A compendium of craft masquerading as art, art masquerading as craft, and craft extending its middle finger.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men


One of the mystical cornerstones of Extreme Craft is the existence of the book "Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men". I had always heard about this book, but had never seen a copy in person until I had the good fortune to stumble across it at a library sale in Lincoln, Nebraska. For the uninitiated, in 1973, Rosey Grier was a 6'5" 300 lb. retired tackle for the New York Giants. He took up needlepoint as a lark--he was, after all, an enlightened fellow, but like most craft activities, needlepoint became an obsession for him. In the book, he shares some of his signature designs, phtos of his work, and profiles of other men in the needlepoint world at the time.

...American men are taking notice of it in greater and greater numbers. If you take a look into some needlepoint stores, you'll be in for quite a surprise. Examine the designs, and you'll find that they're bold and free, with designs that range from traditional floral and woods scenes to things that are abstract or even surreal. I've also seen American Indian designs reproduced on canvas. Men are attracted to the more modern geometrics and bold colors--and the more of us who do it, the greater the demand will be for designs with masculine appeal, and the more designs there'll be.
I grew up loving Rosey Grier. I first saw him in Marlo Thomas' 1974 film, "Free to Be...You and Me" singing the song "It's Alright to Cry". He had his own variety show in the late '60's, and appeared on a handful of shows in the 70's and 80's, including "Chico and the Man" and "Love Boat". Rosey is now a motivational speaker. If anybody has any connections to him, I would love to interview him for "Extreme Craft". For your viewing pleasure, I have lovingly scanned many of the photos and patterns from the book, as well as the captions, and much of the text from the "Men in Needlepoint" chapter.
LINK

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