Cover image for The craft & art of bamboo : 30 elegant projects to make for home and garden
The craft & art of bamboo : 30 elegant projects to make for home and garden
Stangler, Carol, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Lark Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
159 pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TT190 .S73 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The hottest material around for gardens and home d#65533;cor also is one with a rich and ancient history: bamboo. Long used in both Eastern and Western cultures, it looks graceful and brings a touch of nature to any space. From harvesting to assembling projects, this photo-filled introduction to bamboo fundamentals gives advice on preparing and buying, tips on drying and weathering, hints on preventing and dealing with insect damage, and instructions for cleaning the bamboo. Follow the directions on cutting, splitting, joining, attaching, bending, flattening, finishing, and preserving. Construct lovely fences, gates, railings, screens, furnishings, accessories, and more for landscape, garden, and home. Picture a curved bamboo handrail along a walkway, a low trellis for climbing plants, a charming porch swing, a simple Japanese flower container, even an outdoor shower stall. Lush photography and abundant illustrations make this easy to use...and a treat for the eyes.

Author Notes

Asheville, NC

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Long considered a food fit for exotic species such as koalas and pandas, bamboo literally comes out of the closet here to act as a bonafide home-furnishings material, which means that this graceful pole morphs into both indoor and outdoor accessories, from sushi trays and door mats to the low-curved Nanako garden border and an al fresco shower stall. Environmental artist Stangler does her best work in, first, expressing virtues and properties of this grass-family member, then to laying out in detail the instructions for 30 projects. The book's mood is at one with nature: a loose flowing text around color photographs, supported by black-and-white illustrations, step-by-step how-tos, and boxed commentaries on the nitty-gritties, such as a cutting list and metric equivalents, in addition to materials and tools needed. Enhancing the Zen mood are the informational sidebars--a chart, for instance, of the 11 varieties of poles for purchase as well as a full page on the giant clumping iron bamboo. --Barbara Jacobs

Library Journal Review

Bamboo is a ubiquitous craft and construction material in Asia, but it has never replaced wood as a material of choice in North America, the home of only one native species. It is increasingly being used for garden structures, however, and the projects in this book reflect that trend. There are step-by-step instructions for trellises and fences as well as small pieces of furniture and table items all well designed in the oriental style. Information on growing, harvesting, and working with bamboo is also included. Few books are available on this topic, so this should be welcome in all garden and crafts collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Chapter One Introduction In the last 20 years, bamboo has literally taken hold in nooks and crannies throughout the Western world. A few roots and stems called culms planted here and there have grown into rambling, exotic groves, dotting the landscape with their magnificent, leafy forms. Growers have acquired and propagated bamboo plants suitable to a temperate climate, and Western landscapers and gardeners have embraced bamboo for its lush foliage and striking form. Likewise, bamboo poles, long used almost exclusively by Far Eastern and South American cultures, are now readily accessible. As Westerners realize the strength and resiliency of this giant grass, they find practical applications in their own world, such as the Greenlanders who use bamboo poles to support their lifelines in blinding whiteouts and the companies in North America that manufacture laminated bamboo flooring. In short, awareness of bamboo is spreading, and the material is increasingly used for decorative purposes in the West. The Craft and Art of Bamboo is the first Western book to explain techniques for designing and building with bamboo in language that interested professionals and amateurs can understand. To many of us, bamboo's cylindrical, hollow form is mysterious compared to the familiar squared, solid lumber used for most Western building purposes. This book is intended as a guide to help you create a wide range of home and garden items made with bamboo. How did I begin my own love affair with bamboo? I first stumbled upon bamboo groves in the early 1980s while harvesting kudzu vines to weave into sculptural baskets. I was so awestruck by the giant, primitive stalks and dense growth, that for the first several encounters, I dared not even enter a grove. Then a friend took me to visit a 25-year-old grove along a slow-moving river in the southeastern United States. I was most impressed by the grove's boundless energy: its growth along acres of river bank; the vibrant, tall culms bursting with leaves that catch the sunlight; and the almost impenetrable ground cover of accumulated dead poles and branches leaning against each other in all directions. Not knowing exactly what to do with bamboo, however, I put it in the back of my mind and waited for an opportunity to work with it. In early 1990, I was asked to create an environmental sculpture for an Earth Day celebration in Atlanta, Georgia, I envisioned a piece called the Earthball, measuring 10 feet (2.9 m) in diameter and constructed of natural, local materials woven together by Atlantans, The first challenge was figuring out what material to use for a spherical frame that would keep its shape while supporting hundreds of pounds of woven vines. My mind's eye returned to the long, green culms of bamboo, Experimentation proved what I expected: bamboo poles don't bend. Then I remembered a crude bamboo splitting device I'd seen workers using years before at the Bamboo Farm near Savannah, Georgia, We rigged up a similar device and split a truckload of culms into splints. Tying the splints together into long, thin bundles, we successfully wove and tied the bundles into a spherical framework, The process and the result were magical, a celebration of working together with each other and the earth's bounty. Energized by the Earthball, I was ready to further experiment with bamboo. I received grant money to explore bamboo as a new craft material for the West, and soon after, in a moment of serendipitous timing, a Buddhist monk invited me to join him and a small group of Americans for three weeks' travel in Japan. Traveling through rural countryside and crowded cities, I saw bamboo--lots of it--made into everyday functional objects such as brush brooms, supports for ancient tree limbs, and even long, bamboo tweezers for a shopkeeper to grab chunks of tofu! I saw bamboo fences, too. I was enchanted by the simple beauty of their construction and amazed by the variety of styles and applications used to build them. With the generous assistance of my Japanese guide and hosts, I returned to the United States with two all-purpose bamboo knives, ready to create with bamboo. Months later, I held a reception to show the bamboo fences and screens I had made for an urban wildlife habitat. Guests came to celebrate bamboo, to drink kakicha tea from bamboo cups, eat nori roils from bamboo trays, and view an art form new to many of them. Since that time, I've continued to learn about bamboo. My vision is that as culms in the West continue to multiply, so will the number of Westerners growing and crafting with this most amazing plant. Are you ready to get started? You can choose from projects in The Craft and Art of Bamboo to make contemporary structures for your landscape, garden, and home. You'll find that what appears strikingly beautiful is not always difficult! Most of the bamboo fences, screens, trellises, accessories, and other projects in this book are straightforward in construction once you've assembled the necessary tools and materials, and learned a few basics. To further inspire and energize your creativity, each chapter contains images of the work of contemporary bamboo artists. They are the pioneers in this new field who felt an affinity with bamboo and applied themselves to learning about it by trial and error, observation, and research. Their work gives us a glimpse of the diversity that arises when a localized material becomes part of the global economy. Relax in your favorite spot and learn about bamboo. Then visualize your landscape, garden, and home with your handcrafted works of art, integrating naturally into your nooks and crannies. Guaranteed to bring new energy to your environment! Excerpted from The Craft & Art of Bamboo by Carol Stangler. Copyright (c) 2001 by Carol A. Stangler. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.