Craft in Art Therapy : Diverse Approaches to the Transformative Power of Craft Materials and Methods book cover
1st Edition

Craft in Art Therapy
Diverse Approaches to the Transformative Power of Craft Materials and Methods

Edited By

Lauren Leone

ISBN 9780367343163
Published July 28, 2020 by Routledge
284 Pages 101 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Craft in Art Therapy is the first book dedicated to illustrating the incorporation of craft materials and methods into art therapy theory and practice.

Contributing authors provide examples of how they have used a range of crafts including pottery, glass work, textiles (sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, and quilting), paper (artist books, altered books, book binding, origami, and zines), leatherwork, and Indian crafts like mendhi and kolam/rangoli in their own art and self-care, and in individual, group, and community art therapy practice. The book explores the therapeutic benefits of a range of craft materials and media, as well as craft’s potential to build community, to support individuals in caring for themselves and each other, and to play a valuable role in art therapy practice.

Craft in Art Therapy demonstrates that when practiced in a culturally sensitive and socially conscious manner, craft practices are more than therapeutic—they also hold transformational potential.

Table of Contents


List of Figures and Tables

List of Contributors



Craft as a Tool for Transformation and Self-Care

1 Crafting the Artist Book as Embodied, Relational Practice

Lynn Kapitan

2 Healing With Fire: The Use of Hot Glass in Art Therapy

Jessica Woolhiser Stallings and Stephanie Clark

3 From Clay to Ceramic: An Alchemical Process of Self-Transformation

Joshua Kin-man Nan

4 Demystifying the Individualistic Approach to Self-care: Sewing as a Metaphorical Process for Documenting Relational and Communal Care in Disability Culture

Chun-shan (Sandie) Yi

5 Emptying the Jar: Crochet to Unpack Toxic Racial Stress

Marilyn Holmes


Craft as Culturally Resonant and Accessible

6 Embroidering Pieces of Place

Eliza S. Homer

7 Healing Roots of Indigenous Crafts: Adapting Traditions of India for Art Therapy Practice

Krupa Jhaveri

8 Integrating Traditional Crafts within Clinical Practice: A Cross-Cultural Group Case Study

Mahesh Iyer

9 Using Crafts in Art Therapy Through an Intersectional Feminist Empowerment Lens: The Case of Bedouin Embroidery in Israel

Michal Katoshevski and Ephrat Huss


Craft as Empowerment and Activism

10 Finding Our Way Together: Exploring the Therapeutic Benefits of Collaborative Craft Activism

Lauren Leone

11 Zines, the DIY Ethic, and Empowering Marginalized Identities

Joe Mageary

12 Alone in the Desert: Making Sense of the Senseless Through Story Cloths

Lisa Raye Garlock

13 Empowerment Through Mentorship: Peer-Led Craft Workshops in a Forensic Psychiatric Hospital

Jaimie Peterson and Alison Etter

14 Queer Ethos in Art Therapy

Mikey Anderson

15 Quilting Across Prison Walls: Craftwork, Social Practice, and Radical Empathy

Savneet Talwar and Rachel Wallis


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Lauren Leone, DAT, ATR-BC, LMHC, is an assistant professor of art therapy at Lesley University, maintains a private practice, and facilitates a community-based art therapy group. Her research interests include the therapeutic benefits of craft activism and how emancipatory pedagogy informs art therapy practice and education.


"Anyone interested in the use of craft practices in therapy will be thrilled to discover the dynamic collection of chapters found in this book! Lauren Leone has edited a must-read text that delves into the processes, practices, and politics of crafting. The contributors raise critical questions for art therapists interested in expanding their understanding of traditional and contemporary crafts as vehicles for personal, interpersonal, and social transformation."

Catherine Hyland Moon, MA, ATR-BC, professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and editor of Materials and Media in Art Therapy: Critical Understandings of Diverse Artistic Vocabularies

"Lauren Leone is a gifted writer/editor, art therapist, and fiber artist whose collection disrupts the notion that only the fine arts media are used by art therapists. This engaging, enjoyable book connects craft history with a wide variety of craft media to inform art therapy practice and research. The book’s contributors bring unique, personal examples from their own experiences and approaches to craft, layering historical and contemporary craft practices with personal, clinical, and activist applications. Craft in Art Therapy should be required reading for all art therapy curricula."

Holly Feen-Calligan, PhD, ATR-BC, associate professor of Art Therapy, Wayne State University