Monday, 13 February 2017

House of Cards, by Sarah Hamilton. Review.

By Sarah Hamilton

Pavilion Books 2017

Hardcover £14.99

ISBN 9781-1-919904-57-2

Star rating: ****

This  just in and I couldn’t wait to share – House of Cards – great title, great book. This is a compendium of step-by-step card designs from talented expert contributors. Very nice, you say – been there, done that? No. This book has a super angle. Its aim is to provide nitty gritty info so that you can become a successful commercial cardmaker – if you want to that is. If your goal is a personal creative outlet, you will find quality projects in a variety of craft techniques (silkscreen printing, decoupage, papercutting, linocut printing, collage, handstitched paper, digital illustration, textile foiling, and letterpress printing). A tempting mix, yes?

The author of the book, Sarah Hamilton, founded the Just a Card  Campaign in 2014, with the goal of helping to support indy artists and retailers, who find it so very difficult to stay afloat financially. Sarah Hamilton is an artist and designer with impressive credentials, having designed for Paperchase, The Conran Shop, and Habitat. Sarah has written a section on Finding Inspiration for the book, pro tips shared. 

The upfront section of the book is invaluable – and a delight. Here you will find a capsule history of the greeting card, tips on selling cards (including the “To Bag or Not to Bag” dilemma faced by all greeting card crafters), licensing designs, and a section on charity cards. Plenty of fascinating info to keep you informed and entertained.

Each project welcomes you into the designer’s studio – you learn what makes them tick. The project is then provided with photographic step-by-steps.

Not all of the projects are papercrafted – designer Kirsty Elson creates cards from found objects. This involves toolshop lite skills. Lucy Featherstone does handstitched card on paper – string art (as popular in the ‘70s), with a contemporary spin. Jessica Hogarth’s project is an intro to digital illustration – transforming your sketch into vector artwork (suitable for colouring). Papercutter Sarah Morpeth’s contribution is lovely woodland scene in “beak book” format – this is a dimensional card.

House of Cards is extremely giftable. Perhaps you know a crafter who is thinking of taking the leap into selling. Or perhaps you yourself deserve a treat...

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