Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Review: Wise Craft by Blair Stocker


Since this one is a craft book, I'm not giving it my usual review format, I'm just going to cover the basics of the book and why, in my opinion, it does not succeed on any level.  Have I given away my thoughts too soon?  Maybe so, but as you will see in the next paragraph or two, I did not like this book.

I'll start by mentioning another book that this, unfortunately, reminded me of.  Are any of you familiar with Amy Sedaris?  She's a humorist/comic who wrote two satirical books about housekeeping and crafting.
I've read both and they're pretty clever books based around the mockery of Pintrest culture, where everything is homemade and we're all expected to turn pinecones into crafts and prepare eleven course meals on a regular basis.  

Why am I bringing up this book?  Because I checked several times to see if Wise Craft was also supposed to be funny.  It's not.  Unfortunately the ideas in it are kind of horrible, but in a non-ironic way.  One idea for a homemade gift, I kid you not, is to take a rock and use hot glue to cover it with a leather scrap.  Then give it to a friend to use as a paperweight.  If I ever really, really don't like you, maybe I'll give you a scrap covered rock as a gift.  Otherwise, I'm going to go ahead and not.

My point is, the crafts in this book are ridiculous.  They're either over the top difficult with little direction (I can't make a quilt with only a caption describing how it's made) or they're dumb and tacky.  I've said it a billion times regarding Pintrest and I'll say it again about this book: you can make anything look nice with the right lighting and expensive camera.  But in real life, without filters and photoshop and professional lighting, your leather covered rock isn't going to look fancy and rustic and expensive.  It's going to look like you hot-glued scraps to a rock.  

I do have to say that I think the book is nicely formatted and the quality of the photographs is definitely a plus.  That said, the book is of little practical value because no one is going to want to make half of the projects in it or be able to make the other half.  It's disappointing since I checked out the author's blog and saw several great, creative, interesting projects.  It's unfortunate that those didn't make it into the book.

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