Poison Pen Press

Arts & Skills

For Materials on forging and smith work, please see the file called ‘Fighting, Weapons, and Military’.

Art of the Catapult - $16.95

William Gurstelle. With some scrapes of wood, rope, hammer & nails, and this book, you can build seven historic catapults – simple yet sophisticated hurling machines that rely on fundamentals of math and physics, using levers, force, torsion, and traction. Tr paper, 172pp, b/w diagrams & illus, index, glossary, bibliog. Chicago Review Press


Backyard Ballistics - $16.95

William Gurstelle. Build potato cannons, paper match rockets, fire kites, tennis ball mortars and more. This step-by-step guide enables ordinary folk to construct 13 awesome ballistic devices using inexpensive household or hardware store material. Clear instructions, diagrams, and photos show you how. With a strong emphasis on safety, the book also provides troubleshooting tips, explains the physics behind each project, and profiles various scientists and experimenters. Tr paper, 169pp, index, b/w diagrams, illus, photos. Chicago Review Press


Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn - $22.99

Brenda Gibson. Discover the joys of hand spinning, with this fully illustrated, comprehensive guide.  This book provides all the information a spinner needs in one accessible package, starting with tools and equipment, types of fibers, and spinning techniques and progressing to making, processing, and finishing off a skein of yarn. Trade paper, 144pp, over 250 color photos. St Martin’s Griffin


Creating a Reticella Rosette - $5.00

Marie Schorn. ‘Reticella is a form of needle lace where geometric patterns are embroidered over a fabric with most of the threads removed,’ says the author, and then proceeds to give us a brief history of the craft. The bulk of the book instructs us in the creation of a foundation for the lace, appropriate stitches, and patterns for drawn thread borders & various lace designs. Pb, saddle-stapled, 48pp, b/w illus, notes, references. SCA


Earthen Pigments: Hand-Gathering & Using Natural Colors in Art. - $19.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Sandy Webster. Through recipes & illustrations, learn how to turn hand-gathered pigments into a variety of artistic media from water-based paints to wax crayons, oils, pastels, and print-making inks. A wonderful resource for artists & craftspeople. Paperback, 38 drawings, 64 pp. Schiffer


Encyclopedia of Knots And Fancy Rope Work - $39.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Raoul Graumont & John Hensel. 4th Edition. Comprehensive history of knots and rope making with how-to instructions for tying and making useful and decorative articles with rope. More than 3,600 knots described and illustrated in 348 full-color plates. Hard cover, 704 pp. Schiffer


Fine Art of Marquetry - $16.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Craig Vandall Stevens. Creating images in wood using sawn veneers. An illustrated guide to marquetry, a technique where different colors of wood veneer are used to fit precisely together to produce a single sheet of veneer. Hardcover, 160 pp., 820 color photos. Schiffer


Fingerloop Braids - $5.00

Lois Swales & Zoe Kuhn. Finger loop braids are braids woven using loops (or bowes) of string on your fingers. This reached a high point in Medieval Europe and England between 1200 & 1600 CE. This technique survives today in isolated areas of Europe, the Middle East, S America, & Japan. As points, laces, or cords, braids have a multitude of uses. This pamphlet focuses on the 15th – 17th century English language instructions for making braids. Pb, saddle-stapled, 72 pp, Diagrams & directions, bibliog. SCA


Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook - $35

Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius. This book is aimed at both spinners, weavers, and other fiber artists, and also at animal raisers. It is a one-of-a-kind j photographic encyclopedia of more than 200 animals and the fibers they produce. It covers almost every breed of sheep known, as well as camelids, goats, bison, horses, rabbits, and dogs. Each spread includes photos of the animal, its raw fleece, cleaned fleece, spun yarn, and samples of that yarn knit and woven. Both authors are well-known crafters. Hardcover, 448pp. Storey.


