Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Inspiring Reads... Craftydermy

Taxidermy has always been one of those tricky subjects. On one hand there is a part of me that thinks that it's absolutely barbaric (and being a vegetarian it gives me the creeps), on the other hand there is something intriguing about it. I worked behind the scenes in a museum for a long time and have seen the fascination that the public and staff members have with taxidermy. When members of the public are standing in front of the animal they rarely think about the fact that it was skinned, eyes removed, packed and stitched back together again. Maybe the excitement in being so close to an animal that could ordinarily tear you to pieces overrides any negative feelings.

I am always interested when old crafts and processes are revamped for a modern audience.
Imagine my delight when Craftydermy came through my door! This lovely little book is published by Cicada Books and features 19 crafty projects inspired by taxidermy. You'll be pleased to hear that skins have been swapped for fabric, paper, wool, felt and wire! 

Why Craftydermy? The term 'Craftydermy' was coined by Tracey Benton to describe the high quality faux taxidermy currently being created by a variety of crafters, makers and artists. Tracey also owns Atelier, a contemporary craft gallery in Devon. The gallery hosted an exhibition of exciting works which fell into this category. The craft book was born from there.
I am a sucker for a good front cover on a book and the wooden design along with the image of a faux fox head very much suits the content. The typewriter font used throughout also gives that 'sketchbook' feel as well.

Each project comes with a full colour image along with easy to follow instructions and a short bio of the artist who created it. Templates for all of the projects are included at the end of the book and are easy to photocopy to make multiples of each project if you desire! Highlights for me include, Amelia Fever's Tiger Rug, Knit and Destroy's Friendly Fox Fur and Sannapanda's Shadow Bunnies. There are projects for every level of ability and time availability. The Shadow Bunnies could be an evening project whereas the Tiger Rug may take a week or more. So for the beginner there is plenty to work through as you progress and for the more experienced crafter there are some great projects to get your teeth into.

Knit and Destroy's Friendly Fox Fur

Antonia Eckersley's Crocheted Sheep

The main thing I took away from the book is a collection of contemporary projects that are exciting and very different from lots of craft books currently in circulation.

Tracey Benton's Paper Mache Antlers

If you are tempted to get yourself some animal friendly taxidermy in your home then this is the book for you and at only £12.95 it's well worth it. You can buy your copy here. Go on you know you want to...

A list of all of the talented artists involved :
I can make shoes
Hayley Dix
Amelia Fever
Naomi Ryder
The Bellwether
Knit and Destroy
Julia Davey
Angharad Jefferson
Emma Cocker
Caroline Brown
Tracey Benton
A Wooden Tree
In with the Old
Clare Nicolson
Kimberly Diamond
Louise Harries
Antonia Eckersley

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