What was made: New books on ceramics and upcycling

Are you looking to get into ceramics? This list features a lot of pottery as we look at what gets made, remade and how what we make matters. Some books provide historical examples, while some provide expertise that might inspire your next creation.

Ceramics : an atlas of forms / Barkley, Glen
“What can we learn about the Roman empire from an amphora made in 200 BC? How can a simple, unadorned cup made in 1945 tell us so much about history? And what will an artwork comprising a vast collection of clay spheres tell our descendants about the act of making? Once fired, clay has the strength to last for millennia. This collection shares the stories of over 100 objects, honouring the artists who have left their mark on this timeless practice”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The art of upcycling : creative ways to make something beautiful out of trash, thrifted finds and everyday recyclables / Foss, Emma
“Discover a trove of upcycling ideas and inspiration, with this collection of projects from upcycling influencer Emma Foss. She shares detailed, step-by-step tutorials to teach you essential upcycling techniques so you can create something out of nothing. Through these creative projects, you’ll develop skills in basic woodworking, reupholstery, painting, papier-mâché and so much more.” ( Adapted fromCatalogue)

By my hands : a potter’s apprenticeship / Gadsby, Florian
“In By My Hands, Florian tells the story of his artistic awakening, his education in England, Ireland and Japan, and of the sheer discipline which has led him to become the cultural sensation he is today. Arguing for the value in dedicating yourself to a craft, Florian weaves anecdotes about particular pots and processes into the narrative of his life, exploring what he has learnt from specific pieces he was taught to throw during his apprenticeships and how they have informed his philosophy and approach to his work.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

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Embark on a new creative adventure!

January has brought everyone a much-needed respite from the previous year. It’s a great time to open our creative selves to infinite possibilities of happy accidents. This month’s new titles offer aspiring makers and experienced crafters handmade projects that don’t involve mobile phones. How exciting!

Are you ready to embark on a new crafting adventure? For rad creations that make every wardrobe eco-friendly, try fashion upcycling – sewing and mending projects that won’t break the bank. Perhaps imagine yourself holding a vibrant skein of yarn, eager to begin a beautiful crocheted or knitted project.  Each title features step-by-step instructions with beautiful accompanying photos, making it easy for beginners to achieve success. So, let your creativity soar and follow your innate curiosity to celebrate this new year!

Mending with kids : patching, painting, sewing & other kid-friendly techniques / Levy, Nami
“Mending With Kids shows you how to take torn, stained and outgrown kids’ clothes and make them better than before using various simple techniques that you can do with your kids. This book is filled with helpful tips and techniques. Best of all, most of these techniques are easy enough for kids to join in and put their personal stamp on. And with your supervision, they’ll pick up practical skills along the way. This book has templates for patches and stencils that kids can use to trace fun shapes, and it provides zipper repair, stitching, and darning techniques. You can preserve your kids’ wardrobe and save money, while your kids can participate in saving the environment and exercising their creativity. It’s a win-win for everyone involved!”–Publisher’s description.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Handmade books at home : a beginner’s guide to binding journals, sketchbooks, photo albums and more / Ly, Chanel
“You don’t need to be an experienced bookbinder to create one-of-a-kind books. Chanel Ly, the founder of Bitter Melon Bindery, guides you through 12 practical projects you can personalize to show off your creative side. All you need are a few basic tools and materials to get started.  Adapted from the back cover.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)


Alexandra’s garden vegetables : 30 crochet vegetable patterns / Lord, Kerry
“Here are 30 friendly vegetables waiting to be brought to life by hook and yarn. The array includes orange Pumpkin, yellow Corn on the Cob and red Cherry Tomatoes. In this new book, Kerry Lord heads for the allotment or veg patch to produce delightfully colourful crocheted produce.” (Catalogue)



