Monday, March 7, 2011

"Painted Papers" and "Making Handmade Books" by Alisa Golden

 * * * * *
When I was offered to review both of these applaudable books I was quite excited. Alisa Golden is a well known maker of beautiful books and tantalizing artwork. Lark Crafts, an imprint of Sterling Publishers, is the publisher of some of the best art and crafting books on the planet - so when you put the two together you know you will end up with a "wow" item. These two titles prove the point.

"Painted Papers":
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Books (October 6, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600595479
This is an utterly delightful book that packs an incredible amount of information into it's 176 pages. 
I had planned to list the contents myself but found the information thoroughly delineated on Ms. Golden's web site - and she, obviously, can say it better than I can! This has become one of my favorite painting techniques books and I find that I refer to it often.

Contents: (I mentioned that this book is brimming with great information right?!)

1. Papers, Colors, and Tools
Papers and Boards
Drying Wet Paper Inks, Paints, and Other Media ( Ms. Golden's website has great information about F&W inks)
Pigments and Dyes
Acrylic Inks
Choosing Colors
Acrylic Paints
Watercolor Crayons
Wheat Paste and Methylcellulose
Texture Paste
Brush care
Other Marking Tools
Painting Supplies
2. Acrylic Inks
Recipes for Acrylic Paint Glaze
Creating "old" pages
Washes and Watercolor Crayons
Markmaking Experiment
Dropper and Dry-Brush Outlines
Multicolored Droppers and Dry-Brush Effects
Brush-handle Painting
Wood Grain
Layered Freehand Forms
Word as Image
3. Gesso and Stencils
Gesso Resist
Gesso and Sgraffito
Basic Stenciling
Stencil-Making Supplies
Handmade Stencils
Multiple Stencils: Pochoir
4. Masking
Artist's Tape
Masking Film
Liquid Mask
Masked Borders
5. Paints and Paste
Paste Recipes
Paste Paper
Paste Paper Frottage
Surface Finishes for Painted Paper: Sanded, Waxed, Varnish, Gel Medium
6. Books and Projects (I think of this section as an entree to her next book reviewed below)
Diagram key
Bookmaking Tools
Origami Envelope
Circle Accordion Book
Album Accordion Book
Shikishi and Holder
Venetian Blind Book
Woven Accordion Book
Paper Slipcase
Two-As-One Book
Decorative Box

* * * * *
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600595875
As a nearly lifelong journal-er I have always appreciated papers and handmade books for both written and art journaling, but I can't say that I was ever tempted to make a book myself - before I saw this book that is! There are a lot books that claim to be 'complete' or 'compendiums' of techniques. To my way of thinking there are few books that actually live up to those merits. "Making Handmade Books" is one of those few titles that does not claim to be complete, replete or a compendium but succeeds in being all of that and more. No kidding! If you have ever been tempted ( or are even like me and didn't think that you were interested) to learn what making  a handmade book would entail - this is the book to read. Ms. Golden once again manages to fill the pages of this book with so much, very complete, information that if you could only have one book about making books - this would be the one to choose. Once again the contents as written by Ms. Golden on her website tell the story of how much is included in this book far better than I could write.

