From Our Library: February 2020

From Our Library: February 2020

Reviews of two new titles and podcast
Published on Sunday, February 9, 2020. This article appears in the February/March 2020 issue of American Craft Magazine.
FM20 reviews covers

New books uncover makers preserving “lost arts” and provoke us to consider the carbon footprint of our clothing, while a podcast invites artists to share personal and professional advice.

Almost Lost Arts: Traditional Crafts and the Artisans Keeping Them Alive
By Emily Freidenrich
Chronicle Books, $35

In her new book, Emily Freidenrich transports readers into the studios of 20 artisans devoted to preserving traditional techniques such as mapmaking, adobe-building, hatmaking, wet-plate photography, Cypriot weaving, and kintsugi – the Japanese art of mending ceramics with gold powder. Rich color photographs accompany in-depth profiles of wood-type printers, bronze casters, papermakers, and others. Readers learn what drives these artisans to their vocations, and about the value and beauty of their work. ~Roseanne G. Pereira

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Beyond the Studio
By Amanda Adams and Nicole Mueller
beyondthe.studio

Having your own studio space is freeing, but it can also feel isolating when you don’t have the benefit of co-workers with whom to share ideas and experiences. If that sounds familiar, give a listen to the Beyond the Studio podcast, which provides a sense of neighborly collaboration through frank conversations about making a living as an artist. The hosts, fiber artist Amanda Adams and painter Nicole Mueller, speak with guests about various aspects of maintaining a creative practice, from taking the first leap into self-employment to setting boundaries with social media and technology. The podcast’s modest production quality gives each episode a relaxed and informal feel, as if the conversation is happening right there at your workbench. ~Beth Goodrich

listen to the podcast

Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy
By Rebecca Burgess
Chelsea Green, $29.95

In smooth, clear, and compelling prose, Rebecca Burgess presents a “farm-to-closet” vision for clothes informed by her nearly decade-long journey reconnecting to her North Central California “fibershed” (a place-based textile system that focuses on local sourcing). With help from artisans, ranchers, and farmers, she developed a wardrobe whose dyes, fiber, and labor were sourced within a 150-mile radius from her home. The project triggered a movement and a nonprofit, also called Fibershed, that is working to spread the concept. In the book, Burgess shares a scalable model based on her own experience, that can and has been implemented around the world. Fibershed is part story, part call to action for anyone interested in how clothing intersects with economic justice and soil restoration. ~RGP

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