Fashion upcycling : the DIY guide to sewing, mending, and sustainably reinventing your wardrobe / Hilado, Ysabel
“Save your wallet and the planet by repurposing older clothes and secondhand finds into fashionable new looks! In Fashion Upcycling, popular TikTok designer and Project Runway Junior contestant Ysabel Hilado shares her secrets for reinventing old clothing into dazzling new outfits. With several do-it-yourself, beginner-friendly projects and genius tips and tricks, you’ll learn to express yourself and reinvent your closet in all-new ways.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Sharp notions : essays from the stitching life
“Essays by diverse voices exploring their relationship with fibre arts. In difficult times, the reliability of a knit stitch, a quilting needle’s steady rocking, and a loom’s solid structure can bring comfort. In this nonfiction anthology, writers and artists from different backgrounds explore their complex relationships to fibre arts and the intersection of creative practice and identity, technology, climate change, trauma, politics, chronic illness, and disability.  Sharp Notions showcases Black, Indigenous, South Asian, Chinese, and queer artists and makers and the cultural traditions of craft in diasporic communities. Accompanied by full-colour photographs throughout, these powerful essays challenge the traditional view of crafting and examine the role, purpose, joy, and necessity of craft amid the alienation of contemporary life.”– Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Made to measure : an easy guide to drafting and sewing a custom wardrobe / Jewell, Elisalex
“Made to Measure guides you to create clothes that fit your body and your individual style while learning pattern drafting, garment sewing, and customizing skills you can use for a lifetime.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

What’s on PressReader? Hobby magazines!

Visit PressReaderPressreader is one of our great eLibrary resources that is accessible for free with your library card. It offers unlimited access to thousands of newspapers and magazines from more than 100 countries in over 60 languages. Within this blog series, we will be showcasing some of the titles that are currently available on PressReader. This month, we will focus on hobby magazines!

With the question of new year’s resolutions looming over all of us, why not start off the year with a new hobby? Pick up a new skill, beautify your garden or simply do a crossword; anything can be a hobby. Magazines can be a fantastic place to start when finding a new hobby or expanding your knowledge of your current ones. Below we have put together a collection of magazines to get you inspired.

If you want to read PressReader content and haven’t before, here’s how to get started:

  • Visit PressReader.com, and click the sign in button (top left corner)
  • Select the ‘Library Card’ option and search for ‘Wellington City Libraries’
  • Enter your Library card number, and your ‘PIN’ (the default is the last 4 numbers of your phone number) then click the ‘Sign in’ button – you’re all set!


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Looking back on things: New art books

A selection of books for your new year reading, these books reflect on the role of art; in its classical halls and chapels, in our reflections upon childhood and on the very streets we walk. Also included are some practical books for those ready to make a mark or stich that should help point you in the right direction.

Picturing joy : stories of connection / Lange, George
“Whether he was shooting a movie star or a family member, he saw his own search for joy reflected in the images. While growing up in Pittsburgh, Lange cherished his happy childhood, and he found himself unconsciously yearning for that feeling in his adult life. Through intimate stories and more than eighty photos, Picturing Joy invites readers to appreciate life with all their senses and to change their perspective by being open to new things.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All things move : learning to look in the Sistine Chapel / Marshall, Jeannie
“A writer studies a famous work of art and finds herself and her own cultural moment revealed at its heart. Jeannie Marshall lived in Rome for ten years without visiting the Sistine Chapel: she didn’t want to have a superficial experience of the frescos, but she wasn’t sure how, amidst the crowds of tour groups and the noise of pop culture allusions, she could have anything but. All Things Move is a quietly sublime meditation on how art, once invested with the power to save our souls, can enlarge our lives if only we learn how to look.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Street art’s rising stars : 24 artists you should know / Mattanza, Alessandra
“Making their statements on the walls of the world’s major cities, these emerging artists are also making their way to the forefront of an increasingly crowded genre. As street artists move from the fringe to the mainstream, it’s hard to know who is a true talent and who’s just a flash in the pan. Whether rebelling against the establishment or bringing communities together; highlighting important issues or expressing a unique creative vision; these artists are living proof of street art’s lasting influence, infinite adaptability, and remarkable diversity” — Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The printmaking bible : the complete guide to materials and techniques / D’Arcy Hughes, Ann
“With its stunning array of full-color images, The Printmaking Bible is the ultimate guide to the ins and outs of every variety of printmaking practiced today-from intaglio to monotype.  Originally published in 2008, this comprehensive handbook has been revised and updated for this edition, which incorporates new artists, methods, and technologies from all over the world”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Seeing it all women photographers expose our planet / Rubinstein, Rhonda
“Eleven visionary photographers–who happen to be women–focus upon moments of profound beauty and peril on our planet. These intrepid individuals use photography to expose how we–humans, animals, nature–are living together in these precipitous times. Each photographer provides a concise manifesto arising from their commitment to life on the planet, which is accompanied by a short profile and behind-the scenes insights into their activities.”–Publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The untamed thread : slow stitch to soothe the soul & ignite creativity / Woods, Fleur
“The Untamed Thread takes you inside Fleur Woods’ contemporary fibre art studio in rural Aotearoa New Zealand, where her practice is as untamed as the natural landscape that inspires her. Taking you on a journey through colour, texture, flora, textiles and stitch, alongside the magical moments, happy accidents, perfect coincidences and ridiculous randomness of the artistic process, this is a book for anyone wanting to connect with their inner creative self”–Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

