January 9, 2010

Book Review---Teiko Fujito

As a part of my New year's blog resolution, I decided that some book reviews were in order. There are quite a few tatting books available nowadays, unfortunately the description on most websites is limited to a small paragraph. I am going to do my best to provide some good information, and some tatted examples of my favorite books.

First up, both by tatting designer Teiko Fujito.

"Tatted Fashion"


"The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito"

"Tatted Fashion" was originally published in 1978 in Japanese, and later translated to English
and published by Lacis in 2002. I chose to purchase this book after having obtained the book "the Tatted Artistry of", originally published in 2001 in Japan, and translated and published for us again by Lacis in 2003.

"the Tatted Artistry" came into my possession last year when my Mom came to visit right after the baby was born. I had convinced Mom to try tatting again--she hadn't done so since I was small-- so she ordered some supplies from Handy Hands, as well as this book. She chose the book based on the cover art "eye candy". The cover is eye candy indeed! The pattern is in the book, it is a doily utilizing three shuttles. Containing 100 patterns for small motifs, some edgings, and a few larger doilies, the instructions are diagrams accompanied by photographs on the facing page. There are some hints and tricks tucked in among the patterns, as well as one page of basic tatting instruction. I don't feel that the tatting instruction would be adequate for an absolute beginner tatter, so I do not recommend this book as a first get-started-tatting book. After a few attempts at the patterns in the book, Mom moved on to other instructions to get her started, and left the book with me to enjoy when she had to head back home.

My first project from the book was this doily-

The book contains a lot of what I would call variations on a theme. Teiko employs this Rosette style center in several places, as well as a form of Onion Ring. The book is broken into 5 parts, Motifs for One, Two, and Three Shuttles, the last two sections being for advanced techniques and nature inspired patterns.

Below is my second project from the book-

It's a small doily that uses that onion ring type idea. The book does give thorough instructions on what Teiko calls the "outer thread joining method". It is used in the varigated doily above in the places where the chain joins to the chain below, and on this one to join the chain that surrounds the light green ring on round one.

Here is one of the three shuttle patterns in progress-

My favorite thing about this book are the different techniques, as well as the variety of patterns. I love to see how tatting has developed on the other side of the globe. Quite a few of these patterns are different than anything I've seen before. Geographically, it seems that tatting has taken on different forms. I also enjoy the challenge this book presents. When I get bored, I break out this book.

So, if you like working from diagrams, this book is for you. If you prefer instructions that tell you when to turn the work, switch shuttles etc, then you might not find it as useful. You will need basic assumed knowledge, as well as an adventurous spirit, to reap the full benefit of "The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito", however, If you are in the market for a little "eye candy", you won't be disappointed. It's funny, because I might not have chosen to purchase this book based on the description available, but since it's come into my collection, it's become one of my favorites. In fact, it spurred me on to the purchase of the following:

"Tatted Fashion" (TF) as I mentioned before, was published before "Tatted Artistry"(TA) And after having seen both, I noticed that there are a few patterns that were repeated from TF when TA was published. TF contains over 120 patterns. Larger doilies, cusion and purse covers, shawls, edgings and more of her charming small motifs are diagrammed, and unlike TA, this book contains some written directions. Something in the instructions does seem lost to translation however. They are not as clear and helpful as I would like them to be. The other frustration I found is that the diagrams are often separated from the picture of the project, in some cases there is only a small paragraph of written instruction tucked 20 pages away from the photograph of the pattern. So, you need a good bookmark and a willingness to flip back and forth. The one up that this book does have over TA is that there are more instructions on the specific techniques that she uses to achieve her work. They are very well drawn
and show the different joins, as well as the order in which she turns the work in some tricky spots. I have had some trouble because at this point in my tatting career I am programmed for automatic frontside/backside tatting, which can become problematic when a certain join ends up needing to be done upside down from her instructions and I have to figure it out myself. But for me, that's half the fun.

After obtaining this book a few weeks ago, Here is the only pattern I've had time to play with so fair-

There is some evidence that this book was originally published in the '70's- some of the pictures are black and white, and a few patterns contain a fair amont of cut and tie.....I even found a suggestion to use a little glue on the knots before cutting them close...... (Nooooo! Say it's not true!). It seems to me that modern tatting sensibilities have evolved a little. All in all, I do enjoy this book. I really love that there are pictures of Teiko, as well as a two page bio about her love of tatting.

Both books are fascinating and inspiring to me. I love them both and am glad to have them. If you were going to buy just one, I'd say go for "the Tatted Artistry" first and if you fall in love with Teiko and her unique style like I have, "Tatted Fashion" should find it's way to your shelf as well.

That concludes my first book review(s)!

