Friday, July 9, 2010

Book Review: "Book Art - Handcrafting Artists' Books" by Dorothy Simpson Krause

Here is a review of another book I read this summer:

3.5 out of 5 Stars

This book is focused on the art of book making. Dorothy Simpson Krause seems to be a very experienced book artist. The book is filled with well over a dozen examples of handmade books she has created. With each of these examples she talks about her concept and how and why she did certian things, which is always interesting and helpful for me to hear how other artist work.

Krause covers a lot of ground: altering found/blank books, transferring images and text, book layouts, stitching, and making covers. This is great for an overall introduction to these techniques, but I found that some of the examples and how-to steps weren't as thorough as I would have liked, especially on the stitching section. I wish she had more pictures showing what she is talking about with each step. The pictures are kind of vague. I think if you were a beginner without much experience with bookbinding it might be hard to follow. But if you are familiar with bookbinding and have made a handful of books before, you shouldn't have a problem understanding what is going on and would probably enjoy the book a lot.

Besides the lack of more detailed pictures I found the book comfortable and easy to read. Her writing was conversational and easy to follow.

Overall I enjoyed the book. It had some really helpful tips and creative ideas. It gives a broad introduction to book arts and gives insight to the possibilities available, with great examples. I also found the author to be very sincere and open about her art which is also insightful. My favorite part in the book was an example she gave for gelatin monoprints. She showed how to use gelatin, leaves, and paint to make gorgeous transfers onto book pages. I am really excited to try this technique and can see myself using it often in my own book making projects.

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