Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Blog Posts by Subject: Design

Alabama Chanin at Handmade Crafternoon.

Our next Handmade Crafternoon is on May 15, 2010--with special guest Natalie Chanin, the creative director of Alabama Chanin and the author of Alabama Stitch Book and Alabama Studio Style.  Chanin's line of clothing and home goods mixes homespun techniques--like stencils, applique, string quilting, and more--with gorgeous modern designs. And her approach to production--slow and sustainable--is noteworthy.

Natalie 

... Read More ›

John Tauranac Talks New York City Subway Map History

Stephen J. Voorhies 1931 transit map coverA subway map of New York City appears to be completely utilitarian and to the untrained eye even pedestrian. In the eyes of another it is a document rife with information. What can be found in the subway maps of New York City is management lineage, a design statement, design history, history of the city, history of business, social history, aesthetics and intention. The adage of “read between the lines” reveals much when looking at a subway map.   At the onset of the New York City subway system, there were three ... Read More ›

Earth-Friendly Crafting, Then and Now.

If you like to make stuff, chances are that when Earth Day arrives each year "green" handicrafts come to mind.  Perhaps you make new items from materials that others would consider wornout or trash; or maybe you seek out all-natural materials for your crafts.  If crafting of this kind  interests you, you might want to look back in time at how crafters from decades past approached "green" crafting. 

Here are some vintage books from the Library worth browsing both for entertainment and information:

... Read More ›

Ezra Jack Keats Winners at Hudson Park

The winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Bookmaking Contest, open to students in New York City public schools, are on display at the Hudson Park Childrens Room through May 22. These books are beautiful and imaginative. Plan a trip to see them! Call us up (212.243.6876) to schedule a class trip.

Detail from A Day in the Museum by Jun Ying Wu of IS 259, William McKinley, in Brooklyn. A citywide winner, this book has pop-up recreations of famous art pieces:

Detail from Darker and Brighter by Julia Simoniello of 

... Read More ›

Crafternoon Favorites, Old and New

This weekend's Handmade Crafternoon was full of industrious, creative attendees—I never fail to be wowed by the skills, enthusiasms, and interests each member of our community brings to Handmade Crafternoons. 

Thanks so much for joining us!  My thanks also go out to Maura Madden for making us laugh while introducing us to some of her favorite books, both old and new, from the Library's collections. 

Here are the books we browsed with her on Saturday:

... Read More ›

Share the Fun at April 17th's Handmade Crafternoon

Get ready, because you are the star at this Saturday's Handmade Crafternoon!  We invite you, our attendees, to bring your own craft projects to work on in the company of friends.

Maura Madden, my favorite expert at creating crafty social gatherings, will lead the afternoon and will share some of her favorite projects and craft books. Don't want to BYOC (that is, bring your own craft)?  Between crafty things? No worries—we'll have craft 

... Read More ›

Books about Puppets and Felt.

March 20th's Handmade Crafternoon was full of creative energy and happiness, thanks to all of you who came and got crafty, and also of course thanks to the felt and puppet inspiration offered by our special guest, Kata Golda.  And I was glad to hear from many of you that the books that I gathered with the help of two enterprising Library interns were a particular hit!

So, without further ado, here's the booklist from that day.

As 

... Read More ›

Hand-Stitched Mice at Handmade Crafternoon.

Don't worry! Our felt mice won't be frightening-- unless you want yours to be!Our next Handmade Crafternoon is in just two days, and my co-host Maura Madden and I hope that you will join us.  We've lined up a sweet special guest, Kata Golda, who makes extraordinary little toys and creatures out of felt  (and whose book Hand-Stitched Felt is a great guide to making your 

... Read More ›

A Paper Sculpted Goldfish.

Included among the books I brought out for last month's Handmade Crafternoon was one that I've been slow to return to the shelves because I want to try my hand at so many projects within it. The book in question is Kenneth Ody's Paper Folding and Paper Sculpture, and I'm a fan because it contains a really broad range of projects--from cute little projects like dog scuptures to some seriously elegant lacy paper 

... Read More ›

Forced to bend my soul to a sordid role: women and violence in Candide

Mahlon Blaine illustration for 'Candide', 1930 (click for larger view)Our interactive reading of Candide continues with chapters 7-12. Here's a roundup of recent discussions...

