Book Reviews

Handmade Nation

Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft, and Design

by Faythe Levine and Cortney Heimerl (Princeton Architectural Press, 2008)

Yesterday I attended a panel discussion with the authors to help celebrate the release of Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY Art, Craft, And Design at the PowerHouse Books Arena in DUMBO. To those who have been following, this has been quite a labor of love for Faythe Levine (founder of Milwaukee-based fair Art vs. Craft) who started filming a documentary in 2006, traveling to fifteen cities, and interviewing eighty DIYers/makers/crafters/artist who have been described as the “new wave” of American indie craft. (I have tickets to a screening at Museum of Art and Design on Sunday and can’t wait!) In the process, she teamed up with Cortney Heimerl to write a book to accompany the film.

handmadenation-front

I bought a copy and couldn’t wait to flip through to read the essays, see the artists in their studios, see the work they create, and so on and on and on. It’s a visually rich catalog of color, texture, and patterns from some of the country’s best makers and shakers like Jenny Hart, Stephanie Syjuco, Jill Bliss, Nikki McClure, Jennifer Perkins, and more. The indie handmade movement has grown so large over the past several years that it would be impossible to capture it all in a 176-page book, but nevertheless this book is a healthy snapshot of the regions of handmade across the country. It’s beautifully made book.

[ Posted on February 12th, 2009 ]

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