Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Craft in America

The book Craft in America: Celebrating Two Centuries of Artists and Objects by Jo Lauria and Steve Fenton is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring.

The book has 285 pages and 200 pictures of textiles, ironwork, furniture, pottery (including southern face jugs), and on and on. It's a great overview of historical and contemporary work. I was going to say "it doesn't have many details" but that's not true. There are too many details about the leadership and teaching at the various craft schools for example. But you won't find new information about quilts, for example, if you already have knowledge in the area. However, it covers sooo many different kinds of crafts you're bound to learn a lot in other areas.

A quick look at a spread on quilts, since that's my blog's focus. The second picture from the right is one of my favorite quilts ever, Crazy Stars Quilt by Amy Butcher, made c. 1890-1910.

Look at this wonderful box of chocolates. Couldn't you just eat these up? Except they're made of ribbons. Candy Sampler: Creme de la Creme by Candace Kling. You can see more of her work here.

This has to be one of my favorite photos ever. This is Colored Vessel Display by Dante Marioni. Aren't these vases incredible? And arranged this way they look very quiltlike. Do check out more of these displayed here.

There is some incredibly beautiful furniture in this book. Just take a look at that bench on the cover. This book just made me want to buy furniture and decorations from individuals, rather than companies. And I definitely want to watch the DVD of Craft in America, which was a series on PBS. Has anyone seen it?

I give the book 4 out of 5 stars. My only real quibble is the price: $60. Ouch. Am I just out of touch on the cost of art books?


dutchcomfort said...

Seems like a wonderful book. You may have seen this, the DVD + the book on: http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-craft-in-america-dvd-complete-series--pi-2715494.html
Art books are so expensive, € 50,- is quite normal these days. When I count back to the Dutch quilder we once had, that’s ƒ 110,-. We would never have paid that much for a book!

Anonymous said...

wow, this looks great.....i agree, the price of books is outrageous these days...but so is everything else!

Quilts And Pieces said...

I"ve always wanted an eagle quilt like the one on the left! And I love that bench on the cover! Wish I had the money and house to put something like that in it!

Katie said...

Again, I so enjoy your sharing. I don't have the space or money for this book but that is what libraries are for, huh.

ann said...

totally off topic, but i'm not sure what your email is so i hope you read this.

i'm a close friend of janet and morey's, in fact, my husband and i are traveling to austin this weekend and lisa's coming to meet us.
i just want you to know how much i admire your work and your blog. i just started on blogspot and am having quite a bit of fun.
please give J&m big hugs from me and i'll be watching for photos of all of you!

Sassenach said...

I'm curious to know if there is a unifying theme that is evoked (beyond "craft in America") -- something about the creative process of crafters vs designers, for example? Did you draw any quilting inspiration from the other crafts?

sewprimitive karen said...

ye gods, what a gorgeous photo (the very quilt-like indeed vases).

Magpie Sue said...

My sister gave me the dvd for my birthday back in June. It looks like there's a LOT more in the book though. Those vases! There's a segment on glass blowing on the dvd but none of Dante's work (which is some of my favorite glass work). I wonder if there's more info on the craft schools in the dvd? As I recall they spent one third of it (ie: one of the three episodes) on various schools and cooperatives. That segment was the only place quilts were talked about. It was great to see and hear the artists speak about their work and influences, etc. but you've got a lot more eye candy/inspiration in the book. Wish I could lay my hands on a fume-free copy of it!

Clare said...

That is some book. OMG the Crazy Stars quilt is gorgeous. Can't believe it was made at the turn of the 19th century. My review copy hasn't arrived yet. Probably next week I should think. Hope you are having a great time. Weather here is gorgeous!

Cher said...

very late comment on Craft in America-we caught and taped the series on our tivo...it was good but limited in showing more of the craft making process-I meant to order the dvd but have not as yet...thanks for sharing the gorgeous photos

Anonymous said...

Wow!looking great.....!