A festive roundup of new crafty reads

Holiday festivities are in full swing, and maybe you’d like to make a wreath to deck the halls! Or perhaps you have a passion for everything sustainable and would like to make a calendula soap to gift to a friend. This month’s offering of new hobbies and crafts books have plenty of nifty ideas for creatives of all levels. The below list includes charming book trees made from old, inexpensive book pages, turning leftover wine into a natural dye, and cute pompom card pegs you can make with your tamariki. Furthermore, for those keen to start a creative lifestyle as we welcome 2024, there’s some beginner-friendly skills and projects to help you get started. So, no matter your experience or attention span level, there is something in our collection that will spark that Christmas joy.

Quick and easy Christmas crafts : 100 gifts & decorations to make for the festive season / Haxell, Kate
“Christmas is a wonderful time of year for crafting! From imaginative handmade gifts to stunning, reusable decorations, this book contains 100 fabulous quick and easy makes for the festive season. All the projects have been carefully selected from Search Press’s best-selling 20 to Make series and are simple enough for beginners as well as seasoned crafters.There’s something for everyone in this book, including knitting, crochet, papercraft, sewing, sugarcraft, cross stitch, polymer clay and needlepoint. Each craft has a handy techniques section to get you started, followed by a range of quick projects that include embroidered snowflake bunting, papercut Christmas cards, knitted Santa and Rudolph finger puppets, crocheted stars and a sugar snowman. All the projects are made using tools and materials that are easy to source and provide all the inspiration you need to make Christmas extra special”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Stars & snowflakes : simple, sustainable papercrafts for the festive season / Lantz, Jennie
“When the nights draw in and you need to add a little magic and sparkle to the long evenings, what better way than to make your own decorations. All you need is paper, scissors and glue, and with the templates and step-by-step instructions in this book, you can create a winter wonderland in your own home. Start with snowflakes in different sizes and scatter them around the room, or hang them from your windows.  All sorts of paper can be used — from leftover wrapping paper, to baking paper and coffee filter paper. There are also wreaths, garlands, leaves, flowers and lots more to discover, and once you start creating these stunningly simple projects, you’ll want to make more and give them as gifts, too!” — Provided by publisher.” ( Adapted from Catalogue)

Soapmaking for beginners : 100% pure soaps to make at home / Umehara, Ayako
“The all-in-one guide to making 100% natural beauty and bath soaps at home! This book makes it easy to create your own soaps using ingredients that you know and trust. Author Ayako Umehara, a certified herbal therapist, aromatherapy and Ayurveda instructor, shows you how to make your own soaps using pure and simple natural ingredients like olive oil, shea butter, rose hips, as well as many novel aromatic ingredients like Yuzu Matcha Mint, Lemon, Eucalyptus and Salt, Seaweed and Clay. A special section introduces basic techniques for bar soaps and how to vary the type and quantity of plant oils used. An extensive reference section covers everything you need about natural and botanical additives, such as plant and essential oils, herbs, dried flowers, etc. For all your cleansing needs, Soapmaking for Beginners has got you covered–in suds!”  (Adapted from Catalogue)

