Book review – “Making and Drawing” by Kyra Cane

25 February 2017


I purchased “Making and drawing” by Kyra Cane (Cane, 2012) after it was discussed by Rebecca’s Fairley in an OCA blog post (Fairley, 2016). Before starting with the OCA, I didn’t understand the relationship between drawing and textile practice, and learning how it can be applied to my textile practice has been a gradual process of discovery.

I own several texts on the subject of drawing and mark-making in textile practice (Hedley, 2010), (Greenlees, 2005), (Parrott, 2013). However, the scope of Cane’s book is wider; it covers not just textile artists, but also ceramicists, jewellery-makers, costume designers and other forms of visual creative arts. The context of drawing and mark-making is discussed as a reference, in terms of planning and design, for describing a surface, as a form of making, as a tool for thinking and as it is used in conjunction with technology. This makes it perhaps more illuminating than Texts solely concerned with textiles.

I was particularly interested in how artist Celia Smith uses loose sketches of birds as reference for her metal and wire sculptures (Cane, 2012: 18-21). Her drawing style translates seamlessly into the medium of wire, and it is clear to see how her sketches inform her practice (Jobson, 2014). In contrast, the emphasis of Dali Behennah’s drawing is on planning and design (Cane, 2010: 51-53). As a geographer, her creations made in willow and metal, are inspired by physical features of the eath’s surface (Behennah, n.d.). Her sketches explore, proportion, pattern and tone. Mixed media artist, Hilary Bower, is listed in Cane’s book in the chapter 5: drawing as thinking (Cane, 2012: 158-160). Her drawing/sketching as mixed media work exist in parallel as dependant activities. She uses drawing to explore sensibilities, resolution and balance (Cane, 2012: 159). In her blog, Bower describes how she uses sketching as an everyday tool for clarification of thoughts and thinking (Bower, n.d.)

“Making and drawing” is a wonderful reference book, and is a resource which I will be able to consult whenever I need reminding just how personal sketchbooks can be, and how they can be used if so many different ways.



Behennah, D. (n.d.) Dail Behennah. At: (Accessed 5 Marchs 2017)

Bower, H. (n.d.) Hilary Bower: Concepts. At: (Accessed 5 March 2017)

Cane, K. (2012) Making and drawing. London. Bloomsbury.

Fairley, R. (2016) Book review: Making and drawing. At: (Accessed 5 March 2017)

Greenlees, K. (2005) Creating sketchbooks for embroiders and textile artists. London. Batsford.

Hedley, G. (2010) Drawn to stitch: Line, drawing and mark-making in textile art. London. Batsford.

Jobson, C. (2014) ‘Bird sculptures constructed from wire by Celia Smith look like detailed sketches’. In: This is colossal: Art. 2 June 2014 [online] At: (Accessed 5 Marchs 2017)

Parrott, H. (2013) Mark-making in textile art. London. Batsford


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