good reads : Craftydermy, book review

Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy | Emma Lamb
Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy | Emma Lamb

A couple of weeks ago my sweet friend Kirsty, who you all know from A Wooden Tree, dropped me a wee email to tell me about this fun new craft book she contributed a project to - Craftydermy.

The idea of 'craftydermy' was originally dreamt up by gallery owner Tracey Benton (who runs Atelier in Devon, UK) with a little help from textile artist Amelia Fever (who has a project for a faux tiger skin rug featured in the book). The first exhibition ran in the summer of 2011 after Tracey invited a host of British designer makers to reinterpret the idea of traditional Victorian taxidermy. The show was a success and thanks to press coverage the lovely Ziggy Hanaor (Cicada Books), who had already been pondering the idea of book about faux taxidermy, found the perfect material for this book.

Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy, Felt Wolf Headress by A Wooden Tree / Kirsty Anderson | Emma Lamb

There are a total of nineteen cute and quirky 'craftydermy' projects in this lovely wee book covering all skill levels and an array of techniques. You can crochet a sheep's head to mount on your wall, applique a flock of flying ducks, sew your own bearfeet slippers, wire wrap a little bird, stitch a tiger rug, knit a fox fur, weave a highland cow, embroider a squirrel cushion or cut, glue and stick your own fabulous wolf headdress! The latter is by my dear friend Kirsty and is pictured above, love it! Click here for a closer look at the contents page with a full list of projects and their designers.

As well as Kirsty's wolf headdress I've pictured some of my other favourites below: Antonia Eckersley's Crocheted Sheep, Clare Nicolson's Fabric Flying Ducks, Hayley Dix's Wire Bird, The Bellweather's Cross-stitched Stag, Louise Harries' Woven Highland Cow (fantastic, made me laugh out loud when I turned the page to see this one!) and Emma Cocker's Charles Fox (which reminds me of one of my favourite films, Fantastic Mr Fox).

Although I haven't tried any of the projects yet they seem well written and easy to follow. When I have a little more time on my hands I'd love to give Antonia Eckersley's sheep head a go, I am sure that will be a really interesting project to work on!

Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy | Emma Lamb
Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy | Emma Lamb

As well as being a hugely fun and interesting wee craft book, the actual book itself is a beautiful object to admire. It's around A5 in size, has a soft cover and the most delicious 'papery' pages - much like those of a Selvedge magazine or Toast catalogue and has the same smell too, I love that smell! I love the faux-bois cover with the cut out to reveal Charles Fox, a sweet touch. Ian Tillotson's photography throughout perfectly captures the sense of nostalgia the concept of traditional Victorian taxidermy evokes but with a modern day irreverent sense of fun, exactly what this book is all about. The finishing touch is the beautiful vintage typewriter font used for the title and throughout the book on the contents page and every leading project page. Overall it's a very welcome addition to my bookshelf!

Craftydermy: a crafty take on taxydermy | Emma Lamb
All images: Emma Lamb

Oh and lastly, if you're going to be in or around Devon between 2nd July and 31st August you will be able to see a selection of projects from this book on display at the Atelier gallery. If not you can visit the Craftydermy online shop to find some beautiful makes from some of the designers featured in the book. I am head over heels for Kirsty's blushing Mr Stag... *swoon*

Emma, x

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6 comments

  1. Cute interpretation of a craft book. Thanks for sharing

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  2. What a great idea! So many creative options for this!

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  3. Lovely book and what a great concept. One theme, different mediums, different designers.
    S xx

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  4. Love the book! Although I may be a little biased as my lovely daughter Kirsty's in it! Good to see it being blogged too! Thanks Emma.

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  5. Wow! Looks awesome! For the felted wolf headdress, I only scrolled the screen down to about midway through his nose, and it looked like the evil tree from Poltergeist! I love the evil tree so it made me super happy. The fact that I can made a headdress makes me equally happy! I can't wait to read it!

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  6. thank you for such an awesome review of Craftydermy - so glad you like it.

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