Material: Making and the Art of Transformation

Chelsea Green. Sept. 2020. 272p. ISBN 9781603589321. $25. CRAFTS
Distinguished furniture designer and builder Kary presents a thought-provoking narrative addressing the intimate relationship between crafters and their materials. He explores his locality in Southwest England to visit historical and present-day sources of supplies, such as mines and forests, engaging with a variety of artisans, such as basket makers, weavers, carpenters, potters, boat makers, masons, and metal smiths. Kary does a fine job of clarifying myriad ways in which makers connect to their materials, and explaining the process of harvesting, cultivating, and transforming them into art. His inquiry goes to the soul of what “making” with our hands is, and how artists entwine physically and emotionally with their materials.
VERDICT An enlightening exploration of the historical and cultural relationships between artists and a creative use of a variety of materials.
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