In addition to being a color nut, I’m also fascinated by the design process. So fascinated, in fact, that I wrote an entire book about the creative process in craft. This book is Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work.

Do you want to create unique, brilliantly designed works of craft? Make the most of your studio time? Develop your artistic “voice,” skills, and career?

Then this book is for you. . .

Master Your Craft - Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work

Master Your Craft: Strategies for Designing, Making, and Selling Artisan Work outlines a powerful process for designing and creating beautiful work. It enables you to:

  • Discover inspiration even in the most mundane things
  • Brainstorm unique designs
  • Refine your designs into visually powerful, useful work that is practical to make and sell
  • Transform your creative process to work more enjoyably and effectively
  • Take your design and construction skills to the next level
  • Identify your distinctive personal style
  • Create a career for yourself, either as an artist or an artisan.

Written by an award-winning textile artist, this book provides sharp insight into the creative process, from the first spark of inspiration to careful contemplation of the finished piece. Perspectives from 22 master artisans fuse with industrial product design techniques and the author’s own craft experience to offer a powerful framework for designing, making, and selling your work. Packed with advice from master woodworkers, glass workers, ceramicists, textile artists, metalworkers, and more, Master Your Craft will enable you to create stunning pieces and – if you choose – develop your craft into a career.

What reviewers are saying:

Read this book if you are serious about starting or continuing to master your craft. With examples from a wide range of disciplines, Tien Chiu leads you through the process of creation from inspiration to completion and possible sale. The greatest strength of this book may be her explanation and demonstration of the Creative Cycle – great design does not burst full blown but emerges through cycles of trial and change. Tien Chiu illustrates this beautifully through documentation of the creation of her “Autumn Splendor” coat, while the other featured artists provide a wealth of additional advice and inspiration.” — Martha Sielman, Executive Director of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA)

Balances encouragement with life lessons from renowned artists . . .Chiu’s expertise guides her readers to consider many beneficial steps to move their careers forward.” –Christopher H. Amundsen, Executive Director, American Craft Council

“Master Your Craft shows fine craft artists how to connect their vision to the reality of spearheading their creative direction, creating their own designs, and launching their work into the market. This innovative book…is enriched with quotes by a variety of celebrated crafts people across the mediums, and practical exercises that are sure to catapult their creative and professional lives to the next level.” — Marcia Young, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Fiber Art Now

Master Your Craft provides key elements that need to be addressed in developing a professional studio practice. It also portrays the complex process of creating an object and gives insight into the many personal approaches in making well designed and accomplished works that have potential for placement in the market.” –Paul J. Smith, Director Emeritus, Museum of Arts and Design

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1: What You Need to Start Designing
Chapter 2: The Creative Cycle
Chapter 3: Finding Inspiration
Chapter 4: Functional Design
Chapter 5: Visual Design
Chapter 6: Getting Started
Chapter 7: Practical Considerations
Chapter 8: Constructing Your Piece
Chapter 9: Evaluating Your Work-in-Progress
Chapter 10: Evolving Your Design
Chapter 11: Celebrations and Contemplations
Chapter 12: Sharpening Your Skills
Chapter 13: Finding Your Voice
Chapter 14: Selling Your Work

Featured Artists

  • Archie Brennan, tapestry weaver
  • Rachel Carren, polymer artist
  • Guy Corrie, glassblower
  • Peter Danko, furniture designer
  • Jane Dunnewold, surface design artist
  • Kaffe Fassett, quilter, knitter, needlepoint designer
  • Norah Gaughan, knitwear designer
  • Andrea Graham, felter
  • Ana Lisa Hedstrom, surface design artist
  • Paul Marioni, glass artist
  • John Marshall, surface design artist
  • Susan Martin Maffei, tapestry weaver
  • Debora Mauser, metalworker
  • Tim McCreight, metalworker
  • Hiroshi Ogawa, ceramicist
  • Yvonne Porcella, quilter
  • Mea Rhee, potter
  • Tommye Scanlin, tapestry weaver
  • Roy Underhill, woodworker
  • Wayne Wichern, milliner
  • Ellen Wieske, metalworker
  • Joen Wolfrom, quilter

About the Author:

Tien Chiu is a nationally recognized, award-winning weaver with more than twenty-five years of experience in fiber arts. She’s also a professional project manager and process improvement specialist for high-tech companies developing cutting-edge software, giving her a deep understanding of the creative process in industry. She applies twenty years of industrial process analysis, along with her extensive artistic experience, to create her stunning textile art.

I’ve sold out of copies, but you can order from Amazon!