Sunday 27 October 2013

Book Review: Remarkable Rugs

Today I'm reviewing a book that's a bit different from the usual crafty books I tend to feature - it's not a book with tutorials, but a "coffee table" type book featuring the work of textile artist Phoebe Hart.

Remarkable Rugs: The Inspirational Art of Phoebe Hart by Harriet Hart and Caroline Clifton-Mogg features 42 of Phoebe's hand stitched designs. The book is a lovely hardback that's jam-packed with photos of her gorgeous rugs and wall hangings.

I have to admit that I'd never heard of Phoebe Hart before I was asked to review this book, but I'm delighted to have discovered her work - she was a very talented lady!


There's a short introduction which covers Phoebe's life, work and techniques. Then the designs are presented in themed chapters: Islands of the sun (inspired by her time living in the Caribbean), On the wing (lots of birds), A Peaceable Bestiary (assorted animals), Flowery Work (lots of florals), The Fruitful Harvest (seasonal fruit and vegetables), The House Beautiful (homes and their gardens, from cottages to mansions to farms) and In Celebration (designs celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, etc).


There's a photo of each piece, with a short description of the design. Then there's a full page photo (or a series of full page photos) showing close-ups of the design. When there's a series of close-up photos these tend to each be at a different scale - showing whole sections or "zoomed in" to show the really fine detail.

This shell design is one of my favourites:


I also adore this kitty! What a character.

Phoebe Hart's designs are intricate and quirky and quite beautiful. Looking at the photos of a whole design you admire it almost like you would a painting - the overall composition, the choice of colours, etc.

But the close-up photos are where you see the full beauty of the pieces as textiles and how much life they have in them as well as (of course) getting to see how Phoebe has constructed the different motifs.  

This is a gorgeous book that left me feeling the way I do when I've visited a great exhibition. If you're interested in textiles and, (like me), looking at these pictures made you go "oooh" I think you'll find this a really inspiring addition to your bookshelf.

Remarkable Rugs is published by Double-Barrelled Books. RRP £25. It's available from Amazon UK, Amazon USA, The Book Depository and many other bookshops.

[Disclaimer: the publisher sent me a review copy of this book. The Amazon & Book Depository links in this post are affiliate links]


Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

It seems to be very interesting :)

Egretta Wells blog said...

What a large body of beautiful textile work for one person to do in her life! It looks like a very interesting and lovely book and I will try to get one for myself! Thanks for sharing.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Yes, she seems to have been a busy lady! :)

Cie Turvey said...

How glorious! I think this book is going on my Christmas wishlist :)