Knitted Christmas stockings : 25 festive designs to make for family and friends / Reynolds, Emilee
“There’s nothing more exciting than waking up on Christmas morning to find a stocking, with your name on it, stuffed with presents. This year, you can create that magical moment for friends and family with these truly special handmade stockings. With the choice of modern designs, jolly elves, classic nativity scenes and traditional festive themes, you can find a style to suit everyone. Why stop at one stocking, when you could make them for the whole family?” — Back cover.” (Catalogue)

Botanical dyes : plant-to-print dyes, techniques and projects / Behan, Babs
“Babs Behan guides readers through everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes. She features recipes and top tips on everything you need to know to make your own natural dyes, focusing on how to turn plants into dyes. — adapted from back cover” (Catalogue)


Retro crochet style : 15 beginner-friendly patterns to create your vintage-inspired closet / Price, Savannah
“Learn to create your own fabulous and one-of-a-kind wardrobe with Savannah Price’s Retro Crochet Style. This book will show you, step by step, how to make the perfect sweater, skirt, pants or dress, all of which can be customized to fit every body shape and size. Be your gorgeous self in clothing that was designed specifically for you or put a smile on your best friend’s face by gifting them a stylish new sweater handmade with love.” (Catalogue)

Thoughtful explorations: New design and craft books

This month’s picks may quietly rock your world, or at least let you explore a new craft or passion. Some look at the thought that happens before, during and after the design process, and there are also some straightforward craft books for those who just want to jump to the making.

Quiet spaces / Smalley, William
“Quiet Spaces places the work of architect William Smalley alongside spaces that have inspired him. Places of private contemplation – calm spaces to read a book or listen to music in, to walk through or simply be in – they are spaces that achieve a rare sense of repose and peace.  A foreword by acclaimed potter and writer Edmund de Waal records the small, unspoken ways in which we relate to buildings and how they come to have meaning for us”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

A life in garden design / Bangay, Paul
“Paul Bangay is Australia’s most sought-after garden designer, with close to forty years’ experience. Known for his mastery of scale, balance, form and colour, Paul draws on his lifelong study of the natural and classical worlds to create gardens around the globe. A visual delight, it ranges from photos of childhood gardens and goats to hand-drawn plans for Paul’s earliest designs. Through never-before-seen materials, the story behind Paul’s vision is revealed – and we see the creative workings that come to fruition in meticulous and timeless gardens”–Publisher’s description.” (Adapted Catalogue)

Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian : forms of life
“For the first time, the complex, symbiotic ecologies that sustained the practices of two of the twentieth-century’s greatest painters are revealed. Although they never met, Hilma af Klint and Piet Mondrian shared a deep dynamic connection to the natural world and began their careers as landscape painters. Including works never before seen in the UK, this publication will elucidate and invigorate our understanding of two ground-breaking artists and will be sure to get synapses firing.”– Provided by publisher.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

What makes a garden / Blom, Jinny
“What Makes a Garden builds upon the work of The Thoughtful Garden, giving a broader idea of how she thinks about garden design. In particular it emphasizes her multi-disciplinary approach, which embraces architecture, conservation and art, coupled with a strong holistic thread.  With a broad appeal, this beautiful book is for all garden lovers: thoughtful yet practical and informative, it marries artistry with functionality.”– Publisher’s website.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The potter’s way : heal your mind and unleash your creativity through the power of clay / St. George, Florence
“‘Warm, honest and full of inspiring tips, Florence’s story shows us that pottery has the power to soothe the heart and heal the mind.’ JULIA SAMUEL ‘An honest and redemptive story about the power of fun and creativity – I’ve always said if it was mandatory to wear a smock once a week and get messy with clay, adults would be happier.’ NICK LOVE ‘This book is a journey, with a map. Like all maps, it relay’s history, from the first point of contact to pivotal moments along the way. I like a map. They help us to find our way.’ INDIA HICKS” (Catalogue)

Modern crocheted blankets, throws, and pillows : 35 cozy and colorful patterns for the home / Strutt, Laura
“Laura Strutt brings you a range of new designs for blankets, throws, and pillow covers. Divided by colour theme – Bright and Beautiful, Warm and Rich, and Neutral and Natural – and with modern designs, there is something for every home, whatever your decorating style.  Patterns are graded so you can start with something simple if you are a beginner, or select something more advanced if you are skilled with a hook and yarn.” (Adapted from Catalogue)