A little over a year ago I taught a flowermaking class at Lacis in Berkeley, CA. That first post is here. Shortly after that...and I do mean shortly...as in a couple of weeks, I was contacted by an American publisher who had seen the post and was looking for a Technical Editor to help with a flowermaking book that was written and published in Mandarin Chinese. Was I interested in the job? Um, like, yeah!
Interestingly enough, I had just bought that book from Lacis, thinking I could just look at the pictures, use the patterns and create beautiful flowers sort of by default. After all, I've been making and teaching flowermaking for years. Sheesh, was I in for a rude awakening!
Back cover of the book in the picture below.
My little claim to fame in the picture below.
The photography in the book is very nice. Close-ups of the flowers, many times showing them in various fabrics and patterns to show the range of looks for any particular flower.
Thirty-two flowers are included in the book. There were more in the original but some were rather redundant or just not deemed worthy for the English version. The editors did change the names of the flowers as some of the names in Mandarin were rather lofty in description with no identification--names that sounded more like haiku than flower names.
Each flower in the book is shown in three different sections--the beautifully photographed finished piece, then again in the instruction section, and again at the back of the book where the patterns for each flower are.
I can tell you, from a technical editor's perspective, it was HARD to take the 'translation' from Mandarin into English and try to make it understandable, readable, and true to exactly what the author was trying to convey. I was not allowed to change anything substantive about the book, but was allowed to make clarifications and suggestions as to how the creative process could be accomplished using fabrics, supplies and tools available in other parts of the world. Glues and fabric preparation were the biggest differences and offered many challenges. It sometimes took me as long a two hours (yes, two!) to read, understand, and then write my version of the 'translation' for a particular flower. Sounds easy--wasn't.
So as I said earlier in this post, I thought I'd just be able to look at the pictures and figure things out...I was so wrong! Prep, pattern, cutting, and even assembly were much different than what the pictures show.
Who wants to purchase a flowermaking book? I do have books on-hand and will be able to ship within the United States, the UK, Australia and Canada. (If you live in other parts of the world, please let me know and we will see about shipping options.) There may still be some shipping bugs to work out, so bear with me. This is the first thing I've sold online through PayPal. Click here to order the book from my website!