November (and a little bit into December) is book month at Whipup.net
The Art-Full Tree; ornaments to make. Jan Gilliam and Christina Westenberger. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2011.
If your thoughts are turning to decorating your tree this year, you might like to have a look at The Art-Full Tree, which is inspired by objects in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
The book begins with a quick history of the museum, that was started by Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller who started collecting and exhibiting folk art in the 1920’s, at a time when common crafts and amateur arts were not highly valued. She left her collection to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and this collection forms the core of the current Folk Art Museum in Willamsburg, Virginia.
The museum has had a long and treasured tradition of decorating a holiday tree every year with ornaments made by staff, volunteers and guests of the museum. Some of these ornaments are inspired by items in the collection, and others are based on the skills of each contributor.
The Art-Full Tree presents 33 ornament projects that have been inspired by some of the most popular items in the museum collection. The book is an interesting combination of museum catalogue, inspiration notebook, project instructions and stitch guide and template sections.
Each project features the original artwork, with a short history of the item and some information on the artist or style of art. There is a very detailed materials list, and step by step instructions and photographs on making each ornament.
There is a wide range of crafting techniques used in the creation of the ornament projects, including needlepoint, paper craft, punch needle embroidery, foil work, metal punching, painting and collage. My favourite ornaments are Recycled-Card star (inspired by a compass design quilt), Scherenscnitte Birds (inspired by a cutwork picture), and Aluminium Butterfly (inspired by a metal weathervane).
I really like the process of taking a formal artwork in a formal setting, that is meaningful to the people around it, and appropriating all or part of the work to inspire the creation of anther objet, in this case tree ornaments. I feel that readers of The Art-Full Tree will be inspired to look around them, in their local museums, public spaces, or around their own treasured and meaningful objects, and to create ornaments for their own family trees that are small and perfect reminders of things that they love.
To win a copy of The Art-Full Tree, please leave a comment on this review. The comments will be open for 72 hours, and a winner will be selected at random. Good luck! Congratulations to Becky!
About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.
DISCLOSURE: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation PROVIDED WHIPUP.NET REVIEWER KATE WITH A FREE REVIEW COPY.