Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Book Review: Quilting Art
I recently received this new book by Spike Gillespie, called "Quilting Art," and I have been saving it as my reward for when I finished a massive work project. The day after I finished my project, I made myself a cup of tea, settled myself down on the couch, and dove in to this beautiful book.
This book immediately struck me as something different from what we quilters usually see. For one thing, the author is not a quilter -- she's a writer, first and foremost, who stumbled onto quilting as an art form while in the process of writing another book, and then decided to take a close look at artists who use fabric as their medium. So, the book is an examination of twenty contemporary quilt artists and their work.
Gillespie asked each artist how they felt about being known as "quilters" versus "artists," and the explorations on that all-too-tricky line of discussion are interesting and varied. I really enjoyed reading about these twenty women. The artists covered in this book are: Deidre Adams, Pam RuBert, Lisa Call, Mary Beth Bellah, Sarah Williams, Angela Moll, Joan Dreyer, Loretta Bennett, Jane Burch Cochran, Dominie Nash, Malka Dubrawsky, Susan Else, Boo Davis, Karen Kamenetzky, Ai Kijima, Mary Louise Butters, Margot Lovinger, Joanie San Chirico, Robbie Joy Eklow, and Jeanne Williamson.
Some of the artists were ones I was very familiar with -- others I'd not known, and was delighted for the introduction. In each profile, Gillespie explores how each artist got involved with quilting, what processes she uses, her views about quilting in the art world, and more. I found each profile interesting and inspirational.
Works from each artist are featured, in beautiful photographs. I thought there were enough representative photos from each artists to give you a good sense of what her work is like, with great detail shots and even studio shots. (Seeing the workspace is so revealing, isn't it?)
I'm very happy to add this book to my library, and I know I'll be look back at it often. I've already gone to explore other works by some of the artists in here because I was so fascinated by what I'd seen. This would make a great addition to your holiday gift list if someone asks you what you want, or if you have a an art quilter to shop for!