When, in the title of this blog post, I say ‘our’ first book, I really mean it. Despite being the initiator of this printed project, I could not have put it all together without the contributors that helped fill its pages. In total we had 16 women put forward features for the book, as well as a few others who contributed in other small ways. The booklet includes written accounts, design drawings, photographs and illustrations from its contributors, but in an attempt to make the outcome more inclusive to young children and those who perhaps don’t speak English or are confident readers, an illustrated fold-out poster was designed and included in the book. It was great to hear that this poster has now been photocopied, laminated and put up in the DT classrooms of my old school!

The book was printed here in Oxford by local, independent printing company Common Books (http://www.commonbooks.org), a not for profit organisation that creates unique work and runs community printing workshops. The book was created using a Riso Printer, which is an extremely environmentally friendly alternative to standard printing and gives a unique aesthetic quality to the finished product.

The first half of the 150 copies ordered has been collected from the printing studio and the copies are currently making their way out in the post. A condition of the funding from Oxford Brookes was that the book must be handed out for free, which supports THIS GIRL MAKES’ ethos of being fully accessible. Due to the limited number of copies of the booklet, I feel it is important to ensure the book reaches its target audience (school children and industry experts) first. However, this does not mean that everyone should miss out, as digital pdf copies of the booklet will shortly be made available to download, and a ‘THIS GIRL MAKES: Pass it on’ campaign will soon start circulating on social media, to encourage those who have copies of the book to help spread the message by passing their copy on to someone who might be interested.

It has been really uplifting to find people have already been getting in touch regarding the book. Here is one really positive example:

“I received your book earlier today and wanted to drop you an email to say thank you for sending me a copy. I’m about half way through and I think that you approached the topic of women in the craft industry in a really inspiring way. As a young person entering the world of designer/makers, it’s very interesting to find out about other women’s stories and approaches to making and designing while bringing attention to furniture making as something to be encouraged among all kinds of people, so thank you again.”

Olivia, Apprentice Furniture Maker