Wednesday, 19 February 2014

German design guru, Peter Fehrentz's "Made by Yourself"... we review his new book!

Peter Fehrentz is a German stylist, product designer and photographer so this book is so much more then a simple straight forward step by step instruction manual!
"Made by Yourself" isn't an ordinary D.I.Y. craft book either it's also an amazing design portfolio packed with great projects and ideas which you can make too!

Made by Yourself by Peter Fehrentz

You can really get a feel for the style, ideas process, inspirations and ethos behind the man and his work.
He offers well thought out, effortless projects with a very crafty approach to the overall production. Though the projects are far from basic. It's the perfect project book for the home, from furniture to accessories! Plus I love the way the costs, difficult levels and making time are clearly denoted using a score system of 01 (easy) to 06 (difficult).

Setting the bench mark! Brilliant man friendly projects which are both handsome and useful!

I was really impressed and surprised by it mainly because it's very man friendly. Oh yes, I say this because this has to be the first time ever that my partner asked to look at one of my craft books!
He's not adverse to making in general but he's not into the whole "cup cake crafting" which is how he calls the mainly female dominated craft industry... "fluffy, sickly sweet -like a cup cake- and not geared up to the male species at all"! Hey, these are his words not mine... but I do see his point.

My partner was after all a scout so he loves whittling, tinkering and general man crafts but shies away from the overly decorative, frilly type of craft which usually means he takes no notice of craft books... however with this one he was intrigued.
As it sat on the table -and may I add that at first glance he had no idea that this book was written by a man!- he asked to have a look at it.

After I managed to pick up my jaw from the table - and it's not often that he shocks me but he did this time hence the gaping mouth!- I decided that maybe he could review it and give me a bloke's perception on this nifty book...

Industrial masculinity can look great with softer female hues... like the grey walls behind the metal letters. Love it!!!

So I asked him "What do you think about this book?"
"First..." he said " it's really nicely defined, as in each chapter uses a certain material. The projects also look good and are practical not just decorative even though there are a few things in there which are pure decoration like the mesh dog sculptures but... it's not just nic-nacs! There's stuff I'd actually want to make to use. Even the mesh dogs (sculptures), I'm sure I could make them into a light fitting or something."

"What about the overall design of the book, the look and feel, what about that?" 
He picked up the book as if weighing a bag of sugar " It's nice and chunky, feels substantial. The photography is cool too and it's nicely styled."
Remember he has no idea who Peter Fehrentz is least of all that he is a stylist. Pensively he then adds "... he's got a good eye for design plus it's explained (the tutorials) in a clear and concise way. I like that."

"So what's you favourite piece?" I asked.
"I  really like the clothes rail. It's made using industrial piping plus it's really nicely designed with a shelf space at the bottom. And it's on castors! Actually I'm quite tempted to make one... and the glass display cases are pretty cool too."

Pipe clothes rail... quite cool and very good to store all my frocks!

Ha, result! Maybe he will make those clothes rails which we desperately need which means he also gets a chance to put his d.i.y. and creative skills into making home stuff with my approval!
It's great when you can agree on and make something together that you both like! You know "many hands make light work" kind of thing too plus it's nice to share a creative interest, so yes... if you also live with a partner who's not super receptive to your usual crafting pursuits then get this book!

Lots of projects which will tickle the ladies too and not just the men folk!

Finally I just need to add that this book is not a super macho, testosterone packed book either as for example it suits me too! I'm neither a fan of the overly soft or the saccharine infused craft books which can dominate the industry. I actually feel like those overly girlie type of books can alienate the more "tom boy" crafter like me.
Overall it's a handsome, stylish book yet it's not afraid to explore the "female" side of design & craft either... it's got plenty of colour, pattern and soft edges to sit harmoniously along side the concrete, glass and the metal piping. We loved it and we look forward to making quite a few of the projects to add to our home. Together.

Another project we really need to make!

Available from the 20th of February// Jacqui Small Publishing// £18.00// Hardback

Special offer to our readers:
To order "Made by Yourself" by Peter Fehrentz for £15 including UK P&P simply telephone
01903 828503
or email
quoting the offer code APG99 and the book ISBN 978071123424895

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