Sunday, November 18, 2012

A time for a book review (Fusing Fabric)

It's been a long time since I've reviewed a book, and this is one I had hoped to not just review, but also create something from the book to show my understanding of the technique and style.  Unfortunately, time constraints don't allow that.  This book is called Fusing Fabric: Creative Cutting, Bonding, and Mark-Making with the Soldering Iron by Margaret Beal.  Although it is an old book (first published in 2006), it is one of the only books I have seen that treats surface design and textile art in this way.  Since I am all about surface design, I was eager to dive into this book.  There are 128 pages and the publisher is Batsford.  Since Beal lives in the UK, I assume that is where the book was published.  Please click on any photo to see a larger view.

Beal begins with the basics that are necessary for trying this technique.  All tools are explained and well documented.  There are numbers that are next to each product or tool, so there is no guessing.

She starts by showing the fine tipped soldering iron she prefers and cautions there must be a holder to keep the iron off your work surface. 

Not counting the introduction or resources, there are four chapters, each of which has photographs, diagrams, and drawings.  Chapter One is Mark Making, Cutting, and Bonding.  Here Beal goes into how to score lines in the fabric.

After she goes into detailed descriptions of a specific technique, she provides color photos of a finished piece.

You might wonder why only four chapters, but each one is quite comprehensive, as these fancy borders are, shown in Chapter One.

For this technique, we learn how to use an aperture to bond fabric, still using the soldering iron.

I was immediately drawn into her examples of bonded fabric.

Chapter Two deals with machine stitching and embroidery.  Since I don't have a fancy sewing machine, much less one that embroiders, I more or less skipped the chapter.

Although this was a fascinating read, I allowed time to get away from me, so had to return the book to the library on Saturday or pay a fine.  The other chapters are:

Chapter Two: Machine Stitching
Chapter Three: Three-Dimensional Effects
Chapter Four: Other Materials

My big problem was not having one of those environmental masks Beal says you need if you are going to solder into your fabric.  I have three soldering irons, so I'm sure I would find one that would work with fabric.

I think this would be a good book to have as a reference, but I'm not sure how often I would actually use it.  After reading through the first chapter, I was quite familiar with the techniques.  All that left were the totally awesome photos of her work.  However, I'm not sure that's worth the cost, although I realize the paperback I got at the library is cheaper than the hard cover.

And since several of you didn't know what I meant by pop-up or new window, versus embedded text when I ranted about not being able to leave comments on certain blogs, here is what you need to know:

 Go to your Dashboard and click on OVERVIEW

 I thought if I added a frame around this (found at Big Huge Labs) it would have been easier to see.

However, the frame cut off one of the important areas, which is to click on SETTINGS, then POSTS AND COMMENTSUnder COMMENT LOCATION click on the DOWN ARROW.  This will let you know if you have embedded, full page, or a popup window where visitors can leave their comment.  The embedded comments are the ones I can't leave messages on. You may have to click on the above to see the entire image.



Again the lovely frame cut off the settings, so I've added them here without the frame.  If you choose this (popup window) or the full page, I can leave comments.  I plan to continue letting people know about this problem, which is specific to Blogger, until they (my good friends [NOT] at Google) fix the problem.

I should probably add that I don't read e-mails, which means I don't answer them.  So, blogger comments are my lifeline to you, my dear friends, followers, and occasional visitors.

Today is Day 19 of AEDM.

12 thoughtful remarks:

gina said...

Hi Elizabeth!
As the daughter of a accomplished seamstress, I can really appreciate the creativity and competence required for fusing fabric! You always impress me with your projects. I will have to check out my settings on blogger. Have a good week!

Anonymous said...

There is so much you can do with fabric these days, but I think alot of those bonding agents are plastics which is why the mask required. I tried fusing platic bags once but only outside. You probably could do it outside...but it might be too cold there now....the work those UK gals are doing in fibers is quite amazing though, they seem to have such a supportive community there for this kind of work. Several blog friends are Uk gals and they do amazing things. Thanks for the review. xox

see you there! said...

I don't usually work with fabric but would enjoy the book just for the design information. Have to see if my library has it.


Halle said...

Very interesting book. I'll have to see if our library has it in the system

Dianne said...

I must say I would never have thought of combining a soldering iron and fabric...fascinating. Looks like an interesting book. Great example photos.

I do hope you are not working too hard getting ready for Thanksgiving, and that you will have a wonderful relaxing holiday. I am very thankful for your friendship, my dear! hugs...

Hilary Johnson said...

I'm with Dianne ... never thought of soldering iron and fabric in the same thought!! I can't even wrap my mind around it so I guess I'll research the concept. But I've not purchased a soldering iron ... I can be a bit of a klutz and have always been a tad afraid of the tool.

I followed your instructions and changed my Blogger blog's commenting settings (hopefully).

ArtMuseDog and Carol said...

Wow! Great book review and post is loaded with wonderful information ~ very creative ~ (A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Rebeca Trevino said...

ok - i think i finally got it.
i selected 'pop up window'
let me know if this works . . .
thanks for your help with this.

Marianna said...

Thanks for the comment info on Blogger. I'm finally back on and blogging and this was something new to me. I still visit you often and admire your work.

Terrie Purkey said...

My mama didn't raise no dummy - after your multiple hints about not being able to comment, I finally clicked through and read your helpful tips on how to change it. Once again, it's a part of Blogger that I just left on the default "embedded" setting and didn't know what it meant. It's changed now and hope it helps others who might also be having this problem. Thanks for the clear directions.

505whimsygirl said...

Hi Elizabeth,

The book looks interesting - photos are amazing.

Now, I'm going to check out my settings on blogger..... haaa


Acep Derby Yudha Anggara said...

Very interesting book. I'll have to see if our library has it in the system :)
Blog Mas Acep