Cover Image Property of M. Evans & Co.
This image property of M. Evans & Co.

  • Introduction
  • Enjoying the Craft
  • Discovering the Potential of the Craft
    • The Inherent Qualities of Sewn Sculpture
    • My Criteria for a Successful Sewn Sculpture
    • Looking at Sewn Sculpture Pieces
  • Being an Artist with Your Craft
    • Developing Visual Awareness
    • Clarifying Your Perception
    • Recognizing Symbols
    • Recognizing Useful and Inspiring Forms in Sewn Objects and in Nature
    • Attitude
    • The Professional
  • Background and Preparation
    • The Natures of the Materials
    • Collecting Materials
    • Sources for Supplies
    • Useful Books
    • A Place to Work
    • Tools of the Craft
  • Design: The Key to Aesthetic Durability
    • Idea and Concept- the Prerequisites of Design
    • The Surface Design Elements of Sewn Sculpture
    • The Primary Element of Order: A Design Theme
    • The Elements of Drama
    • Learning Design Through Practice
  • Working with the Medium
    • Pattern Preparation
    • General Procedure with Woven Fabrics
    • Types of Seams
    • Hand Stitching
    • Special Considerations for Leather
    • Special Considerations for Long-Pile Fabrics(fake fur)
    • Special Considerations for knits
    • Surface Ornamentation
  • Developing Skills and Confidence in the Only Way Possible - by Producing
    • The Simplest "Pillow" and Geometric Forms
  • A Drastic Change in Size: Simple Furniture
    • Carpet and Cowhide Floor Cushion
    • Nest Chair
  • Pillow Forms Taken One Step Further: Object Pillows
    • Noble Scallop and Marble Cone
  • Sewn Objects Designed for Play: Toys
    • Pillow Dolls
    • Miss Witch
    • Granny
    • Toad
    • Bear
    • Seal Slider
  • Body Changes: Sewn Sculpture Costume
    • Orphan Annie Doll
    • Art Nouveau Plant Form
    • Gentlebeast
    • The Head
  • Exploring the Medium Further
  • Designing Sewn Sculpture
    • The Importance of Seams
    • Borrowing Shapes from Objects and Beings
    • Borrowing Shapes from Patterns
    • Materials as a Point of Departure
    • A Word on "Doing Contemporary Work"

Title: Sewing Sculpture
Author: Charleen Kinser
Publication Date: HC:1978
Publisher: M. Evans & Co., NY
Page Count: 144
Book Dimensions(ht. x w.): 9 1/4" x 7 1/4"
ISBN: 0-87131-236-0

PATTERN RATING:Star Rating. Patterns don't really start till nearly halfway through the book - most of the space is taken up with general discussions of design and aesthetics. What patterns there are, however, are pretty cool. The bear isn't a teddy bear, it's a wild brown bear, and while all the patterns have to be enlarged by quite a bit, they do have seam allowances marked and other useful markings. The really cool and unusual piece for me, though, was the slider seal. I don't know how long the nylon belly would actually hold up to hard use (I was a veteran slider growing up in Colorado), but it would sure be fun to find out. The Ogre heads are fantastic. She presents some really interesting ideas in her soft sculpture that I haven't seen anywhere else.

INSTRUCTION RATING:Star Rating. Instructions are broken down by body parts and then by numbered steps. There are some illustrations to go with the instructions.

MECHANICS RATING:Star Rating. While she doesn't go into detail on gussets and darts or other soft sculpture mechanics, she does provide a fresh perspective and interesting directions to explore.

SUMMARY- Her writing is engaging and her perspectives are practical. I recommend this book for the different avenues soft sculpture can take as a utilitarian as well as artistic expression - something that really appeals to me personally.