Monday, 18 November 2013

Book Review: Fold, Cut & Curl

Fold, Cut & Curl:

75 Exquisite Snowflakes, Stars and Sunbursts to make

By Ayako Brodek and Shannon Voigt

Search Press 2013

Paperback £10.99

ISBN 978-1-84448-965-7


I haven’t yet used a star rating system for my book reviews – but this title, appropriately, gets five stars (or sunbursts, or snowflakes).

Last year, Search Press had a big hit with their lovely crocheted snowflake title, 100 Snowflakes to Crochet, by Caitlin Sainio. This new book looks to be a follow-up for papercrafters -  an idea with legs (or rather, snowflake arms).  I am a mega snowflake fan – in fact, I have designed a template of my own papercrafted Snowflakes & Stars for Hot Off the Press. Many papercrafters are big snowflake fans, too – I notice that whenever I run a snowflake-themed project on the blog, it gets a lot of hits. Could it be childhood memories of happy snowflake-cutting sessions? 
The snowflakes, stars, and sunbursts in this book are much more sophisticated and elegant than your childhood makes (although for the kirigami flakes, the fold-and-cut principle is the same).
This book has a winning format. Up front, there’s a Selector section, a glorious gallery of all the different styles, presented by category (snowflake, star, or sunburst). Each style is labelled with name, number, and turn-to page. A good system.

Following the gallery, there’s a skills section, teaching quilling, origami, and kirigami core techniques in a clear and concise manner. Lots of excellent instructional tips, like how to use a needle quilling tool for finer designs.

It is commendable how this book has enlisted two experts: Ayako Brodek for the origami and kirigami projects, and Shannon Voigt for the quilled designs. This is a much more successful approach than stretching the skills of one author to encompass all that is required.

The origami section has lots of variety. You will learn how to construct  hexagonal, pentagonal, and octagonal snowflake bases (basic training!). Some of the designs are modular ones – this unit approach to origami is very popular.

My favourite quilled designs include Comet, in which a whoosh of a filigreed tail almost seems to animate the centre star; and Radiance, which very cleverly used pieced  quilling strips to craft a graduated colour effect.

The Projects section is the weakest of the book, but it still has value and presents good ideas. It is just that the individual designs are perfection, and these are just presentation apps. For example, the Quilled Window Ornaments, attached with suction cups, are an ace way to showcase the snowflakes. And the Origami Garland, constructed with beads and fishline is a valid idea, too.

This title would make a delightful gift for a papercrafter. Or buy it now for crafting festive decs.
Note: I was supplied with a review copy of this book.