Written by: Vivian Orr, Communications and Publications Coordinator
It is always exciting to discover a Canadian publisher of craft books and even more intriguing when their niche is alternative crafts.
Arsenal Pulp Press is a book publisher in Vancouver with over 300 titles currently in print, which include literary fiction and nonfiction; cultural and gender studies; LGBT and multicultural literature; cookbooks, including vegan; alternative crafts; graphic novels; visual arts; and books in translation. They are interested in literature that engage and challenge readers, and which ask probing questions about the world around us.
If you have access to the Saskatoon Public Library or the Saskatchewan Information & Library Services Consortium (and a library card) you can check out four of Arsenal Pulp Press’ alternative craft books.
- Craftivism The Art of Craft and Activism ©2014 Edited by Betsy Greer – Craftivism is a worldwide movement that operates at the intersection of craft and activism; Craftivism the book is full of inspiration for crafters who want to create works that add to the greater good. In these essays, interviews, and images, craftivists from four continents reveal how they are changing the world with their art. Through examples that range from community embroidery projects, stitching in prisons, revolutionary ceramics, AIDS activism, yarn bombing, and crafts that facilitate personal growth, Craftivism provides imaginative examples of how crafters can be creative and altruistic at the same time.
- Strange Material Storytelling through Textiles ©2014 By (author) Leanne Prain – Strange Material explores the relationship between handmade textiles and storytelling. Through text, the act of weaving a tale or dropping a thread takes on new meaning for those who previously have seen textiles―quilts, blankets, articles of clothing, and more―only as functional objects. This book showcases crafters who take storytelling off the page and into the mediums of batik, stitching, dyeing, fabric painting, knitting, crochet, and weaving, creating objects that bear their messages proudly, from personal memoir and cultural fables to pictorial histories and wearable fictions.
- Hoopla The Art of Unexpected Embroidery ©2011 By (author) Leanne Prain – Hoopla rebels against the quaint and familiar embroidery motifs of flowers and swashes, and focuses instead on innovative stitch artists who specialize in unusual, guerrilla-style patterns such as tattooed church gloves and a ransom note pillow; it demonstrates that modern embroidery artists are as sharp as the needles with which they work. If you like anarchistic DIY craft and the idea of deviating from the rules, Hoopla includes 28 innovative embroidery patterns that will inspire you to wield a needle with flair!
- Yarn Bombing The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti ©2009 By (authors) Mandy Moore and Leanne Prain – Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti is the definitive guidebook to covert textile street art. This full-color DIY book features 20 kick-ass patterns that range from hanging shoes and knitted picture frames to balaclavas and gauntlets, teaching readers how to create fuzzy adornments for lonely street furniture. Along the way, it provides tips on how to be as stealthy as a ninja, demonstrates how to orchestrate a large-scale textile project, and offers revealing information necessary to design your own yarn graffiti tags. The book also includes interviews with members of the international community of textile artists and yarn bombers, and provides resources to help readers join the movement; it’s also chock full of beautiful photographs and easy step-by-step instructions for knit and crochet installations and garments.
Craftivism is alive and well, as the recent Pussyhat Project demonstrated. Enjoy an inspiring craft book by a Canadian publisher today… and long live subversive crafting!