When Katy Kelleher was approached to write a book about crafts in Maine, she expanded the notion far beyond pottery and sculpture.
“I started thinking about how a lot of the creativity here takes on other formats, like baking and weaving and even harvesting lobster and seaweed,” said Kelleher, freelance writer and former editor. chief of Maine magazine who grew up in Acton, Mass. , and now lives in Buxton, just west of Portland.
The result is “Handcrafted Maine: Art, Life, Harvest & Home” (Princeton Architectural Press, $39.95), a gift-worthy book highlighting 22 craftsmen and lavishly illustrated with images by photographer Greta Rybus, based in Portland.
While the book explores the creative process and shines a light on Maine’s culture and environment, it also serves as an imaginative travel guide for northern explorers, as many of the topics work with the public, including sleigh rides dogs with Mahoosuc Guide Service in Newry and fishing guides at Red River Camps in Portage. At Grain Surfboards in York, where co-owners Brad Anderson and Mike LeVecchia make wooden surfboards, visitors can spend a weekend learning how to make their own boards while staying at Grain’s farm. Visitors to Down East may want to stop by chainsaw carver Ray Murphy’s warehouse in Hancock or the Swans Island Company in Northport, where the blankets are still made by hand.
“Although the people we’ve featured in the book are diverse, with different professional and economic backgrounds, much of what they do reflects the Maine landscape, with much of the material they use coming from land and water around them,” Kelleher said. . “The scenery, of course, is a big reason people want to visit Maine, or even move here. They really cherish it.
Diane Daniel can be reached at [email protected]