Chapter 1: Materials and Methods
Tool Box
Tearing & Cutting Paper
Folding & Scoring Paper
Paper Selection
Handling Content
Basic Terms
Traditional Order
About the Diagrams
Chapter 2: Folded Books
X Book
X Book with Pockets
Shorts Book / Ox-Plow Pamphlet
Pants Book Simple Accordion
Pants Book Simple Accordion with Tunnel
Snake Book
Storybook Theatre
Twist Card
Brush Book
Venetian Blind Book
T-Cut Book
House Card
Little Room Book
Guest Book
Crown Binding
Slot & Tab Book
Pocket Triangle & Diamond Book
Piano Hinge with Skewers
Chapter 3: Simply Glued
Perfect Binding
Album Accordion & Flutterbook
Alphabet Star Book
Concertina with Tabs
Miniature Tied Binding
Sewn & Tied Binding
Flower Fold
Accordion Book with Flower Fold Pages
Winged Book
Flag Book
Pocket Frame Book
Flag Book with Envelope Pages
Flag Book with Folded Pages
Flag Book with Fortunes
Tunnel Book
Endless Accordion
Tunnel Book with Continuous Sides
Miniature Tied Stick Binding
Chapter 4: Simply Sewn
Palm Leaf Book
Fan Book
Stick Binding
Sidebound Book
Hard Cover for Side Binding
Single Signature Binding
Paper Bag Book
Tea Bag Book
Chapter 5: Scrolls & Accordions
Hand Scroll
Hanging Scroll
Double Scroll
Accordion-Fold Book
Miniature Tabbed Accordion
Layered Accordion Book
Accordion with Pockets
Accordion with Signatures
Back-to-Back Accordion Book
Back-to-Back Accordion Book with Tunnel
Circle Accordion
Chapter 6: Movable Books
Simple Pop-Up Card
Square Flexagon
Woven Accordion
Magic Wallet
Three-Panel Jacob's Ladder Book
Jacob's Ladder
Chapter 7: The Codex
Western Multiple Signature
Crossed-Structure Binding
French Link Stitch
Multiple Signatures onto a Ribbon
Multiple Signatures with Rounded Spine
Secret Belgian Binding
Chapter 8: Codex Variations
Woven Codex
Exposed Stitch Book
Exposed Stitch Book with Beads
Bundled Stitch Book
Coptic Stitch / Curved Needle
Coptic with Accordion
Coptic with Paired Needles
Coptic with Fold-Out Pages
Altered Books & Hidden Objects
Chapter 9: Envelopes & Portfolios
Origami Pocket Envelope
Folded Envelope
Box of Circles
Window Envelope
Matchbook-Style Box
Paper Slipcase
Origami Wallet
Pocket Folder
Paper Portfolio
Stock Book
Stamp Wallet
Chapter 10: Cover Techniques
Soft Wrap Cover
Open Spine Soft Cover
Open Spine with Ribbon
Wrapped Hard Cover
Covering Separate Boards
Split Board
Hard Cover: Single Signature
Case Binding: Flat Spine
Hard Cover with Ribbon
Attaching the Book Block
Covering a Mistake
Distressed Book Covers
Recesses & Insetting a Title
Chapter 11: Boxes & Slipcases
Folded Slipcase
Covered Slipcase
Hardcover Portfolio with Ribbon Tie
Two-Piece Box or Candy Box
Partitions & Raised Trays
Theater Box
Clamshell Box
Chapter 12: Ideas & Concepts
Physical Layers
Conceptual Layers
Collaborations, Complilations & Exchanges
Wrapping It Up
Artists' Bios
About the Author
It has crossed my mind that I do a lot of reviews here that I give only high marks to and I thought perhaps you might wonder why this is so. I am not paid for my reviews - and so I am free to rank a book in whatever way I feel is the truth as I read it. I feel blessed to be able to receive these books to review and I try my best to do each book justice.

First of all, I am fortunate to work with several publishers that seem to understand what interests me.  Since I love to learn and love to try new things this does allow a lot leeway about what might interest me! However, I seldom accept a book if I don't initially have high expectations. My time is precious to me (and each passing year makes it more and more precious!) and so I try to only accept books for review that I have a pretty good idea I will really enjoy to begin with. This applies to fiction, non-fiction as well as to arts/crafts. I like to accept books to review that I know I will most likely want to add to my permanent library. I am very fortunate to have 'met' the authors and publishers that I work with - they have all enriched my life with the books they allow me to read and review. That's why you will mostly only see 4 and 5 stars here.... I guess you say I am picky - and what a wonderful thing to be able to be! Many years ago I managed books stores and this blog has allowed me to have more fun with books than I have had since moving on to a different career years - and a lifetime- ago!

Post Script: As  for my admiration of all things Lark - that's my honest opinion too. I was a Lark fan long before I was offered the opportunity to review some books for them! They just do it right!

       (I added a link for another great little Lark book from their Studio Series that I reviewed in an earlier post)


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