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Creating Handmade Books
by Alisa Golden
ISBN 0806988258 / 9780806988252 / 0-8069-8825-8
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Handmade books can speak volumes (pardon the pun) about the person who created them. Some see the process as a craft; Alisa Golden treats it as an art form. Unwilling to make a choice between writing and art, Golden discovered that by making her own books she could do both, each enhancing the other. Her meticulously constructed creations are intricately folded; cleverly cut; carefully bound; adorned with letterpress, linoleum cuts, silkscreen, acrylic paints, rubber stamps, collage, decorative papers, and other ephemera; and filled with poetry, stories, images, or sometimes just snatches of words and abstract streaks of color. After nearly two decades of making books, she's still excited by each new production. That excitement comes through as she leads us on a journey of discovery from inception to finished book. Extensive directions and detailed diagrams teach us how to construct cut and folded books, sewn and/or glued structures, soft- and hardcover bindings, and variations such as portfolios, presentation boxes, and Jacob's ladder books.
Golden's own very interesting works are amply illustrated, but they are there for inspiration, not to be slavishly imitated. Beginners therefore may be somewhat intimidated; despite the thorough instructions, readers are called upon to use their imaginations when envisioning their own books. But Golden provides plenty of suggestions on finding content to fill these creations, advising us to experiment with words as we do with art materials. With her loving encouragement, even newcomers to the field will be rewarded--probably even more so than if they had simply copied someone else's designs. --Amy Handy [via]