Craft/Life utilises illustration, layout design and a variety of print techniques to create a how-to book dedicated to encouraging craft as a mental well-being tool.
Having studied Architecture in their undergraduate, Abby's interest in Graphic Design were sparked in their 3 year placement. There they were able to invest in their Graphic Design practice which offered them an enticing autonomy and freedom architecture could not offer. Taking forward their architectural interests of social projects and community-building forward into the MA, Abby tempered experimental traditional crafts and illustrations into a project that transformed their technical abilities whilst enabling others to do the same.
Abby was keen to explore craft’s potential as a wellbeing tool whilst also pushing design language and print production to their full potential to make a book which embodies mindful craft.
The book contains illustrative tutorials for 5 crafts which combine to make a therapeutic art journal. Each illustration was etched and handprinted with the book itself being screw bound with elements of digital printing.
The mental health benefits of craft are well documented but often overlooked by craft resources. The aim of the kit is to make craft more accessible and encourage tactile creativity as a part of everyday life.
The kit would include all of the tools and materials to try all of the tutorials in the Craft/Life book. The laser cut and engraved box is a display item with an inner tray that could be unfolded into a protective table cover.
Chapter 1: Pamplet Binding
The first chapter describes a simple book binding method which the reader can use to make a journal or sketchbook based on a pamphlet design. A pamphlet is a book made of pages folded once and stitched along the spine.
Chapter 2: Paper Cutting
The second tutorial teaches readers how to cut intricate designs out of paper using a craft knife including safe practice. The intention behind this technique is that readers will cut out their own designs to be stitched or stuck into their journal or diary.
Chapter 5: Lino Cutting
The fifth chapter introduces a form of relief printing, Lino cutting, a method by which a block is carved to leave a raised design which prints. Readers are warned to take care during the process, particularly if printing text as designs are carved in reverse.
Chapter 6: Cross Stitching
The final tutorials finish with cross stitching, one of the oldest forms of embroidery. The technique builds a design from regular x-shape stitches using the structure of open weave fabric as a guide. The fabric can then be included in the journal before or after cross-stitching.