand drawn illustrations guide the reader every step of the way, and a clean contemporary design, provides a much needed counterpoint to traditional craft aesthetics.

Making Stuff brings a fresh, exciting approach to a sorely neglected genre, and gives a voice to a new generation of young people, who find inspiration in making something out of nothing. It is beautiful, eccentric and useful, all at once, and is sure to become a well thumbed favourite for all people of a creative nature." -Black Dog Publishing

"In today's consumer culture, virtually every possible need is catered for, and every style of clothing, accessory, and homeware is available at the local mall. It's all just a little bit too easy. The idea behind Making Stuff is to create a craft book for the twenty-first century. Rather than aiming at retired grannies with time on their hands, this book is for hip urbanites who are moving away from the wasteful ready-made mentality of Walmart, and are looking for something a bit more unique, a bit more responsible... something homemade.

The type of craft detailed in Making Stuff is a far cry from the usual macramed pot holders and crocheted baby booties. It is an eclectic mix of useful, funky, beautiful and outright weird things ranging from bread lampshades to denim skirts.

The first section of the book will explain the basics: how to knit, how to sew, how to do woodwork, how to make paper mache, how to embroider and cross-stitch and how to bake. The rest of the book will be a series of instructions and ideas that anyone can realize in their own home. Some of the ideas are: make a pinhole camera; knit a wrap; make a covered bead necklace; turn a pair of jeans into a denim skirt; knit a bikini; bake a lampshade; cross-stitched braces; make a sock monkey; make cool costumes; make dollhouse furniture.

These recipes and projects will be subdivided into sections according to the type of craft they fit into: knitting and needlework; for and with children; weird and wonderful; and creative recycling.

Using a combination of photography and illustration, alongside funky typefaces in a clean, accessible layout, the design of Making Stuff references the vaguely anarchic aesthetic of craft books of the 1970s without any sense of irony, finding an entirely new voice for a new generation of young people, who find inspiration in making something out of nothing.

Making Stuff brings a fresh, exciting approach to a sorely neglected genre. In the same way that cooking was brought into the public eye in the mid 90s by Delia Smith and Marco Pierre White, Making Stuff will be the book that brings craft back into the realm of cool." -Amazon.com

Black Dog Publishing

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