On Our Bookshelf

What’s on My Bookshelf: with The Catskill Kiwi

July 25, 2016

Please welcome Toni of The Catskill Kiwi, as she shares her 5 favorite weaving books! If you’re not familiar with Toni’s work, you’ve got to stop by her website. Her textured tapestries are out of this world, and we love her passion for vintage fibers!

We’re so grateful that Toni has taken time to share these gems from her fibre library. ..So once you’ve finished reading, you should absolutely visit her Instagram feed (@catskillkiwi) to say “thanks!” And hey.. if you decide to buy one of her rad weavings, we totally support that too 😉

Toni of Catskill Kiwi

Toni of Catskill Kiwi

Hi All… I am an avid collector of Vintage Fiber Books, anything from weaving, to knotting to macrame to Off Loom Weaving, anything I can get my hands on really. Most of the vintage books out there are old Library books and you can pick them up really cheap. My last purchase was 1 cent for the book + 3.99 shipping, a total bargain. Everything on my list is found from either thrift stores, ebay or Amazon… (If i find something on ebay I usually check Amazon to see if they have it, as i’m too impatient to wait for auction style selling.

1. Beyond Craft: The Art of Fabric

by Mildred Constantine/Jack Lenor Larsen

I love giant scale weaving, off loom weaving, 3D and of course anything with texture.. This book is filled with all the hugely inspiration artists from the 60’s and 70’s, that worked on a large scale. Its all about thinking outside the box when it comes to tapestry and execution.. which i just adore and aspire to, it suits my obsession with working purely with rope of varying diameters and deconstruction. This book is about breaking down the line between fine art and “decorative” art and its organized in sections by Artist so you can read about their art background, where they studied and see samples of their works… My favorites from this book are Magdalena Abakanowicz, Tadek Beutlich, Jagoda Buic, Ed Rossbach and Moik Schiele to name a few. Its a little more expensive than the others but definitely worth it and you can still find copies that won’t break the bank.

Beyond Craft The Art of Fabric

2. The Technique of Woven Tapestry 

by Tadek Beutlich

Mentioned above in Beyond Craft, Tadek Beutlich is known for his hugely textural, mostly woven sideways shaggy works of art. This book is technique based with lots of instructional diagrams of warping on a simple homemade frame loom, tapestry samplers to get you started, ideas, design and color theory. He’s my hero so I had to have it!

The Technique of Woven Tapestry

3. Frame Loom Weaving

by Jane Redman

This was my go to book for learning… as witnessed by all the post its! It has absolutely EVERYTHING in it, and I have read it frontwards, backwards and sideways absorbing as much information as I can. Loads of color pictures with black and white diagrams if it all gets too wordy for you. It’s a great great reference book, simple but certainly very effective. I wouldn’t have my book collection without this one.

4.  Tassels – The Fanciful Embellishment 

by Nancy Welch

Well anyone who follows me knows of my tassel obsession, so when I stumbled across this old library book, that was a no brainer… I mean come on, it’s an entire book on tassels. From the history of them to what different tassels mean in different cultures to some really beautiful examples of some intricate tassel making. Man I need to up my game!

Tassels the Fanciful Embellishment

5.  The Key to Weaving

by Mary E Black

Ok so again the post it notes are a dead giveaway of my constant use of this book. Originally printed in 1945 it is probably the most reference orientated book that I own.  Divided primarily into two sections that cover floor loom weaving and Tapestry on a frame loom weaving but slightly skewed towards the floor loom users. It’s hugely instructional with tutorials covering hatching and other techniques, the intricacies of color in weaving (which is something i struggle with being a puritan for monochromatic color choices), to dying techniques, pattern making and learning about different fibers and how to best showcase them.  All in all it’s a pretty great book, especially if you’re interested in floor loom weaving.

The Key to Weaving Mary Black

Well that’s it from me, please feel free to shoot me any emails (hello@thecatskillkiwi.com) regarding a specific book or other books in question I tried to cover a wide range but my true love is off loom textural, macrame style free for all type weaving, where the rules don’t necessarily apply.

Happy Weaving Everyone!


Visit Toni below to see her inspirational fiber art, and to say thanks for sharing!!



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