Monday, April 27, 2009

Rock 'Em, Chop 'Em Crispina

Crispina ffrench is rocking my craft world. The author of our upcoming book, The Sweater Chop Shop, Crispina recycles wool sweaters by sewing them into awe-inspiring new garments and home decor.
The photo below is a picture of part of my office, which is usually piled high with craft projects, props, and other space-consuming and beautiful things related to the books I'm currently designing. Today it is still filled with Crispina's art from Chop Shop. Those onion bags have been a conversation piece for about half a year — each one is filled with sweater scraps in a particular color family. The chapter opener page below shows you how we used those scraps!

While designing the pages and cover of The Sweater Chop Shop, I had the privilege of seeing lots of Crispina's work up close and personal, and it cast a spell. I studied her methods and all the surprising design ideas and details she brings to her work, and I have literally become obsessed with sewing from old sweaters. Next Monday I'll share some photos of things I've made using Crispina's techniques, but today I want to give you a sneak peek into the book. Below is a smattering of projects you can make from Crispina's step-by-step directions.

Crispina's work is so imaginative and full of whimsy that typical lifestyle photography didn't seem to do it justice. I decided to mix photography and illustration to create visuals that would complement her work. For each project I came up with an illustration concept on paper and then worked with photographer Kevin Kennefick to shoot the art with an eye to how it would fit within a composed illustration. Then I collaborated with illustrator Marguerite Sauvage to bring the concept to life. I couldn't be happier with the incredible art she delivered . . . and she was so delightful to work with, too.

Sorry to be a tease, but the book isn't available in stores until August. Put it on your calendar to buy this book, and prepare to be rocked!

Alethea Morrison, Creative Director


lisa hazen said...

I'm inspired! Love this.

Peculiar Pair Press said...

This is so awesome! I absolutely love the way the phototgraphy and illustrations were done.. They look great!

Kristen Hewitt said...

This book is so great! Love the combination of photos and illustrations. Well done!

Liz Smith said...

I'm going to be redundant, but yes! Those illustration/photos are brilliant! And the projects look fantastic too

Crispina said...

Hi Alethea,
thanks for the really nice words you have for my book and work! It has been a wonderful experience to finally have the opportunity to get all the step by step directives on paper! You made it all look so beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see this book -- I love the illustration+photography goodness, what a great idea!
I've enjoyed working with the scraps from those onion bags for a while now, and this book might be just what I need to graduate to some larger scale projects -- whoohoo!

millie said...

This sneak peek is gorgeous. I can't wait to try one. I have bin of wool sweaters that didn't fare so well in the "handwash" cycle that I can't bear to part with...

It was great to meet you last night at the portfolio review!

The Puddlepeople said...

I love that the uniqueness of the book design so completely compliments the unique Crispina designs! Congrats to all involved. Can't wait til August!