Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Paper Only - The Papered Parlour welcomes you

Paper Only
By The Papered Parlour
Pavilion, August 2014
Paperback, £16.99
ISBN 978 190 844 9511

Star rating: *** 1/2

The Papered Parlour is a celebrated craft workshop/studio space in Clapham, South London.  It was founded by Claire Heafford and Louise Hall in 2009. This very likable new book aims to bottle the magic of their influential design venue, a boho hive of crafty activity. The aim is to inspire the reader to find their creative mojo by sharing the Papered Parlour mindset. The book contains 20 do-able projects to direct the creative journey.

The book successfully conveys the mood of the venue – it radiates a joyous creative warmth. The book’s centrefold is a photographic portrait of the studio in full swing – a wallpaper-printing session. In another craft book, a fold-out like this might be considered filler – but here it is intrinsic to the nature of the book. “Welcome to the studio – please do come in.”

“Just do it” is the Papered Parlour’s mantra. Learn from your mistakes and don’t worry about the mess. As the book points out, “Happy accidents are the source of innovation”. 
Paper Only is not so much a project book as a pep talk on how to kick-start your creativity. The actual projects are a mixed bag. Paper projects, are, of course, ideal for the beginner, paper being easy to work with (and relatively inexpensive). The Origami Bow and the loopy Star Bow are winners (can’t wait to try). Some of the projects are a little bit too easy and obvious – like the gift tags made from recycled maps and the paper envelopes. (I guess the idea is that an easy initial success is encouraging for a newbie.) 

The section on pattern design is very strong and is an excellent introduction for the beginner. Here, the book comes into its own. The  Geometric Pattern Generator is a fun and useful exercise involving re-arranging paper cut-outs. How-tos are given for both block-printing and screen-printing. The achievable goal: to print a length of wallpaper on lining paper.  Screen-printing is usually associated with fabric-printing. It is good to see it treated as a papercraft.

This title would make a good gift for someone who is thinking about learning a craft, and wants to dip a toe into the water.

The Papered Parlour is the home to 24 creative practitioners, and it also hosts a public programme of workshops, talks and events.

Note:  I was provided with a review copy of this title.