Books for Straw Workers

Here are some books that would be useful to beginners and advanced workers.

A Handful of Straw
A Handful of Straw book coverThe Corn Dolly Newsletter TeamPaperback / Published 1995 / ISBN 0 9525464 0 XSuitable for both beginners and advanced workers alike. Written by some of the best practitioners of straw craft and writers of the Corn Dolly Newsletter. It has very clear instructions and diagrams.
Complete Book of Straw Craft and Corn Dollies : Techniques and Projects
Complete Book of Straw Craft and Corn Dollies : Techniques and Projects book coverDoris Johnson and Alec CokerPaperback / Published 1987 / ISBN 0 486 25249 3This book is both a reference book and instruction book. If you want to know how to make a plait this book will show you.
Discovering Corn Dollies
Discovering Corn Dollies book coverM. LambethPaperback / First Published 1974 by Shire Publications / ISBN 0 85263 283 5
No. 199 in the “Discovering” SeriesThis book is part reprint of A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn Dollies (see below).
Swiss Straw Work: Techniques of a Fashion Industry
Swiss Straw Work: Techniques of a Fashion Industry book coverVeronica MainPaperback / Published 2003 / ISBN 0 9541795 0 1
Published in German in 2004 as Zauberhaftes Stroh / ISBN 9541795 1 xThis is THE definitive book on Swiss Straw work. Both the writer and illustrator (Gillian Nott) are City and Guilds medallists in straw work so they have the practical as well as subject knowledge. Every motif (more than 120) is described in fine detail and the working diagrams are easy to follow. The book is well structured; it builds on the basic technique for the different elements and moves effortlessly into the more advanced techniques.Details: Main Collins Publishing, PO Box 926, High Wycombe, HP15 7ZQ
Telphone / Fax: 01494 714141
Email: mcpublishing@aol.comGerman edition details: Frei�mter Strohmuseum, Kirchenplatz, 5610 Wohlen, Switzerland
Email: Strohmuseum@wohlen.ch
The Book of Wheat Weaving and Straw Craft: From Simple Plaits to Exquisite Designs
The Book of Wheat Weaving and Straw Craft: From Simple Plaits to Exquisite Designs book coverMorgyn Geoffry Owens-CelliHardcover / Published March 1997 / Publisher: Lark Books / ASIN 1 887 37420 5
Paperback / Published August 1998 / Publisher: Sterling Publications / ISBN: 1 579 90078 XThis book is full of projects for both modern and traditional designs. Full colour photographs and black and white illustrations help you create some stunning designs.
An Introduction to Swiss Straw work
An Introduction to Swiss Straw work book coverPeter ShelleySoft coverProject based, so that each new skill is immediately used to produce a finished item; this is like having a private tutor. Easy to follow instructions, backed up with diagrams and photographs; guide the beginner through the techniques of Swiss Straw work. Working through the book you can progress from a simple greetings card to a stunning vase of straw flowers. A comprehensive list of contents makes it easy to use as a reference book too.₤15.00 plus postageObtainable from P Shelley, 82 Manor Rise, Chasetown, BURNTWOOD, Staffordshire.WS7 4TSTel. 01543 676826 Email Peter Shelley
Straw Marquetry for Beginners
Straw Marquetry for Beginners book coverPeter ShelleySoft coverThis is a project based book. As each skill is taught it can be put to immediate use. The first 11 pages form a comprehensive introduction, easy to use as a reference tool. Then different styles of marquetry are taught with clear instructions and illustrations. All the patterns you need to complete the projects are included at the end of the book.₤10.00 plus postageObtainable from P Shelley, 82 Manor Rise, Chasetown, BURNTWOOD, Staffordshire.WS7 4TSTel. 01543 676826 Email Peter Shelley
easy Straw Work for Christmas
easy Straw Work for Christmas book coverElaine LindsaySoft coverIf anyone has photos of projects they have made from the book please e mail them to me, I’d love to see them. This book can be used all year round not just for Christmas and I still have a few copies left.₤12.50 plus ₤3.50 postageObtainable from Elaine Lindsay tel. 01467 681330 or Email Elaine Lindsay
The Gleam of Straw
The Gleam of Straw book coverAnne DyerSoft coverSo where is this craft going?………………… we shouldn’t let the history close our minds to the much wider possibilities of the material and therefore of the craft.” Reading this book will open your eyes and your mind. It has practical advice and information and a wealth of illustrations.Obtainable from Anne Dyer c/o Westhope Craft College, Craven Arms, Shropshire SY7 9JLtel. 01584 861293

