I somehow missed a book last week, but Obscure Craft Book Thursday is back again this week. The book this week isn't totally a craft book, but it is full of handmade things.
Handmade (Vanishing Cultures Of Europe And The Near East), is by Drew and Loiuse Langsner. Drew is a craftsman who works with green wood and I've mentioned him before because he writes about spoon carving. In the early 70's the couple traveled across Europe seeking out traditional culture and craft. I found my copy at our great local bookshop, Robie and Robie Fine Books.The book's only $2.00 on Amazon and is a fun read full of lovely black and white images. It's great to read about necessary, authentic handmade things and handmade as a way of life.
There are chapters on indigenous architecture and villages, goat-tending and cheese making. There are many traditional recipes, from homemade feta cheese to stuffed grape leaves and museli. The book is written in a narrative fashion, and the authors share the sights and their impressions of the villages they travelled through. Of course, they saw many women spinning wool and there's a chapter on that.
There is a chapter on bake ovens and they cover the differences in designs around Europe. I was interested to compare my oven to the ones in this book.
The last few chapters of the book are about Alpine life with lots of information about dairy farming and dairy recipes. There is a section on coopering, making the wooden containers for holding dairy products.
So it's not a book with lots of projects to make, but it surely inspires me and makes me think about how I would like more things in my life to be handmade.