Thursday, 13 October 2016

Making Art from Maps, by Jill K Berry. Review.

Making Art from Maps

Inspiration, Techniques, and an International Gallery of Artists

Jill K Berry

Rockport 2016

Softcover £16-99 UK/$24-99 US/ $ 32-99 CAN

ISBN 978 1 631 59 1020

Star rating: ****

In the age of Google Maps and GPS, maps of the paper-y kind have super nostalgia value. Maps have always been evocative – conjuring up thoughts of exploration and adventure in distant lands, or fond memories of holidays past. Plus, maps are colourful things of beauty and precision. Author, papercrafter, and cartophile Jill K Berry has produced a delightful book which is both an appreciation of maps and a craft project book.

Same as with book art, some may cringe at the thought of altering maps. As the author points out – maps can be scanned in, or worn maps repurposed. OK then.

This book is a portmanteau title – creative contributions from craft artists around the globe (appropriately) – projects to craft, or to admire in the themed Gallery pages. 

Front of book, there’s a splendidly illustrated intro by the author, followed by a nifty section on Foundational Basics – cool papercraft techniques – rolling paper cones, plus various paper flower-making techniques (Twirled Roses, Kusudame Flower, Spiral Buds, Stacked Petals).

The book is then divided into the following sections: Decor; Books, Journals, and Boxes; Fashion, Collage and Illustration, Interiors and Lighting. The strongest section is the Books, Journals, and Boxes section –  I particularly like origami-style Pyramid Box, and the Book in a Box. The Fashion section is, as you would expect, playful. It is big on paper beads. Fun and fanciful hats, functional fans. In the Decor section, the Globe Swag Lamp, made from half of a cardboard globe is a winner. All of the crafts are do-able, even by papercraft newbies.

The back-of-book section has its rewards. The author asked the contributors to explain their love of maps – capsule appreciations from each. Nice touch. Also - a spread on Map Resources, including sources of digital maps and a reading list.

So – a celebration of maps and making, suitable for gifting. 

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

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