A Modern Crafter's Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects

Book - 2014
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This text teaches readers how to locate library resources to bring their creative ideas to fruition. The author shares her hunting and gathering tips with creatives of all types, informing on how to access inspiring resources online and in person, such as historic watermarks and millinery instructions or Japanese family crests, both online and in person. She also showcases the work of artists who have collaborated with her.
Publisher: New York STC Craft, c2014.
ISBN: 9781617690969
Branch Call Number: 745.5 PIO
Characteristics: 207 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Jan 18, 2017

This book is overall beautifully done and a pleasure to look through, but in the end a bit disappointing as far as the actual art projects to look at. The premise of the book is how to look in old library books and archives whether in person or through digitized resources to find inspirations for art projects. The inspiration might come from endpapers, illuminated typeface, illustrations, maps, charts, etc. The first half of the book is an extremely well done guide on how to use libraries to find such sources with very practical tips to help people search. As a librarian I was impressed with the thorough job the author (a librarian at NYPL) did here and hope this guide will help artists discover sources they didn't know existed and break down some of the intimidation factor of visiting a special collections room or calling a library for help. The second half of the book showcased art done by various artists along with the original source it was inspired by. Here I was disappointed. Many of the projects seemed simplistic and not really worthy of the deep dive into archival sources looking for inspiration.

melwyk May 31, 2014

Are you a maker, a crafter, a designer? Do you love free inspiration and resources to help you develop your art work? Then you've got to check out this book by New York Public Library's Rare Books Librarian Jessica Pigza.

Pigza is an expert in unusual books and images found in libraries worldwide. She's also a crafting blogger at Both of her passions meet in this comprehensive and engaging book. Rather than simply using former library books as craft material, Pigza focuses on the creative possibilities for new ideas within library collections themselves.

She begins with an introduction on how to find, search and use library collections for creative purposes, and shares links to digital library sites that contain all kinds of vintage books, images and information, available freely. These links alone make this book invaluable to the modern crafter.

Following the detailed introduction, the second half of the book is made up of examples and instructions for artwork and craft projects developed by a wide range of artists and hobbyists well known in the blogging world. Each uses a different art technique and a different starting point for their creations. There is lots of variety here; techniques range from embroidery and sewing, to papercraft, painting, and more. The chosen artists have used maps, decorative bookbindings, vintage children's books, type specimens, and even soil sample charts to inspire their creations. Whether you're interested in embroidered pillows, personalized stationery, unique coasters or table runners, or even unusual accessories, browsing through the array of projects is sure to spark ideas for your own DIY crafting.

If you're feeling creative after flipping through this book, ask a librarian for help finding hidden treasures in Stratford Public Library's own collection. From a lengthy run of bound National Geographic magazines, to theatre, natural history, or decorative arts books, to our online databases, there are many places to get started!


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