Today is World Book Day and I thought, how better to celebrate than to share a fantastic book with you! If you’ve never heard of the Felt Mistress before then you are in for a treat, as today I’ll be sharing this mighty tome with you:
If you are a fan of contemporary illustration and non traditional crafting then this book is a must have for your book shelf.
If you love doll making, and collectible art dolls this one’s for you. If you love muppets and mad monsters, then this has your name written all over it! Filled with fabulous photographs this is so much more than ‘a coffee table book’, Creature Couture reads like a catalogue of one woman’s incredible body of work. It’s also an inspiration. You’ll be dipping into this book and scouring its pages for years to come. So, if it’s a ‘how-to’ book you want this one isn’t for you, but if you are interested or working in the field of felt art, or hand sewn textile arts you’ll be completely blown away!!!
So who is the Felt Mistress? The book opens with an in-depth interview with the Felt Mistress herself ms Louise Evans, a trained dressmaker and milliner turned creature maker extraordinaire, explaining everything you need to know about her creative background and how clothing range tie- ins and collaborations with edgy illustrators (like her partner Jonathan Edwards) lead to a career like no other! Many of her creative collaborators have been interviewed in this book, like Pete Fowler and Ben Newman and a quick visit to her blog will show you how new collaborators Karnuset have even taken her current work into the realm of animation!
I first stumbled upon the Felt Mistress’s monsters a few years ago in the pages of the erstwhile Nude Magazine, and it was love at first sight. So when I learned at the end of last year that awesome indie publishers Blank Slate were bringing out a collected book of her work I knew this was something I had to have! And what a book it is, Seriously! ‘ Felt Mistress: Creature Couture‘ is a HUGE 400 page hard back, featuring 1,650 photographs of the hundreds of characters the Felt Mistress has brought to life. Well worth the £24.99 cover price. I doubt you’ll ever see a more prolific creator! ‘Creature Couture’ will have you browsing for hours on end, and still going back for more to see what you missed. I found it really hard to decide what images to share for this review, so please believe me this is but a tiny selection!
I did notice that the quality of the pictures can some times vary, as some of them a clearly work in progress shots of the character just completed in the studio, or snap shots grabbed when the character is on show behind glass or under artificial store/gallery lighting. (Totally understandable, as I doubt Evans ever dreamed these works would one day be collected in print, preserved for posterity). Over all, this book is piled high with great quality shots of the felt creatures in all sorts of settings, the out-door ones are particularly nice.
So have you ever encountered the Felt Mistress’s work before? Perhaps you were lucky enough to see them in the Selfridge’s Christmas window in 2010. I’d love to some of these critters up close in real life. So what do you think of the book then? Is it something you might need in your collection? Tell me all about it in the comments below. And don’t forget to visit the Felt Mistress blog to see her awesome Oz tribute – a wicked witch of the west complete with flying monkeys!