Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Inspired Reads: Layered, tattered, & STITCHED

Layered, Tattered and Stitched: A Fabric Art Workshop
Any given week I have several craft books checked out from the library and strewn around my home. The measure of a good book then, for me, is how often I check it out. Some I return and then request again immediately. I just love having them around for their inspirational photos and art work, the interesting techniques, and the voice of the artist. If I take the additional step of purchasing the book then you know it's a book I LOVE.

Ruth Rae's Layered, tattered, & STITCHED is a great example of one of these books. I first paged through it when I was in Cincinnati in early November for my book's photo shoot. The photo studio there had a bookcase filled with nothing but fabulous, lovely, and amazing art and craft books they'd published. I was in heaven, especially when the photographer said I could borrow a few to take back to the hotel room with me to browse. I had a wonderful night paging through 6 or 7 of these books. My favorite was Layered, tattered & STITCHED. Not only is the fabric art amazing but it also met the other criteria I have for a great craft book.

The techniques are innovative and varied. The 20 + projects run the gamut from art-to-wear pieces to wall art to functional art in the form of photo frames and gift wraps. They vary in length and expertise level as well(I don't use a sewing machine, I hand stitch and am confident that I could achieve similar results). The result is a book that has something for any skill level.

This is a mixed media book, although the tie together is fabric. Ruth demonstrates how to use resin to coat fabric in one project, in another she stamps on plexi, in a few she combines fabric with wire accents; something sure to capture my attention! I also enjoyed the variety of fabric dying techniques and of course her techniques for singeing, tattering, and otherwise distressing fabric to create multi layered stitched works of art.

An amazingly talented jewelry artist (check out her first book, A Charming Exchange, written with Kelly Snelling) Ruth pulls in her love of beads, metal, and wire and combines them with her fabric techniques, to create dimensional art.

Technique-rich and beautiful to look at this book is the perfect example of what I find valuable in a craft book. I'm looking forward to trying all the techniques and experimenting with them, combining them with my own techniques and enriching my work. As I do, I'll let you know how it goes, and if YOU have tried any of the techniques in Ruth's book I'd love to know what you thought of them and how you integrated them into your art.

If you haven't checked this book out yet, I would definitely encourage you to do so! For more information about Ruth's work visit her blog, Let the beauty we love be what we do.

A quick disclaimer- I was not contacted, or asked to do this review. I just really love the book and want to help promote really great books. The publisher of Ruth's book, North Light is my publisher as well but that had no influence on me or this review. Enjoy!


Cristi Baxter Clothier said...

I was just looking through my copy of this yesterday. I've really enjoyed it. Are you writing a book?

Jen said...

Cristi! How sweet of you to leave all these comments! I really appreciate you took this much time to peruse the blog. I am writing a book- or at least I did write a book. I finished it a few months ago. Now the publisher has it and is hopefully working their magic with the photos and fonts etc. It's fun- the title is Creative Bloom and it will be out in late October!