Tag Archives: look inside

Book Review: Material World by Perri Lewis

First off, sorry for the bad photos, it’s that time of year again Britain is only light during work hours and it will only get worse!

If you don’t already follow Perri’s blog you should. She puts snippets of latest craft news and trends and events up several times a week, here’s the link. I’ve been following her since I read her column in Making magazine- she used to have the inside back cover and it was nice to read about craft in context rather than specific items made or for sale or specific artists necessarily.

So, onto her book, which doesn’t come out until 1st November (check me out with my advance copy from Ebury Publishing!). The contents cover embroidery, decoupage, printing, encrusting(!), cross stitch, quilling, patchwork, paper cutting…. lots and lots of different stuff. I daresay areas that are easy to access- there’s no knitting for example which can take perseverance to pick up, or reams of embroidery stitches. There’s not even any need for half square triangles or seam matching in the patchwork section, it is very very beginner friendly stuff. It is refreshing to see overlooked crafts like quilling, millinery, macrame and leatherwork getting a bit of exposure though.

It’s quite a minimalist book, it’s more about the words and content than the beautiful pictures, whilst still being a substantial 220+ pages.. Each chapter has technique information, a project, interview-based tips from professional craftspeople within that skillset and finishing up with ways of furthering your newfound skill. The Insider tips to be found with the craftspeople technique interviews are frankly awesome, I mean I never thought of using sandpaper to stop fabric moving when drawing markers for applique!

This is one of my favourite projects, I’ve wanted to try upholstery for a while and of course patchwork in any form will always appeal to me!

All the projects are actually useful things that you would want to make. Unique modern design furniture, making a t-shirt into a dress, a chain based necklace or decoupaged shoes, which is nice and refreshing. Interspersed with these chapters are articles on which Perri has given thoughts on before, whether on her blog or for The Guardian, such as the art vs craft debate, X rated craft, and a small piece on craft business that also says it’s OK to make a crafts business on a different angle to owning an Etsy shop, you can even make money from blogging about craft (ha!), these sorts of features make it an interesting read as well as a general crafts reference book. It would make a good gift for a crafts curious aunt or a sister who likes to make a bit of everything, or a friend who loves customisation especially, with an eye for alternative fashion.

I’ve also noticed that Lily’s Quilts received a copy of this book and blogged about it just under a week ago, click here to see what Lynne says about it.

Material World has an RRP of £18.99 but is currently on Amazon here for £11.69 as a pre-order. Released 1st November 2012- in time for Christmas!

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