If, like me, you’d expected a book with the subtitle ‘The Modern Craft Bible’, to be a huge compendium of craft skills and techniques, you’re going to be disappointed. Material World is a Bible in the sense it contains Perri Lewis‘ gospel of craft – complete with the thoughts and writings of the iconic figures (apostles maybe…?) of 21st century craft, like Rob Ryan, Tatty Devine, Amy Butler, Mr X Stitch and Emma Bridgewater. And maybe that makes for a much more interesting and useful book (because hey, you can look up that other stuff on blogs and YouTube, right?).
So what’s this good news? Firstly that crafting is cool & trendy and here to stay. Of course, she’s preaching to the converted there (although I have to say, I’d craft whether it was cool and trendy or not – I’m too old & too stubborn to give a monkey’s bum about that!). Secondly, and more interestingly to me, Perri makes the case for the excitement of creativity, the freedom and fun of experimenting with new crafts, and the sense of achievement that comes from taking your existing skills to the next level.
This message is conveyed in a series of projects using different crafts (tailoring, millinery, quilling, papercutting, macrame and more), where you are taken through some basics, given instructions to make the project, and an associated masterclass from experts in the field. The masterclass sections are the bit of the book that I love best – they got me looking up webpages for further information, filling up Pinterest boards with ideas for new products, and thinking about trying new things. There’s masses to take in here, and I’ve no doubt I’ll be reading these sections again when my crafting mojo needs a bit of a boost.
Obviously there isn’t the space to cover any of the crafts in detail, but there’s enough to get you feeling very inspired, which is the point. I haven’t tried any of the projects, so can’t pass judgement on the quality of the instructions, but these are NOT detailed step-by-step recipes for the perfect dress, hat, necklace… so if you are a perfectionist control-freak (who, me?), I think these projects would only be a starting point. But it’s a great place to start because the finished projects are all extremely enticing (the styling and photography is fab), even if you might need to do a bit of extra research to get a really good result.
Earlier in the week, Laura at Cupcakes for Clara, also reviewed Material World for this blog tour, and she absolutely hit the nail on the head when she says that Material World is for people who want to explore their creativity and dig a little deeper. Couldn’t have put it better myself!
If you’re interested in getting down to a bit of bible reading yourself, just leave a comment on this blog post before Sunday lunchtime, and I’ll randomly select a lucky recipient on Sunday evening (UK-based readers only please, bibles are just too heavy to post overseas!).
By the way, I was sent this book to review by the very charming folks at Crafty Magazine. Don’t be surprised that you haven’t heard of it – issue one is coming to a newsagent near you in the spring – but in the meantime there is loads of good stuff from the team on their website. From the website and the little preview sampler of the magazine I have seen, it’s looking like a mag with huge potential. I’m looking forward to buying my first issue.
[Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of Material World for this review.]