Forgotten Art of Building a Good Fireplace - $12.50

Vrest Orton. This classic book (1969) on fireplace design has brought about a revival of the Rumford fireplace. The basic principles (set forth by Rumford in 1795) describe the construction of a large shallow fireplace which does not smoke, and which throws out much more heat than many other designs (which tend to send much of the heat up the chimney.) This edition contains practical notes by Wally Leeds, a mason in Tunbridge VT, who builds Rumford fireplaces today. Pb, 64pp, b/w illos & diagrams. Alan Hood.


Forgotten Art of Building and Using a Brick Bake Oven - $12.50

Richard M Bacon. First published in 1977, this book remains the authority on how old time brick ovens were designed and used. The book explains the evolution of the oven from the 17th through the 19th centuries, outlines the basic points to consider in building such an oven today, and describes in detail its construction. From ash pit complex, types of brick & mortar, lintels & doors, plans, dimensions, and actual brickwork – this book has them all. Generously illustrated with photos, diagrams, & drawings. Also includes material on using the finished oven. Pb, 64pp. Alan Hood.


Gold: Gilding History and Techniques - $19.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Kirsten Beuster. This lavishly illustrated book includes the history of gold crafting and demonstrates the most important techniques of gilding. Technical details are shown in hundreds of studio photos. Paperback, 112 pp. Schiffer


Handweaver’s Pattern Directory - $34.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Anne Dixon. Over 600 weaves for four-shaft looms. Create wonderful woven fabric with this practical guide. From basic four-shaft structures to block drafts and double weaves, choose from a wide range of herringbone, twill, zigzag, and diamond designs. Each weave features a clear photographed color swatch as well as an easy-to-follow color chart indicating the threading sequence and order of work. Material on finishing, glossary, index, resources list, and 256pp, spiral inside board covers. Interweave Press


Introduction to Bobbin Lace - $35.00http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Rosemary Shepherd. 7th printing. Contains extensive diagrams and exercises which teach the basic techniques of lace making, beginning with information on equipment and materials, and detailed instructions on preparing to work, including pattern construction.  Tr paper, perfect bound, 112pp, index, graph papers, reading list, sources. Lace Press


Introduction to Manuscript Studies - $39.95

Raymond Clemens & Timothy Graham. Providing a comprehensive and accessible orientation to the field of medieval manuscript studies, this lavishly illustrated book is unique in its scope and level of detail. Useful to students in history, art history, literature, and religious studies, while also appealing to advanced scholars and general readers. Its material on the making of the manuscript, from preparation of the writing surface & inks, decoration, through the binding & storage, will be of great value to current scroll makers and illuminators. Includes sections on abbreviations, punctuation, selected scripts, Books of Hours, charters & cartularies, maps, rolls & scrolls. As recommended in Tournaments Illuminated. Oversized trade paper, 301pp, glossary, index, extensive bibliog., over 250 illus (sources cited), both contemporary & diagrams. Cornell University Press


Medieval & Renaissance Furniture - $19.95

Daniel Diehl & Mark P Donnelly.36 projects for historic benches, chairs, tables, cupboards, chests, shelves, beds, and doors, all done with simple woodworking tools  Detailed plans based on careful study and measurement of original pieces and accurate reproductions Step-by-step instructions, materials lists, and notes on woodworking, metalworking, and finishing  Foreword by Roy Underhill of the PBS series The Woodwright's Shop

Needlework Patterns from Renaissance Germany - $10.00
Recharted by Kathryn Newall, from the 1597 edition of Johan Sibmacher’s Modelbuch. 26p, saddle-stapled, 8˝ x11. Costume/Dressmaker Press.