"The diligence with which these gentlemen strip people!" American illustrator Mahlon Blaine chose the old woman's story as one of the full-page drawings for his 1930 edition of Candide. The exotic nude woman

... Read More ›

Candide in New York (or the Problem of Evil)

In 2003 I began work on an edition of Candide for Broadview Press that was published in 2009. For the cover image, I suggested a photograph of the twin towers in flames. I also had an idea for an image to balance it on the back cover: the famous snap from Abu Ghraib of a hooded man standing on a box, arms outstretched and apparently in mortal fear of electrocution. If you find that poor taste, or cannot conceive of why I would choose those images, please read on.

Though it is a comedy, Candide is also about what 

... Read More ›

A Book Arts Booklist.

If you were one of the nearly 80 crafty book artists-in-training who came out for Handmade Crafternoon last weekend, thanks for joining us as we folded and glued and cut our way to unusual pop-up paper garland book structures.  And speaking of books, a number of guests asked about getting a list of the Library books I brought along for browsing that day.  Your wish is my command.  Here are the titles I gathered to inspire us; each title links to its record in the

... Read More ›

Art in the Stacks: Part One

Collis P Huntington mansion, interior, Central Hall with painted lunette murals by H. Siddons Mowbray, c. 1894. Altered photograph courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.Those who use the resources of the Art & Architecture Collection come in splendid variety: old and young, sophisticated and naive, happily curious and relentlessly searching. We love it, for where else could you be asked "just what is that building in back of that Madonna" followed by a search for more of Grandmama's old Limoge 

... Read More ›

Book Arts at Handmade Crafternoon.

This weekend we launch our spring 2010 series of Handmade Crafternoons--free hands-on salons that allow you to learn from inspiring working artists, try your hand at making something new, and browse selections from the Library's research collections. I hope that you'll join us this Saturday afternoon as book artist Esther K. Smith, author of How to Make Books,

... Read More ›

Mark Your Calendars for Spring 2010 Handmade Crafternoons!

Happy 2010, curious crafters!  It's time to mark your calendars for the next round of Handmade Crafternoons, the Library's free series of DIY days co-hosted by yours truly and Crafternoon author Maura Madden.  Here's the line-up:

Saturday, February 20, 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Esther K. Smith, author of How to Make Books, Magic Books & Paper Toys, and The Paper Bride, will wow us 

... Read More ›

A Train Ride Through Time: An Exhibit of New Year's Greetings from the Picture Collection

Journey through Time with the Picture CollectionEnter the doors of the Schwarzman Building from Fifth Avenue this week and you will find yourself, as usual at this time of year, in a jolly space with a giant Christmas tree adorned with all the trimmings of the season. But that's not the only marvel to behold.

A few weeks ago I happened to be wandering through the halls when the holiday decorations were being installed, and the festive spirit of the place, with its red ribbon and wreaths and pine and reflective gold and silver 

... Read More ›

Liar: A Review

I'm not even sure where to start this review there's so much going on with this book. The plot in Justine Larbelestier's

... Read More ›

New York's Early Gravestone Imagery - Program at the Mid-Manhattan Library on Tuesday, Oct 20th at 6:30 PM

In the Rossville section of Staten Island there is a small little graveyard. It is hidden away, on the side of a two-lane road. This tiny graveyard seems out of place in an area that is dotted with light industry and that’s about it. The smattering of houses that probably once existed, as well as a store or two are long gone. Perhaps there was a ferry crossing here and a depot too, but whatever was here long ago is only represented by an early 19th century graveyard. The graveyard sits on a bit of land that is on the water, near the infamous

... Read More ›

Lacework from 1598.

These three images are all from an 1891 facsimile of a lacework pattern book first printed in 1598 called Nouveaux pourtraicts de pointe coupé et dantelles en petite, moyenne et grande forme.

I can imagine these lovely and elegant geometric patterns re-used in many ways: embossed on card stock, made into sunprints, and perhaps even stitched onto paper using the pierced and embroidered technique that we’ll be learning at

... Read More ›

All About Next Week’s Handmade: Crafternoon.

On Saturday, September 12th, Maura Madden (author of Crafternoon) and I will kick off our Handmade: Crafternoon series, and we hope that you can join us. This crafty gathering is free, and there’s no advance registration required. Here’s what’s in store for you that day: Two special guests will join us and share their approaches to crafting with unusual and alternative materials. Jessica Vitkus (author of

Read More ›
Previous Page 3 of 6 Next