Book Reviews

Stencil Satisfaction

Stencil 101: Make Your Mark with 25 Reusable Stencils and Step-by-Step Instructions

by Ed Roth (Chronicle Books, 2008)

I met Ed Roth of Stencil 1 a few years back at one of the indie craft fairs. He had recently gotten a book deal and we were talking shop. Well, now the book is out, I just bought myself a copy — and it’s awesome!


I love stencils–I went around Greece and Turkey in 2007 photographing all my favorite graffiti stencil art (fun fact: I likeness of me was once stenciled on several sidewalks around NYC’s lower east side advertising my brother’s band at the time); I of course love stenciling as a way to embellish and customize T-shirts; but how about bookcases, dressers, sneakers (or heels!), or…cake! I hadn’t necessarily thought of confectioner’s sugar or cocoa powder as having some shared qualities with spray paint, but now I have to try it. I’m thinking about making a chocolate cake with some powdered sugar scissors all over it… Stay tuned!

[ 1 Comment | Posted on April 28th, 2009 ]

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.


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.

[ No Comments | Posted on February 12th, 2009 ]