The Shape of Craft 

Ezra Shales

The Shape of Craft 

Ezra Shales

Distributed for Reaktion Books

272 pages | 70 halftones | 6 x 7 3/4
Cloth $29.95 ISBN: 9781780238227 Will Publish December 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Today when we hear the word “craft,” a whole host of things come immediately to mind: microbreweries, artisanal cheeses, and an array of handmade objects. Craft has become so overused, that it can grate on our ears as pretentious and strain our credulity. But its overuse also reveals just how compelling craft has become in modern life.

In The Shape of Craft, Ezra Shales explores some of the key questions of craft: who makes it, what do we mean when we think about a crafted object, where and when crafted objects are made, and what this all means to our understanding of craft. He argues that, beyond the clichés, craft still adds texture to sterile modern homes and it provides many people with a livelihood, not just a hobby. Along the way, Shales upends our definition of what is handcrafted or authentic, revealing the contradictions in our expectations of craft. Craft is—and isn’t—what we think.
Review Quotes
Theaster Gates
“Steering the conversation towards anonymous artisans and the sort of craft that doesn’t usually end up on museum pedestals, Shales brings ‘making’ back down to earth where it can connect to our cities and everyday lives.”
Sheila Hicks
 “Smart hands indicate intelligence and sensitivity. Alert eyes identify works made with ingenuity. Shales’s book sharpens our visual perception and appreciation of finely crafted objects and environments which have enriched our lives from the beginning of time.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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