The Haystack Reader: Collected Essays on Craft, 1991–2009
In 1950, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts was organized in the highlands of Montville, Maine, about twenty miles inland from Penobscot Bay, on the Maine coast. In 1960, the school moved to its beautiful newly-constructed campus on a narrow point of land called Sunshine on the island of Deer Isle, across Penobscot Bay from its original location. The campus is comprised of austere but comfortable cabins and studios, placed on raised decks along a slope of wooded land that flows down to the sea. . . . Potters, blacksmiths, printmakers, fiber artists, glassmakers, painters, jewelers, furniture makers, sculptors, and others in related fields gather to learn, to teach, and generally to nourish their collective and individual creative spirits. For the span of a few weeks, the abrasions of everyday living seem distant, perhaps even non-existent, or at least not all-encompassing in the way those distractions and limitations exist for many of us much of the time.
This book consists of a wide variety of essays about craft. They were published by Haystack in a continuing series of nicely-designed monographs (sometimes several related essays were collected in one publication). This series was initiated in 1991, shortly after poet Stuart Kestenbaum began his tenure as Haystack’s director. These are essays in the original sense of the literary form, in that they assay intellectual terrain where the writer might not have previously stood. There are accounts of everyday life at the school, papers that explore shifts in technology and the place of craft in contemporary society, philosophical and literary ideas articulated with care, and expressions of wonder and gratitude. The original essays are presented in this edition with a minimum of new editing and in the sequence in which they were originally published. – from the Preface
440 pages, 7 x 10, with 83 illustrations
Paperback, 2010; ISBN: 0-89101-117-x / 978-0-89101-117-0; $24.95
Image Description: The Haystack Reader cover image