I'd love to hear from others who own these titles, as well as suggestions as to what sort of information you would like to see in upcoming reviews. Your comments are always appreciated!


Vanessa. said...

This is a really good book review, thanks! I didn't realise that it had been translated into English.

wickedtats said...

Lovely little commentary. I actually have the pink one but never really looked deeply into it. Maybe I should now!

❦TattingChic said...

I LOVE LoVe love Teiko Fujito's tatting books! They are right up there at the top of my list! Such beautiful patterns!
Your renditions of her patterns are lovely! Nice work!

Gina said...

I have both of these but haven't tatted a lot out of them, just a motif here and there. I'm not a doily person so I went more for the motifs and edgings. Many of the designs do not appeal to me but I'm not sure if it is the colors used or the actual design. I think originally, I was attracted to the shawls but it's very doubtful I will ever tat a shawl when I can knit or crochet one much faster and with as much of a lacy effect. I have to admit that I like the projects in some other Japanese books I have better even though they are not in English. They are more recent too, which might have something to do with it. Can't say I even noticed some projects were 3 shuttles. LOL! Very nice review.

A Happy Bluebird said...

I love to have an idea of what kind of patterns are in the books, and appreciate knowing the skill level required. I am definitely a doily-lover, but not so experienced to tackle many yet.

Thanks much for your great review :)

Liyarra said...

Your tatting is exquisite!!! Love how neat it is and the threads you use are wonderful.
I have this book and break it out when I want to look at pretty tatting but as yet have not got around to tatting anything from it. That might very well change this year!!!
Thanks for showing your work and sharing your thoughts with us. You are an inspiration.

tattips said...

It is a conincidence, I have just ordered Tatted Artistry from Handy Hands and it is on its way. After hearing your comments about the book I am even more excited about it.

Tatskool said...

That was a great book review. I have looked these books often but didn't know if I would like them or not. You have tatted such lovely things I think that Tatted Artistry would be nice to have.Thanks.

Fox said...

What a fabulous book review!

Well, maybe I should not be so hasty with my thanks, as I have determined that I must have 'Tatted Artistry' - soon, I'm afraid! It looks wonderful.

Your tatting is flawless, as usual, and the threads used are so well chosen. Thanks for a great read with lots of useful information!

Fox : )

tatting-marie said...

I think this is a great idea that you have come up with - the book reviews. Often times I have seen a book that I thought I would like but after ordering it I was disappointed when it came. So I have been hesitant now about ordering books. I prefer to actually see them so I know what is in them. You did a wonderful job in explaining the contents of each book. Thank you for taking the time and the wonderful review of each book.

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Krystal!
Your tatted pieces from these books are GORGEOUS!!! So gorgeous in fact that I ordered Tatted Artistry based on the first doily you did from it even knowing (feeling) that the patterns would be out of my league. I got it right before Christmas and although I haven't made anything from it yet, I was very happy to find that many of the patterns look doable for me and the others are so pretty to look at I don't mind waiting until my skills catch up with my eyes!

Your reviews of both books are VERY good and MOST appreciated! When I am ready to order another tatting book, I can easily see Tatted Fashion being at the top of my list.

:) Ann

Isdihara said...

Great review, Krystle! I own Tatted Artistry and, like Liyarra, break it out when I want to dream and be inspired, but as yet haven't made anything from it.

I agree with everything you said in the review. My rating for this book would be "highly recommend" -- how many shuttles would that be? Four out of five?

Isdihara said...

Any chance you take requests for book reviews?

If so, may I respectfully request Lady Shuttlemaker's "Exquisite Collection of Tatted Butterflies?" She is in the test tatting stage of her second book in this series, so perhaps she would be willing to share a galley proof with you for review purposes? Or you could review her first book. Either one would be wonderful.

I have never tatted butterflies, but there is a call for lacey butterflies for the Houston Holocaust Museum and I would like to send some tatting (deadline June 30, 2012). So I need some advice on butterfly books!

For more info on The Butterfly Project, email: butterflyproject@hmh.org.

P.S. I may also have a French tatting title to send your way...(REALLY lovely patterns, from the quick peek I saw). Do you read French? If not, I can help a tiny bit, but my French is quite rusty.

Krystle said...

I'd love to do requests! However that is contingent on me having the book, so I'm starting with titles I own so far.

I don't have Ladyshuttlemaker's first book yet, but I'll contact her about reviewing the second one. I can say that her patterns are exquisite as the title says!

Just saw something about the holocaust project today, I'll have to get some butterflies made as well.

And No, I don't read french at all lol! But I'm willing to have a go if we can work out the terminology a little, or if there are diagrams. It would be a great exercise though, to see how easy it is to do a pattern from a foreign book....I know that keeps me from buying them sometimes.