Thursday, October 6, 2011

Book Party--celebration!

I am having a book party on October 29 in Madison--to celebrate not only my own achievement, but the many friends and colleagues who have contributed as well. We will honor individuals who have helped with photographs, ideas, and editorial readings; the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, whose holdings are well represented in the illustrations; and other resources such as the university's African Studies program, that supplied many of the pictures.
The party will include a short reading; images from the book, projected large; textiles to look at,; refreshments..

This is an invitation event, but if you are nearby and love textiles and are interested in coming, please contact me ( for details.

The book comes out at last!

I've been working on this for many years- its inception goes back to about 2000, when I was asked to give an "inspirational talk" to professionals at a textile history museum--what could I say that would make them feel good about coming to work every day?  That was the amazing challenge: how to put together the many bits of information I had been learning about and absorbing, how to make it memorable and exciting, so that even if the details were forgotten, the big message would remain? The basic format and organization of the book was born. 

There have been many drafts in the ensuing years, and it took some time to find a publisher that could understand my vision of a book with beautiful pictures--aimed at and accessible to everyone, but full of solid information too. I wanted color images with captions (there are nearly 400 of them) that would intrigue and draw readers in, sidebars, deeply engaging text.  It's for all the people who love to handle cloth, to make cloth or work with it, all the people who are just curious about life and art and culture.

Thames & Hudson, which is an art publisher with a great textile list, did understand my vision, and helped it come to life. They have been superb to work with. It's been a true international endeavor, since this London-based publisher works with designers, editors, etc. in places as far afield as Croatia, and the printing was done in China. How amazing it is that almost everything was done via the internet--sending  the high-res pictures across the world, reading proofs and checking sources, etc. I'm proud of everyone who has been a part of the endeavor, and looking forward to feedback from those who spend time with the book.