Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: "Basketry: 17 Great Weekend Projects" by B. J. Crawford

Basketry: 17 Great Weekend Projects by B. J. Crawford is part of “The Weekend Crafter” series published by Lark Books. This 80 page book is primarily designed to introduce novices to making your own baskets using various basic techniques and tools.

After a brief introduction there is a ten page opening section on “Basic Tools, Materials & Techniques of Basketry.” In addition to the lists of tools and simple text are the numerous photographs and illustrations so you know what to get at your local craft store. The techniques are clearly explained using large pictures with detailed captions so you can easily follow the directions at home.

This all leads into the basic basket described and illustrated in great detail on pages 18-24.  In addition to the list of materials needed and a list of techniques you will learn, are the actual very detailed instructions along with other photographs of every step in the process. From the initial layout of the base of the basket to the finishing of it, every single step is covered extremely well leaving nothing to chance. 

That introductory basket project is followed by two projects designed to give you the skills you need to build anything else in the book. The “Muffin Basket” on page 26-29 adds a handle to make things a little more complicated.  Then there is “The Small Market Basket” on pages 30-33 featuring a handle built into the base of the basket.

Once you have the basics down, you are ready for more complicated baskets and additional techniques. Whether you are looking to do “Shaping and Embellishments” (pages 34-45), use “Color” (page 44-52) or maybe use “New Weaves” (pages 70-79) there is something here for you along with short sections on “Hanging Baskets” and “Round Bases.”

The book closes on page 80 with acknowledgements, a brief index and a listing of Gallery artists with details about their work.

This simple, very easy to use, excellently done 80 page book brings the idea of basketry open to anyone.  Basketry: 17 Great Weekend Projects  is not only an excellent book for novices it also works well for those experienced folks who want to make that specific accent piece for their home. Colorful, detailed and clear this is a very good book that does exactly what it is designed to do.

Basketry: 17 Great Weekend Projects (The Weekend Crafter)
BJ Crawford
Lark Crafts (Sterling Publishing Co. Inc.)
August 2011
ISBN# 978-1-4547-0179-8
80 Pages

Material supplied by the good folks of the Plano Texas Public Library System.

Kevin R. Tipple © 2012

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