Friday, 31 July 2015

Mollie Makes Papercraft. Review.

Mollie Makes Papercraft
Mollie Makes
Pavilion Books, June 2015
Hardback, £16.99
ISBN 1-978-1-909815-91-9

Star rating: ****

Here’s a welcome new addition to the Mollie Makes-branded range of craft titles (they’ve already got Crochet, Patchwork & Quilting, Embroidery, Knitting, Weddings, and Christmas). What were they waiting for with papercrafts??? – perhaps because the Mollie Makes publication was originally a sewing craft-lifestyle mag. Well – you know what to expect from Mollie Makes – quality crafts with a quirky contemporary/hipster edge – but accessible to all. 

You will find 20 new projects here, designed by a talented team of contributors and put together by the competent Mollie Makes editorial team. This is an ideal title for a newbie who wants a taster of different aspects of papercrafting. The majority of the projects are delightful – dimensionality and the surprise factor figure in most of them. The Techniques section, back-of-book, is very meaty – intros to a variety of papercraft techniques (origami, quilling, pâpier-mâché, paper manipulation, embellishment techniques) are handled concisely – packing lots of useful - and fascinating-  info into the available space. 

The book takes on board how we have all been spoiled by the internet – and instead of clickable links, you will find text boxes with interesting related details like author bios and  project motivations (papercraft story). It is always a pleasure to find out what makes papercraft artists tick.

The step-by-steps accompanying the projects are excellent. Plenty of info about materials, photos or illustrations where appropriate.
My favourite projects include the Teeny-weeny pull-out house (flip back the roof to reveal a fold-out greeting) by Alix Swan; the Origami lampshade, by Esther Thorpe (lovely, and so very do-able); the Foxy nights papercut (urban foxes shadow box – fun!), by Jaina Minton,  and Three little cacti pots, by Sarah Matthew, which is a masterpiece of paper manipulation (two flowering cacti and a succulent – ideal for plant lovers sans green fingers). 

The beautiful cacti project brings to mind the elephant in the front room of 21st century papercraft projects. Just how many of these projects were designed and made digitally? I don’t know for sure how this project was made, but the preferred method must surely be digital papercrafting. This project is very fiddly and, at the very least, a link to a printable.pdf and cutting files for papercrafters with digital papercutters would be a useful addition to the book. The contributing designers featured in this book are professionals – surely they design digitally. 

So: to book editiors who are reading this review, I am broadcasting a request: there are more and digital papercrafters out there. We want craft titles, too!

Summing up – if you are a fledgling papercrafter, or are looking for a gift for a fledgling papercrafter, Mollie Makes Papercraft will do nicely.

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