Several months ago, I read on Amazon that Dorothy Simpson Krause had a new book coming out called “Book & Art: Handcrafting Artists’ Books.” I’ve admired Dorothy’s work for years (some of which you can see at her site). If you’re unfamiliar with her many achievements, in 1997 Dorothy organized “Digital Atelier: A printmaking studio for the 21st century” at the Smithsonian. She and her colleagues also received a Smithsonian/Computerworld Technology in the Arts award. While I had “The Quilter’s Computer Companion” coming out about that time, Dorothy was light years ahead of me (gosh I wish our paths had crossed). Being that I absolutely love and have been recommending her Digital Arts Studio, Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials” book for years, and am in awe of her work, I knew I had to pre-order the book.
It arrived. And it was worth the wait! This book is surpassed my expectations, and it is possibility the best book I’ve purchased all year.
The first line of the inside front flap states:
Book & Art explores a variety of artists books and book-like forms to introduce you to the processes and techniques that will allow you to make one-of-a-kid books as an expression of your art.
It only takes a quick glance through the book to discover the beautiful artwork and sophisticated layout. Slow down to read a few random sections, and you’ll discover clear, well-illustrated, and numerous step-by-step instructions. Start from the beginning, and it’s apparent that this book is absolutely crammed with inspiration and instruction. While the book focuses on “art books,” many of the techniques can be used in other art — my thoughts are spinning with ideas.
Some of the techniques covered in the first 40+ pages include overprinting acrylic paste paintings (as shown above), aging paper, printmaking options, gelatin monoprints (with recipe), inkjet transfers, working with text, transferring text, and more.
The book then dives into creating art books. Chapters include working with blank books (as shown above) and altered books, a variety of folded books and scrolls, various binding methods, side-sewn, single-signature, and multiple-signature books, covers, boxes and unbound collections. Helpful hints are included, materials listed.
The above image shows a technique for applying foil over wood.
In short, Book & Art is beautiful and inspiring and is filled with instruction and ideas. If you have any interest in combining art with books, or are simply looking for ideas that you can apply to your art, I highly recommend this book.
The 144 page, full-color, softback book is published by North Light Books. It retails for $24.99 and is also available from Amazon.