Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration:
In the Studio & Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women

by Jo Packham and Jenny Doh

Lark Books, 2010. ISBN 978-1-600-59564-6.
Reviewed by Barbara L. Heller
Posted on 04/27/2010

Nonfiction: Creative Life

Meet a Mexican dollmaker who is inspired by nature and designs with a palette of greens, reds, and blues. View the studio where an Irish woman and her aunt create vintage-style capelets and other amazing garments and accessories. Check out the antique sideboard, a family heirloom, where one artist, who makes and sells "mixed media mosaics" stores her rubber stamp collection. And see if you recognize the Texan with a TV show. The Knitty Gritty show host, Vicki Howell, displays her vibrant fabrics, yarns, paints and buttons to full advantage in a large room with open-shelving conducive to all kinds of crafting.

These are just a few of the 23 women artists featured in Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration: In the Studio and Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women. The book showcases various arts and crafts genres including jewelry, photography, quilting, bookmaking, and multi-media creations and the artists hail from many different geographical regions.

Most of the women artists are honored with a six-page spread consisting of multiple photographs and extensive text. The narratives describe the artist, her work and her studio space. There are direct quotes by the women and sidebars with quotes the women find inspirational. The individual stories show how these women deal with creative ruts, describe their early memories of family reactions to their artistic interests, depict their preferred color choices, and share tips on organizing craft studios.

Although I was inspired by the visuals—the numerous photos dedicated to each artist and her space—I sometimes found it difficult to figure out what the individual artist created and sold. I was able to clarify that by checking out the listed website (Almost all the artists listed their websites and/or blog info).

Looking for inspiration? Whether you are an aspiring artist, a seasoned craftswoman, or just curious about other woman's creative lives, I recommend this book to you.

Jo Packham, authored Where Women Create (Sterling 2005) before she partnered with Stampington and Co. where she now edits a magazine version and co-authored Where Women Create: Book of Inspiration: In the Studio and Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women. She has authored over 40 how-to craft and wedding titles and is the President of Chapelle Ltd. Visit her website.

Jenny Doh is Editor-in-Chief and Director of Publishing for Stampington and Company, overseeing a large roster of high-quality arts and crafts magazines. To learn more about her personal creations, visit her blog.

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