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Armstrong, Katherine L.

Robson (B.C.), Bear Grass Press. c1986. 95pp, paper, spiral bound, $14.75, ISBN 0-921097-00-X, Distributed by Bear Grass Press, Box 211, Robson, B.C., V0G 1X0.

Grades 7 and up
Reviewed by Christine Buchanan

Volume 15 Number 3
1987 May

Interest in basketry is booming. Some of the reasons for this development include an appreciation of baskets as decorative elements, a desire to reconstruct various historical types, the enjoyment of manipulating the natural materials involved, and the ability to use the craft as a means of individual artistic expression. Katherine Armstrong, herself a basket-maker and instructor, has provided a guide to all those who, for whatever reason, wish to pursue basketry as a hobby or an art.

The history of basketry and the technical descriptions of the materials used and their properties are followed by clear, detailed instructions for the actual construction. Topics covered include changes in size and shape, adding colour and decorative elements, adding wooden bases, and care and photography of the finished basket. Other features include a table of contents, an index, a bibliography, very clear black-and-white diagrams of all stages of construction, several black-and-white photographs, and, most impressively, sixteen pages of coloured photographs to provide inspiration and ideas. (All diagrams and photographs are by the author, who published this book entirely by herself without benefit of any government grants).

This attractive, exceptionally easy to use manual deserves a place in any public or school libraries where there is an interest in crafts. Teachers and group leaders will find it a good source of new ideas, and it will be useful for the beginner as well as the more advanced basket-maker. Recommended.

Christine Buchanan, Toronto, Ont.
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