Pattern Weaving - $19.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Rabbit Goody. Basics for the hand loom. Includes basic instructions to weave luxurious patterns on a foot-treadle loom, tips and variations for exploring creative weaving ideas, step-by-step color photos of the processes, and many projects. Paper, 203 color photos, 128 pp. Stackpole Books


Pavilion Book - $15.95

John LaTorre. In one book you can find a complete guide to buying, maintaining, and living in a medieval-style tent. The author, a tentmaker with 20 years of experience, explains how to choose the best tent for your budget and needs, and how to make your tent last longer and perform better, how to clean and repair it, and much, much more. Tr pb, 160pp, b/w photos & some diagrams. Dragonwings


Practical Pyromaniac - $16.95

William Gurstelle. How to build fire tornadoes, one-candlepower engines, Great Balls of Fire, fire (bow) drill and many more incendiary devices. Also includes helpful instructions on making cloth fire-proof, paper fire-resistant, and constructing a fire extinguisher. Trade paper, 212pp. index, b/w photos & diagrams, bibliog., index. Chicago Review Press.


200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop, or Weave - $27.95

Jacqui Carey. Choose from sumptuous braided designs to complete any project: clothing, furnishings, greeting cards, jewelry, totes, floral arrangements, and more. Braids are arranged by structure, from twisted and knotted pieces to more elaborate looped and woven ones, even those that incorporate beads. Each braid features a close-up photo, materials list, step-by-step instructions and clear color illustrations. HC, spiral-bound, 256pp, index, resources list. Interweave Press


Unscrewed - $16.95

Ed Sobey. This book is the perfect resource for all those undo-it-yourselfers desiring to salvage hidden treasures or repurpose their old junk. This book shows you how to scavenge material from a variety of electronics and machinery. There’s technology gold in that there junk! Tr paper, 224pp, 200 b/w photos. Chicago Review Press


Ultimate Wood-Fired Oven Book - $29.95

Anna Carpenter. This book equips you with information to successfully choose, install, and use your own wood-fired oven. Great tips concerning different kinds of insulation, tools, cooking techniques, and recipes. Step-by-step guidelines and plans for building are included. Great photos will inspire you to design the perfect setting for your oven, suited to your needs and budget. Tr paper, 128pp, 332 color photos. Schiffer Publications.


Weft-Faced Pattern Weaves: Tabby to Taquette - $39.95http://poisonpenpress.com/images/new2.gif

Nancy Arthur Hoskins. Comprehensive guide to weft-faced pattern weaving, for both beginners and experts. Learn how to plan, predict, and weave colorful, rhythmical patterns, charming folk figures, and geometric designs in fabrics that are decorative and durable. Includes 53 projects and directions, patterns, and tips. Tr paper, 326pp, 526 b/w and color images, spiral inside cover. Schiffer


Wicker Basketry - $24.95

Flo Hoppe. Use these timeless techniques to make elegant and practical baskets. Illustrated step-by-step instructions offer a range of techniques and tips for making round and oval bases, handles, preparing to weaving, and adding color.  24 projects, 7 weaving techniques, tips for selecting materials. Tr paper, glossary, list of suppliers, 168pp, 290 color photos, 169 patterns, index. Schiffer.


Whoosh – Boom – Splat - $16.95

William Gurstelle. The garage warrior’s guide to building projectile shooters. These are the homemade machines that you’ve dreamed of building, from the high-voltage night lighter 36 spud gun to the jam jar jet, the marshmallow shooter, and the yagua blowgun. Includes detailed diagrams and supply lists, with simple, step-by-step instructions. Tr paper, 159pp, index, b/w diagrams, illus, and photos. Three Rivers Press


Women’s Work: Embroidery in Colonial Boston - $40.00

Pamela A Parmal. Charming us with their whimsy and conjuring a warm domesticity, embroideries from the colonial era also help illuminate the lives of the women who made them. Colonial women kept these works (which could take years to complete and used materials brought great distances) and displayed them proudly. This book tells the stories of six women and how needlework shaped their lives. Not only did it promote the silk trade, it allowed women to sell supplies and patterns, and run schools to train young girls in this fine art. HC, dw, 184pp, 120 color illus. Museum of Fine Arts.




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