Published in the 1970's, shortly before American historians began reexamining and revising their take on things, Handwoven Textiles is a concise overview of the work of home weavers, both amateur and professional. Some of what author Bogdanoff writes must be judiciously appraised before accepting it as fact. She liberally quotes Alice Morse Earle, for instance, and today it is known that much of Earle's work is sentimental and based on hearsay. Bogdanoff also claims that ownership of weaving looms was widespread among the middle and lower classes, which is untrue. In spite of her Colonial Revivalist take on the making of textiles at home, however, this book is worth reading for its fine examples and photos of articles such as plain toweling, tablecloths, and bed furnishings. Her knowledge of drafting patterns and loom types is also reliable. Some of her mini-bios of individual weavers is also interesting.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers