Book Review: By Hand, The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art

By Hand, The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art, Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro, editors
Princeton Architectural Press, New York

When first opening this book, being a visual person, I couldn't help but flip through the pages and take in the quality of artists featured in this collection showcasing methods of art where hands are used in the production of their work.

With the emphasis on the handmade these days, this book arrives at a timely juncture to inspire other creatives, inform and to emphasize the importance of expression through art via craft. It is not a book that attempts to distinguish between art and design, art and craft or craft and design, but presents a look at a diverse list of creatives who use their hands to make their art, (a type of art that is featured on this blog on a regular basis and a movement that has changed the way we look at art in a traditional sense).

I've chosen a few favorites from the book to show here starting off with these sewn recycled sweater tea and cup cozies named the Muji Mook (above photo) by Tim Denton and Johanna Van Daalen of Belfast, Ireland. Reknitting a new item out of a sweater creating a typical english object (a tea cozy) for a typical Japanese tea set in response to an invitation from the Muji company to alter an existing item bought from their shop.

(Left) Standing Still (wool and acrylic yarn), installed along Canal Street, New York by Robyn Love; (Right) Warm Hands Cushion by Electricwig, Tim Denton and Johanna Van Daalen.

"I was Lying When I Said..." (thread on muslin) by Tucker Schwarz, San Francisco, California who creates drawings that are sewn on to fabric based on photographs she's taken.

(Left) Country Life (embroidery thread on printed fabric) by Kent Henricksen; (Right) Camera (thread and vellum) by Rob Wynne.

It's a beautiful and inspirational book for both the artist and the person who loves the arts. From hand lettering, illustration, to embroidery this book covers artists from a vast array of handmade works and would be a lovely summer read to spark ideas for the winter that follows.

By Hand, The Use of Craft in Contemporary Art, Shu Hung and Joseph Magliaro, editors
Princeton Architectural Press, New York

Jan Halvarson


Anabel said...

It looks a great booL. Thanks!

julie said...

I am so curious to see this book..thanks for the glimpse inside...i really love the tea and cup cozies and the sewn drawings which remind me of Lisa S work..

Unknown said...

this book is on my wish list!

lisa solomon said...

yeah - that book is the best. it's just full of loveliness

Rosie Geissler said...

Wow Thankyou so much! looks exciting