Review of The Artisan’s Book of Fetishcraft by John Huxley
While the audience for this book is admittedly small, for those with an interest the information inside is extremely useful. This large format paperback gives detailed instructions on how to make a variety of items of interest to the BDSM community.
BDSM practitioners take a lot of pride in their gear, and what could make you prouder than things you have made yourself and customized to your exact needs? Here you’ll learn how to make whips, floggers, restraints, harnesses, blindfolds, masks, and even clothing. Most of the projects are made from leather, but other materials are also included. Best of all, each one can be custom made to perfectly fit you.
Author John Huxley has a background in physics, mathematics and manufacturing, and he brings those skills to bear to detail how to construct over 60 projects. Its 224 pages provide detailed drawings and patterns along with step by step instructions.
Throughout, his explanations are clear and easy to follow. He gives you a little history about some items, and also explains some of the overall concepts behind the different types of items.
The instructions are also quite complete. For example, when he teaches you how to make a ball gag, you also learn how to dip the ball in latex and vulcanize it in your oven. You learn the right types of leather to use for each item you are making. One item that caught my eye was a leather garter belt with rings on it for attachment points. He explains that garter grips can be hard to find, but points out that you can easily substitute readily available sheet grippers. There is a lot of practical advice here that comes from years of experience.
There are some things I wish were included, like how to make vampire gloves, but most of the basics are covered. It is an excellent starting point.
There are other books on the topic. There is Daddy Wendell’s Making Leather Gear, but it is not nearly as detailed. Ron Edward’s How to Make Whips is very good, but focuses on just that single topic. If you start making things from Fetishcraft, find you enjoy it, and also really like whips, Ron’s book would be an excellent second purchase.
I have talked to a lot of artisans who make BDSM gear, and most of them had to figure things out as they went. These items tend to be expensive and hand crafted, but they are not that difficult to make yourself once you have the basic knowledge of how to do it. If you have even basic crafting skills, this book will help get you there. Going through the book, you can’t help but want to start making things yourself.
It is available in paperback and Kindle.