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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

A unique overview of women’s textile art production including embroidery, weaving, soft sculpture and more looking at the extraordinary women who blur the boundaries between fine art and crafts. Includes over 20 interviews with contemporary textile artists, providing insight into their practices, themes and personal motivations. Full colour with dozens of new and original images of the featured women artists' work. The author unpicks the threads that link female textile artists and the arts they produce, revealing a global and historic patchwork of assorted roles, identities and representations. Entertaining as well as informative, this book offers a unique overview of female-centric textile art production including embroidery, weaving, soft sculpture and more. Includes over 20 interviews with contemporary textile artists, providing fascinating insights into their practices, themes and personal motivation. Tells us: How knitting became a spying device in wartime Why dress design was…

Overall Book Review:

It isn’t often that a non-fiction work makes its way to my reading pile.  However, I found the topic of this book in relation to its focus on textiles an intriguing one.  When you think of art, most people think of paintings and sculptures-items you hang on the wall in frames and dust off to look at occasionally.  But using textiles to create art, both 2 and 3 dimensional is a concept that I don’t think many acknowledge.  And the contribution to this field by women is astounding given textiles have often been viewed as a woman’s world.

This book is divided into broader subject categories with each chapter handling a broad topic, such as politics, with a discussion on how women and textiles have been shaped and influenced by that broader topic.  The subject is a complex one and therefore the book is more of a thought-provoking read then a storyline that zips along at lightning speed.  Interspersed throughout the chapters are pictures of various works that are being discussed.  The images are also probably one of the few drawbacks to the work.  As each different artist or piece was discussed, I did find that I wanted to see many more visuals to be able to have a reference of what was being discussed.  That being said, the book itself would probably double or triple in size should that have occurred and therefore may have not been as commercially viable.

At time of publication, this book is only available in print format. Should the book become available in e-book format, I would recommend obtaining a print version of this one if the subject interests you. 

Overall, a good read for those interested in the subject of women in art with a caution that higher lexile/reading level will be needed for comprehension.

Review of an advance reading copy from the publisher

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  2 anatomical terms; 1 f-word derivative.

Violence and Gore:  The subject of violence is discussed, but in a generalized fashion with no specifics or details.

Sex and Nudity:  The subject of sex, gender and female body parts is discussed without specifics or details.

Mature Themes: 

Socioeconomic inequalities, racial issues, gender roles and issues, sexuality, slavery, feminism.

Alcohol and Drug Usage: 

Reference to group meeting in pub and drinking without explicit substance use.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I am a full-time mom, full-time wife, and overtime reader. I have been an avid reader for as long as anyone can remember. It must run in the family because both my mother and grandmother are also voracious readers and often pass books back and forth. Almost any genre can spark my interest, but I often go in streaks, reading a bunch of books from one genre, then switching to another for a while and back again.