Published by the brilliant David & Charles (brilliant because they publish lots of wonderful
crafty titles) the book is celebration of the six crafts that feature in the series - stonework, thatching, woodwork, glass, metalwork and weaving. A beautiful 256 page hard back book, its a bit like an encyclopedia of the crafts in question.
The book is written by Tom Quinn, a writer and historian who knows a lot about the countryside. However this is where I started to get a bit frustrated. The book is about re-discovering British Craftmanship of which I am a passionate advocate, and despite how informative and interesting the content, the cover is atrocious. I honestly think it's one of the worst craft book covers I've ever seen (and having been the editor of a crafts magazine I have seen a lot of craft books). It panders to every stereotype you could possibly think of to do with country crafts making it extremely unappealing, if it doesn't sell well, I wouldn't be surprised if the cover is to blame. Hence this is why I have covered it up with my niece's drawing.
Each chapter begins with the history of the craft exploring the origination of raw materials, how the craft has developed, going into alot of detail which makes it the ideal book for college libraries to help with research - there is information here that is impossible to find in other places.
The book also includes some photos of the trainees who took part in the TV series and interviews with the 'mastercraft' tutors. Can you spot me? Sadly from the aforementioned 256 there are just two photos of me in it (and three photos of my hands!). The day the book photographer came I was working on my own outside for 12 hours, the two shots that are in the book were 'test shots' taken in doors. But the most disappointing aspect of the whole book is the fact NONE of the trainees have their names mentioned.
In the way the that I can't understand why they chose the hideous cover, I can't understand why they haven't mentioned our names, even a simple 'thank you' in the back would have been nice. They have thanked the production company, the tutors, and Monty the presenter but not the 18 people who gave up their lives for 6 weeks to take part in the show. It's not like they didn't know our names, we all signed release forms. It's just plain mean.
And on that note my final verdict of this book is that it's an excellent resource for people who want to know more about the specific crafts in question and may be considering taking it up themselves and students who are studying crafts but with it's uninspiring cover I don't think it will appeal to today's new breed of modern hip crafter which is a real shame : (