The week before we went to Edinburgh it was my birthday and, as always, I asked for a couple of books. So I have been busy reading all of them! Haute Couture Ateliers and Jewels by Jar were two books that I spotted whilst looking in Waterstones a while back. Haute Couture Ateliers covers many of the Parisian ateliers, including embroidery, jewellery and lace, that work in the haute couture industry and features a couple of the designers that use the skills of the century old ateliers in their work. It features amazing pictures of detailed embroidery, which is of course the highlight of the book for me. Its the best book I have ever found for someone with an interest in Haute Couture skills and techniques. Jewels by Jar is about the work of jeweller Joel A. Rosenthal. It was published as an accompaniment to a exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and includes a short essay at the beginning followed by many stunning full page photos of the jewellery pieces. The jewellery does not follow the usual style of fine jewellery, which is what disappoints me about many jewellery books, its a little unusual and different which is what makes the book so fascinating.
Stumpwork Butterflies and Moths was bought for me by my sister. I love stumpwork embroidery so this was a brilliant surprise! The book features many different individual moth and butterfly designs to embroider as well as several designs at the back which feature butterflies and moths among flowers. The idea is that you can create a box of embroidered butterflies and moths which mimic real collections of insects displayed in box frames. Eventually I am going to have to embroider them all!
Yesterday I had to go to Bath in the morning and I managed to have time fit in a quick look in Waterstones. I was looking for a book on John William Waterhouse, and have been for a while, but I can't believe how hard it is to find one! Anyway, instead I bought a miniature book about Pre-Raphaelite art entitled The Pre-Raphaelite Vision. The book features the work of artists who founded and were associated with the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood; many of the paintings are accompanied by a poem or quote which influenced the painting. After looking online when I got home I found out there is also a J.W Waterhouse book in the same series which I will have to order sometime.
I love having a good collection of books on a variety of subjects because they're so useful to dip into for inspiration. The only problem is my book collection is growing quickly and filling up my shelves which were quite full with craft materials to begin with, I have to rearrange it all every couple of months to fit it all in!