Spring and Summer with Thrums Books

Springtime always feels like a whirlwind at Thrums Books. We have new Spring books hitting the shelves while we’re sending our new fall books to the printer. It’s when we win awards (!) and plot our future fun. Check out what’s new in the world of Thrums Books and find out what’s on deck for this summer.

Prize Catch

Last weekend, the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) held its 31st annual Benjamin Franklin Awards ceremony in Chicago, Illinois. This esteemed indie book award program recognizes excellence in editorial content, photography, and design in several categories. From over 1,500 nominations, IBPA judges determine gold and silver winners in each category. It’s one of the highest national honors for independent publishers. And guess who won?

armchair traveler
Aicha Duha featured in Women Artisans of Morocco with author Susan Schaefer Davis. photo by Joe Coca.

Two Thrums titles received awards this year. Women Artisans of Morocco: Their Stories, Their Lives by Susan Schaefer Davis was honored with the Gold Award in the Multicultural category; Rug Money, How a Group of Maya Women Changed Their Lives through Art and Innovation won the Silver Award in the Multicultural category. Cheryl Conway-Daly, co-author of Rug Money attended the ceremony, and Susan Davis, preparing for another textile tour, appropriately received the good news while traveling in Morocco.

This is the fifth year that Thrums Books has earned both Gold or Gold and Silver Awards through the Benjamin Franklin program. Congratulations to our authors; you deserve this recognition. Congratulations also to Women Artisans of Morocco designer Michael Signorella, and Rug Money designer Anne Clark. Congratulations and deep gratitude to Joe Coca for his gorgeous photography that makes our books shine.

Authors Mary Anne Wise (L) and Cheryl Conway-Daly, at the Multicolores booth at the International Folk Art Market.

Peace Time

Weave a Real Peace (WARP) will have its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. June 20-23. This year’s theme is “Women & Textiles: A Path to Peace.” I can’t wait. In addition to a behind-the scenes peek at the Textile Museum at George Washington University, there will be several presentations and demonstrations from WARP members and friends about their work with artist groups around the world. An international marketplace will offer a medley of really cool artisan pieces from dozens of countries, and Thrums Books will host a reception for our books A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Guatemala by Deborah Chandler and A Textile Traveler’s Guide to Peru and Bolivia by Cynthia LeCount Samaké, and our friend Deborah Brandon’s book Threads Around the World, published by Schiffer. It’s not too late to join us–you can sign up for the full meeting or just individual events.
What the heck is WARP? This great little VIDEO explains it all.

WARP 2016 annual meeting–a glass of wine, piles of fiber, and good friends!

Folk Art Fantasy

In July, you’ll find us at the International Folk Art Market . It’s always been a special place for Thrums Books because so many of our artisan authors attend the market as well as artisans featured in many of our books. The market “envisions a world that values the dignity and humanity of the handmade, honors timeless cultural traditions, and supports the work of folk artists . . .” which is exactly what Thrums Books is all about. This year is going to be better than ever as we will have a booth in the Folk Art Market where you can purchase all of our books. Best of all, we’ll be on hand to connect you to our authors and the artisans featured in so many of our books. They’ll stop by at special times to sign books, meet their fans, tell their stories.

Linda giving Souk a copy of Silk Weavers of Hill Tribe Laos at the 2017 International Folk Art Market. Souk is featured in the book and will be at the Market again this July.

Tickets for the Market go on sale May 1, so start planning now! And if you’ve ever thought of volunteering, now is the time to sign up. I’ve volunteered for the last few years, and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s a meaningful way to engage with the artisans and really learn about their lives and work. And for you polyglots, there’s always a huge need for translators. The Folk Art Market survives by volunteer help, so please considering giving your time.

—Karen Brock

From the Winner’s Circle:


4 thoughts on “Spring and Summer with Thrums Books

  1. Mary Williams says:

    Yeah Thrums and authors!
    Keep up the good work and let us travel vicariously
    throughout the world to honor women makers through your books!

  2. Susan Schaefer Davis says:

    Thanks for the lovely write-up, Karen! And ‘great minds’ – the photo you used above is one of my favorites. [I tried to paste it into the earlier award announcement but couldn’t make it work. :)]

  3. Deborah Chandler says:

    Hurray and Congratulations to everyone involved in creating both Ben Franklin Award winning books. When I saw they were competing against each other in the same category I was glad I was not a judge. Both are terrific! May you all bask in the glory.

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