Book Review – Making a Life

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Recently I was very lucky to be sent a recently published book to review.

Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick

Its a real hefty tome of a book. A book you can dip in and out of to read a chapter before bed or sit down with in a cosy chair for a really good read.

For it is a really good read.

The book features the stories of individual quilters and potters, weavers and painters, metalsmiths, printmakers, woodworkers and more. Through interview and spending time with these makers author Melanie explores these why these makers create and continue to make, often choosing life balance or passing on of skills over material reward.

Melanie Falick is a writer and editor of books on textile arts and travel. Based in America; I wondered if there would be British artists featured amongst the makers from America, Mexico, and India.

There were plenty.

Included in the book were many ‘new to me’ British makers. Basket maker Annemarie O’Sullivan (East Sussex), textile artist Claire Wellesley-Smith (West Yorkshire), woodworker Alex Devol (Lancashire), textile designer Mandy Pattullo (Northumberland), leather bag maker Dolores Swift (Brighton), and the founder for a centre of creative workshops Englishwoman Lizzie Hulme (Chateau Dumas near Toulouse).

On further research on these individuals I discovered many ran courses and retreats and some had held courses on my door step, here in Wakefield, West Yorkshire!

The book is illustrated with many photographs of craft close-ups, the makers in their studios and out and about enjoying the countryside and with family and friends.

Quite frankly it made me rather jealous of these lives lived dedicated to their crafts.

Making a Life: Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live by Melanie Falick was published by Artisan Books on 1 November

A book to give to a fellow creator or just to indulge yourself. Just don’t get too bitter about your own 9 – 5 reality!!!

Love, Lucie x

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