How Traditional Crafts Are About More than Just Making
When it first appeared in Old English, 'cræft' signified a sense of knowledge, wisdom and resourcefulness. Using our collective nostalgia for authentic objects produced by human hands as a starting point, the archaeologist and broadcaster Alexander Langlands interweaves historical research, scientific analysis and personal anecdotes. He attempts to recover the lost meaning of the word, stressing the importance of passing on traditions from one generation to the next.
A Miscellany of Letters
Originally deriving from pictograms, letter forms have been developed, refined and adapted for myriad uses, from a simple clear typeface for advertising to a decorated animal alphabet for children. This highly illustrated exploration of the history and use of letters begins with an essay detailing the development of the Western alphabet and then, using each letter as a starting point, explores how it has been creatively employed by artists, designers, typographers and publishers.
Art in Living Craftsmanship
To mark its 80th anniversary in 2017, the Georgian Group organized an exhibition celebrating the craftspeople who maintain key buildings and landscapes. This catalogue presents the 115 exhibitors, all of whom employ time-honoured working methods, and examines the relationship between the national charity and traditional British craftsmanship.
French Art Deco
The widely influential Art Deco style perhaps attained its highest expression in France, where the term was coined in the 1920s. With background essays, profiles of the leading artists and large-format photographs, this exhibition catalogue examines over 80 masterpieces from the collection held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Examples include furniture, textiles, interiors and decorative objects by French-based designers such as René Lalique, Jean Dunand, Raoul Dufy and Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann.
Japanned Papier Mâché and Tinware
Japanese lacquer-work was in high demand in 17th-century England, but following difficulties sourcing wares from Japan, English craftsmen began imitating the style, creating a ‘japanning’ industry, which thrived in the 18th and 19th centuries. This is the most comprehensive guide available on the subject; it includes many photographic examples of japanning, detailing its origins, techniques used and life for workers in the industry, with specific chapters on craftsmen in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Bilston.
The Essence of English Decoration
Arthur Sanderson set up as an importer of French wallpaper in London in 1860, but changing tastes and new technologies meant that he was soon producing his own designs and establishing a name that still stands for quality and taste in interior design today. This highly illustrated volume describes the development of the company and its products from the Arts and Crafts style of its early wallpapers to mid-20th-century, modernist-influenced designs and today's interpretations of classic patterns. Slightly off-mint.
The Best of Both Worlds
Finely Printed Livres d'Artistes, 1910–2010
When classic writing, superb typography and great art meet, the result is a book of exceptional beauty and resonance. This catalogue of a Grolier Club exhibition in New York surveys a century of such volumes, and is itself a work of art. The books it presents feature woodcuts, copper engravings, lithographs and screen prints by artists of the calibre of Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Warhol; while the writers whose texts they illuminate include Borges, Beckett and Hemingway.