AAS Library

We hope the AAS Library for AAS members only, both Associate and Professional, will inspire as well as technically assist a whole range of creative themes.

The library is built by AAS Members sharing books – whether coffee table / design focussed, material based / technical / academic – they believe will be of interest to their fellow Members’ creative minds. AAS will also invite guests working in craft and design for their offerings.

A book will be added to the virtual shelves every month, and shared on social media.

To submit a book please email appliedartsscotland@gmail.com at anytime with:

  • Book Title and Author (ISBN Number if you have / know it)
  • approx. 200 words informing Members why you are attracted to the book and what it offers

Virtual Shelf

Book cover featuring a ceramic bowl with red, white and green abstract decoration, with text 'Uncommon Clay, The Life and Pottery of Rosanjin, Sidney B. Cardozo / Masaaki Hirano'

Uncommon Clay: The Life and Pottery of Rosanjin‘, Sidney B. Cardozo / Masaoki Hirano
Kodansha International Ltd (1998)
ISBN 9784770023810
Submitted by Chris Donnelly

This book captures what I believe and strive for being a maker.  Kitaōji Fusajirō, or Rosanjin as he is known, was a contemporary of other more celebrated Japanese and Korean potters, but not taken as seriously as Hamada or Yanagi. The two later were instrumental in what would become the British Studio Pottery movement with the likes of Bernard Leach. As the reader gets through the antidotes about this time, there isn’t really any resentment or animosity for not being accepted into the club, Rosanjin was on his own path. His focus for was the food to be served on his work. He was a cook, and a pretty good one from a lot of accounts. The second part of the book is a collection of musings from his diaries and memoirs.  It is really funny in places, all under a time frame that everyone living should understand as volatile, in flux, and what would set precedents in making into the contemporary. Strange highlights of the plates include photos of him hanging as equals with Picasso and Chagall.

Hand holding a closed book with the words 'The Hidden Wisdom of Objects - Fewer, Better Things, Glenn Adamson' on the cover over a painting of a wooden shelf with ceramic and metal domestic tableware on it.
The Hidden Wisdom Of Objects – Fewer, Better Things,
Glenn Adamson

The Hidden Wisdom Of Objects – Fewer, Better Things’, Glenn Adamson
Bloomsbury (2018)
ISBN 9781526615527
Submitted by Maija Nygren, Almaborealis 

This book explores human relationships with the material environment that surrounds us, and how being aware of what stuff is made of can help us make sense of the world. Knowing how things are made and with what materials used to be part of a common knowledge base that helped in everyday survival, but today, our survival does not depend on this, but rather on our ability to log on to emails or generate the best hashtags. We get a glimpse on the motivations of making things through craft history, and compare this to motivations of today. This is beautifully written, easy to read and whether you’re a maker or an admirer of things, anyone can relate to these stories. As a maker of things, I find this book a highly enriching source for inspiration to keep making, but fewer and better things!

Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa, Vanessa Drake Moraga

‘Weaving Abstraction: Kuba Textiles and the Woven Art of Central Africa’, Vanessa Drake Moraga
The Textile Museum (2012),
ISBN 978-0-87405-036-3
Submitted by Multi Media Artist Molly Bullick

I am not a weaver but this book would appeal to any artist in any discipline.  It is not in any way a ‘how to’ book, more a dipping into and marvelling at the minds behind the constructs and inherent skills of the people.  Fractal geometry in structures  – and I quote – in clouds, coastlines, branching trees, blood vessels etc.  Myriad forms of human expression.  Plenty to read if you are so inclined and plenty to look at.

Why Materials Matter: Responsible design for a better world, Seetal Solanki

‘Why Materials Matter: Responsible Design for a Better World’, Seetal Solanki
Prestel Publishing (2018), ISBN 978-3-7913-8471-9  
Submitted by Clare Waddle of Yellow Broom

As a designer/maker with a keen interest in material application and an environmentally responsible approach to design this book fascinates me. I wanted to share my appreciation of Why Materials Matter in the belief it will appeal to many folks working within the different areas within the creative industries, it certainly ticks many a box of anyone with an interest in the crossing of disciplines associated with applied art, design and product production. A visual and academic treat in one exploring where the materials in focus come from, who the people are who are applying them and how. The book is split into three sections. The first considers the EVERYDAY and explores mundane / often overlooked materials such as mussel shells being transformed into plaster and corn husks as a surface veneer. The second section looks at SCIENCE and materials created through biological processes such as a leather like fabric created from the cellulose made from coconut water to spider silk and microalgae to create an amazing structural dome. The final section, EXPANSIVE looks at projects applying the likes of electronic waste to furniture production and Basalt rock powder to cast a striking collection of tableware. ENJOY!

Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts

Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts
Tinwood Books in association with the Museum of Fine Arts (2002), ISBN 0-9719104-0-5
Submitted by Multi Media Artist Molly Bullick

You are probably familiar with these books but they are wonderful to refresh the mind and soul by just turning the pages. In these days of re-use, make do and mend, this is a great lesson on just that. Also, I personally think that because many of the women who made these quilts were getting on in years, there was an inherent absorption of shape, form and colour which life had embedded in the hands and minds of the makers of the quilts. Many contemporary artists such as Sean Scully, have learnt from the women of Gee’s Bend.

Scotland’s Crafts, edited by Louise Butler

‘Scotland’s Crafts’, edited by Louise Butler
NMS Publishing (2000), ISBN 1-901663-42-9
Submitted by Helen Voce

As a lapsed design-historian working in contemporary and traditional craft, I return to this book regularly for reference, as each chapter on a craft practise in Scotland compiles images, text, technical information, memories and stories that positions craft at the heart of communities routed in place. Rosemary Wilkes sums it up in the Foreword ‘This is not a nostalgic review, nor does it put forward a Utopian view of the traditional crafts. It looks at what kind of role these crafts play now and how they might survive into the future.’

On Twitter

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