It's been a long time since I have been excited by a book..... but last week, I received a copy of Melanie Falick's new book Making A Life: Working By Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live.
When I received Making a Life I couldn't wait to dig into it. A quick page through and I was intrigued by all the different artists/craftspeople that Melanie included.
Making A Life begins with Melanie's personal introduction to this project. She has always been a maker. Through this book, Melanie wanted to explore why people make - especially in our current world with all the technology that is so everpresent in our lives. She asks why people both to knit, to sew, to quilt. She introduces scholarly research at the very beginning to inspire the reader to "Discover the Life You are Meant to Live" as the title says.
This is a big book - 320 pages long. Unlike Knitting In America, there are no individual projects that you can make. That is fine with me. I am most interested in reading about other artists (or makers as that term now seems to encompass all kinds of artistic and craft disciplines) -- how they found their beginning, what makes them tick and how they keep themselves motivated to keep on making. Making A Life does that. There are 30 different profiles of artists/craftspeople/makers in disciplines that range from fiber, pottery, sculpture, quilting, weaving, dyeing, shoemaking, woodworking, welding, printing and more.
Some of the artists featured I was familiar with but some were totally new to me. Melanie has always had the knack for flushing out talent that may be new the larger world. Lotta Jansdotter, Natalie Lete, and Natalie Chanin are women whose work I know. It's nice to read about their stories. It is even more fun for me to explore the other women and men that were new to me - to discover their work and find inspiration in their daily practices.
Each chapter explores a person, a couple or a school. There are beautiful photographs taken by Rinne Allen. The photographs are arranged in a mixed layout fashion that gives an overview to their craft, tools, supplies, and life. So often books show big beautiful pictures but as we all know - there is only so much room when a photograph takes an entire page. This book almost reads like a good blog post of yesteryear profiling and sharing visuals.
Congratulations to Melanie on another gorgeous book. It is clear that she put her life and soul into this book and we are all the more fortunate for her energy and devotion to the project.
You can listen to a podcast with Melanie being interviewed by Abby Glassenberg here.
Melanie is currently on a Book Tour to share Making a Life. You can see the schedule here.