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Nick Kary - Writer

New book for 2020:
Material - Making and the Art of Transformation

Cover notes from Chelsea Green Publishing Company:

"Through beautifully crafted writing filled with memorable ‘makers’, landscapes, stories and scenery, Material is a rich celebration of what it means to imagine and create using our hands, finding that connection through a sense of place, which in the end is the essence of being human.


In the age of computer-assisted design precision, mass production and digital living, traditional skills of the craftsperson or ‘maker’ are hard to find. Yet the desire for well-made and beautiful objects from the hands - and minds - of skilled artisans is just as present today as it ever has been. Whether the medium is wood, metal, clay or something else, traditional makers are living links to the rich vein of knowledge and skills that defines our common human heritage.


In Material, craftsman Nick Kary explores what it means to be a maker, where the fluid creative act becomes manufacturing, and what it means to create in a world where consumers are disconnected from the creative and material process. He tells the stories of crafts people, asking them why they ‘make’, and the challenge of making a living out of a practise that was once a necessity; and underlying his visits to meet fellow makers is the author’s own reflections about what and who influenced him to value and make using materials from the earth for the past 40 years. "

Introduction from Nick Kary:

The word has always been a link for me between the isolated craftsman and the human world outside the workshop. I have always written, but only recently following the burning of my workshop did I take the time to write a book. The book ,’Material’ arose out of the quiet contemplation that can mark a maker’s daily life. Having been a furniture maker for the last 35 years has given me the opportunity for amassing a lot of thoughts! When the space opened up to even contemplate writing a book, I thought that I would be writing a book about making and craft. Yet what arose at first was just one word, material, and it actually puzzled me. It was not Materials, but Material in the singular, a word that has gravitas, that means what is important to us, that owes its roots to the Latin Mater mother, and gives itself to fabric, wood, metal and materials in the plural.


In writing the book I discovered why it was material for me to write it, and in doing so I learnt about the relationship that humans construct with the world around them through making. I have had the great privilege to chat to many makers, to spend time with them in their workspaces. In part the book is a retelling of these experiences, and in doing so it has given me cause to reflect on my own, and to muse on how we can develop a closer bond with nature through relating our consumption more closely to what we make for ourselves.


Material book publication dates:

UK 24 September 2020

USA 07 October 2020

Pre-order in the UK:



Pre-order in the USA:

Indie Bound

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