Other Publications

The Corn Dolly Newsletter book coverThe Straw Craftsmen News is the magazine for members of Straw Craftsmen. Issued twice a year. It contains a great variety of articles on all aspects of straw craft, and also keeps members fully informed of courses and events, awards, items for sale, new publications, and much more.Details of how to apply for membership of Straw Craftsmen can be found on the Membership Details page.
The Corn Dolly Newsletter book cover
The Corn Dolly Newsletter is a biennial magazine for all straw workers. It comes in A5 format, full colour and includes articles, projects, and information for anyone interested in working with straw. Subscription is £8 per year for UK subscribers, different rates for overseas please just ask. For more information contact Elaine Lindsay, elaine@somethingcorny.co.uk

Books Out Of Print:

These books are out of print but are worth searching for:

Decorative Straw Work and Corn Dollies
Decorative Straw Work and Corn Dollies book coverLettice Sandford and Philla Davispublished by B. T. Batsford, Ltd. (1964) no ISBNThis is generally still regarded as the definitive book for straw workers.
The Craft of Straw Decoration
The Craft of Straw Decoration book coverAlec CokerHardback / First Published 1971 by The Dryad Press / ISBN 0 85219 078 6
Alec Coker was a BBC Outside Broadcast engineer before becoming a teacher and maker of Corn Dollies. He was the first editor of the Corn Dolly Newsletter (with Janet Twigger as secretary, the post she still holds) but sadly died before the founding of the Guild of Straw Craftsmen.Like all books on straw craft this book is aimed at the craftsperson with projects on straw stars and marquetry as well as Corn Dollies.
The Art of Weaving Corn Dollies
The Art of Weaving Corn Dollies book coverStephen J. ReidPaperback / Published 1976 as part of the Leisure Series by Lutterworth Press /
ISBN 0 7188 7004 2
A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn Dollies
A Golden Dolly: The Art, Mystery and History of Corn
          Dollies book coverM. LambethHardback / First Published 1969 by John Baker (Publishers) Ltd / ISBN 0 212 98365 2This was the first book I bought about Straw Craft and is one of my favourites. It is an excellent book with lots of good information and many anecdotes relating to the growing of corn, the varieties to use, plaiting tips, the makers and village life.The book touches Harvest Customs, German Stars, Straw Hats and Straw Marquetry as well as Corn Dollies.Interestingly Minnie takes time to say who or where she got her information and acknowledges the source of designs, pictures and information.
Straw Work and Corn Dollies
Straw Work and Corn Dollies book coverLettice SandfordHardback / First Published 1974 by Batsford Books / ISBN 0 7134 2874 0Lettice Sandford was one of the great exponents of straw craft in the modern age. She gave talks to Women’s Institutes as well as organising courses at her home at Eye Manor in Herefordshire. Many Guild members attended her courses and remember them with great affection. After her death her large collection of straw work was given to the Hereford Museum so that it could be displayed for the benefit of others.The book has very clear instructions with lots of diagrams and photographs.
Your Book of Corn Dollies
Your Book of Corn Dollies book coverJoan RendellHardback / Published 1976 by Faber and Faber / ISBN 0 571 10841 5

Further resources

Useful knots for straw workers

The use of the correct knot will ensure that your work will look tidy. Tying a bunch of straws together = Clove Hitch Tying two straws together at right angles […]

FAQs About Straw

1. THE BASIC MATERIAL For Corn Dolly making and decorative straw work a hollow stemmed straw is required, with a good length between the head of the wheat and the […]

Thatched Roof Ornaments

There is no finer sight than to see a newly thatched roof glowing in the sunshine topped, if you are fortunate, with a stylish straw ornament that gives a flourish, […]