5 books to gift your beloved crafters

Book recommendations for crafters and makers that include DIY with cat hair, resurgence of visible mending, writers on knitting and more.
Photo: RF._.studio, Pexels. Hands cutting out design drawings for project in a light-filled studio space. There are books and reference images on a wooden table.

For the cat mums/dads

Crafting With Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to make with Your Cat

Crafting With Cat Hair by Japanese author Kaori Tsutaya is the perfect accompaniment for those with furry companions, especially when its shedding season. The best part is that Tsutaya teaches readers how to make the most out of stray fur that is not only cat-friendly, but also eco-friendly and requires no special tools.

From tote bags to finger puppets, most projects in Crafting With Cat Hair can be completed under an hour, making them suitable for novice pet owners as well as more experienced crafters.

Publisher: QUIRK BOOKS, 15 January 2012
ISBN: 9781594745256
RRP: $26.99

For the fashionistas

Mend! A Refashioning Manual and Manifesto

Mend! is a hands-on manual as well as a source of contextualised history around clothes tending and its resurging popularity as an art form. Author Kate Sekules also runs the blog, Visible Mending, which lists the top 10 reasons to mend, including low costs, respect to clothes makers, uniqueness of garments and connection with others.

The book goes through the what, why, when, who, where, how and which in each chapter, providing a comprehensive look into mending and an invitation to jump on board.

Publisher: Penguin Group USA, 8 September 2020
ISBN: 9780143135005
RRP: $44.99

For the ceramicists

Clay: Contemporary Ceramic Artisans

This makes a great coffee table addition for passionate ceramicists that showcases some of the leading makers working with clay today. Written by Sydney-based writer and curator, Amber Creswell Bell, Clay: Contemporary Ceramic Artisans taps into the lives and practices of over 50 potters from across the globe.

Artists featured include Akio Nukaga, Claire Johnson, Guy Van Leemput, Jeremy Simons (Slip Ceramics), Vipoo Srivilasa, Alana Wilson, Ruby Pilven, Jono Smart and more.

Publisher: Thames and Hudson, 2016
ISBN: 9780500500729
RRP: $69.99

For the knitters (or writers)

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting

Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting is an anthology exploring the significance of knitting from 27 writers, who tell their personal stories and practices around the craft.

Tales from those including Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Barbara Kingsolver, The Dutch House author Ann Patchett, US novelist and short story writer Andre Dubus III and author of detective novels, Sue Grafton, capture the myriad ways knitting has led to other discoveries.

The book, edited by Ann Hood, also includes five original knitting patterns created by Helen Bingham.

Publisher: W W Norton & Company, 3 October 2014
ISBN: 9780393349870
RRP: $27.95

For the cultural historians and theorists

Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design

T’ai Smith’s Bauhaus Weaving Theory reexamines the Bauhaus school in Germany through spotlighting texts by women in the school’s weaving workshop. Smith is an Associate Professor of Art History at University of British Columbia and she was the recipient of the American Craft Council Emerging Scholar Award in 2015. Her research focuses on politics, gender, and modern and contemporary European and US art and design, critical theory and cultural techniques.

Bauhaus Weaving Theory uncovers writing and craft and design pieces from the Bauhaus weavers, who, Smith argues, ‘harnessed the vocabulary of other disciplines like painting, architecture and photography’ and ‘resisted modernist thinking about distinct media’.

A Goodreads review called the book ‘essential reading for people interested in Modernist design’.

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, 9 November 2014
ISBN: 9780816687244
RRP: $44.99

Read: 10 recently published arts books, worthy of a read

Need some motivation to get creative? Check out ArtsHub‘s invitation to jump on a journey of creativity, guided by Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way.

Celina Lei is an arts writer and editor at ArtsHub. She acquired her M.A in Art, Law and Business in New York with a B.A. in Art History and Philosophy from the University of Melbourne. She has previously worked across global art hubs in Beijing, Hong Kong and New York in both the commercial art sector and art criticism. She took part in drafting NAVA’s revised Code of Practice - Art Fairs and was the project manager of ArtsHub’s diverse writers initiative, Amplify Collective. Celina is based in Naarm/Melbourne. Instagram @lleizy_