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‘There I was — surrounded by macramé tigers’

Craftydermy By Tracey Benton Cicada. Paperback, $14.95 Craftydermy
By Tracey Benton
Cicada. Paperback, $14.95

One of the joys and challenges of this job is receiving hundreds of book pitches each week. They pour in through the mail, over the Internet or — if I forget and pick up — by phone. Mostly, they form a meaningless blur of plots and praise, but every once in a while, a pitch arrives that’s so quirky that I have to stop and admire the sheer strangeness of it.

Today, that prize goes to Ziggy, a publicist for Cicada. She opens with this arresting statement: “The current fashion for taxidermy is hard to avoid.”

Clearly, I need to get out more….

Ziggy goes on: “For those of us who are reluctant for whatever reason to exhibit a decapitated mammal upon our walls, an alternative option has at last surfaced.”

At last!

Here’s the solution to your reluctance: A book called “Craftydermy,” by Tracey Benton, “a well-known figure in the UK crafting community.”

“‘Craftydermy’ is a selection of 20 taxidermy-inspired craft projects — from a felt tiger rug to a crocheted sheep head by way of woven yak. Using sewing, crochet, knitting, paper mache, and in some cases just cutting and pasting, you can achieve the spirit of taxidermy without the morbid overtones.”

From "Craftydermy," by Tracey Benton (Cicada) From “Craftydermy,”
by Tracey Benton (Cicada)

Trying to achieve “the spirit of taxidermy” was not a problem I knew I had, but, still, I’m grateful for anything that comes “by way of woven yak.”


Ron Charles is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. For a dozen years, he enjoyed teaching American literature and critical theory in the Midwest, but finally switched to journalism when he realized that if he graded one more paper, he'd go crazy.



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