Readymade: How to Make [Almost] Everything: A Do-It-Yourself Primer

Kate Francis, Illustrator, Jeffery Cross, Photographer, Grace Hawthorne, Other Clarkson N Potter Publishers $25 (205p) ISBN 978-1-4000-8107-3
A partly serious, partly humorous look at materials we usually discard, the work provides step-by-step instructions on how to transform paper, plastic, metal, wood, concrete and fabric into such unlikely (and undesirable) household items as a chopstick clock or a colander light sconce. Berger and Hawthorne (the editor-in-chief and publisher, respectively, of ReadyMade magazine) also include acknowledged failures, such as the water bottle lounge chair, too fragile and noisy to sit on. Each section begins with a history of the ""raw"" material, designed to make readers more aware of the environment and the uses of these materials. In addition to proposing new uses for Fed Ex boxes (a CD rack) and plastic detergent containers (an ""ultraclean coatrack""), the authors also offer how-to advice, both silly (how to write a love note) and useful (how to self-publish). The playfulness extends to noncraft instruction on what to do with plastic (""how to start a business on credit cards"") and glass (""how to break through your own glass ceiling""). Inspired by Marcel Duchamp, who coined the term ""readymade,"" the authors are interested in encouraging creative thinking as much as, if not more than, making re-purposed objects. Photos.
Reviewed on: 12/05/2005
Release date: 12/01/2005
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