Don't forget to poke the photos to enlarge!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Wicker. Wicker. Wicker.

This morning I am going to do a bit of book reviewing....Kind of....What I am really doing is encouraging you, that wish to wicker, to invest in this book from England.(Don't forget to poke the photos)

For someone just starting out, I can't recommend it highly enough. Sheila Smith makes everything clear and concise. There are 28 different projects in the book and if you start with the easier baskets and work up to the chairs and other furniture, you will be sailing along in no time. The chairs that you see on the cover are at the back for a reason. They aren't for a beginner.

The chase that you see on the back cover is probably the most difficult.

She uses #5 crochet cotton. That is the only thing that I question. It seems a bit large. I think that I would go with #10. But I am just picky that way.

Everything that you see on both covers are just part of the things that you can make once you get started.

She doesn't use materials that aren't readily available.

So for $10.61 on Amazon you have 28 lessons to pick and choose from. And no, I am not getting a kickback. I just think that the book is a good one and a great value.

Now....As I was digging for that one, I found several others that I work from. I have more, but if I dragged them all out, I would have the floor covered.

Please notice the elderly lady in the gigantic baby carriage! That's the only one of those I have seen. That particular one is a history of wicker.

The sketch, under Tessie's feet, is one of my own chair designs.

The main one that I wanted to show you is the dull green book with the gold embossing to the left of the pile.

I found it in a used book store about 15 years ago and it has been my bible of wicker. It was written in 1925 as a text book for teaching people to weave "Art Fibre". At that time they were making cording out of birch trees to imitate wicker. That was imported and more costly.

I had a real rocker made of this material years ago. Unfortunately it didn't hold up as well as real wicker and a lot of it didn't survive. There are still pieces around, but not as many as antique wicker pieces.

Anyway, the book is invaluable. It has diagrams of different techniques that I have not found elsewhere.

About the time I opened it to show you the front page, Tessie showed up and started hassling me. You know that she wants one of everything in the book, made just for her new manor house.

Her comments were interesting, if not helpful. When she spotted the photo to the left, she declared, "You need an outfit like that to work in when you make my pieces. It would make the furniture more authentic."

I somehow fail to see the logic in that statement. I am not going into flapper mode just to make her some furniture. Besides, who said that I was going to make her some furniture?

She already has visions of a new chase.

"That ratty old brown chair just won't do in the new house."

I need to distract her from the book and go hide it. It has way to many pieces for her to choose.

"Ooh, new writing desk! Wow! A combination bird cage stand and fern stand! A stand for my radio.....What's a radio? Don't they have a computer stand or a TV stand?"

I am now going to go remind Tessie about the good old days, when people carried portable radios, the size of a loaf of bread around, instead of I-Pods. As old as she is, you would think that she would remember these things. So soon we forget.....

See you tomorrow.


Jo Raines said...

Casey, thank you for the book review. I'm going to look for it. It may be at the Tom Bishop show in Atlanta this weekend which I am so excited to be going to (barring some unfortunate thing that prevents us!). I definitely want to master wicker furniture. Currently, I am trying to master upholstering with mixed results so far!


Deni said...

That is a great book!
I went looking for it when you mentioned wicker but I don't think I will have time to make it for a long while! I have so many projects half done!
Great Book Review... thank you

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing your book review with us Casey. I've never tried Wicker. Best to hide that book away or Tessie will be working you night and day. LOL

dalesdreams said...

Casey, thank you so much for posting this!

It also reminds me to send my non-blogging friend to come over here and take a look, it had slipped my mind previously, so thanks too, for the reminder! :)

Sans! said...

Reviews like this are precious. I bought the 1st book from a local bookstore and thought it a rea bargain too!

dalesdreams said...

Thanks Casey, friend viewed this post and earliers' and was delighted.

I appreciate your sharing. :)