What's New Review
Have you ever gone to the Sunday Sampler (or Friday Sampler) at Quilt Festival? It’s a collection of some 30 teachers who demonstrate a particular technique in short segments of time. Each time a segment concludes, attendees can move to a new demonstration. While I suspect it’s hard on the teachers, it’s a great way for students to be exposed to a variety of techiques. This book is similar in that in two- to four-page spreads, there are 45 different mixed media techniques explained. No one technique goes into deep detail, but that’s what I like about this book. There is plenty to experiment with, and the book includes troubleshooting and variations to try. Techniques include additive, resist, and subtractive or cominbation. For example, there is stamping, foils, masking tape, crackle paste, stucco and pumice gel, embossing, rubbing alcohol, painted leaf, and much more. I like that archival quality is discussed, and variations and trouble shooting is included.
I like this book. It’s a solid overview of many surface techniques.
applications for your own artwork.
Among my friends, I am the Photoshop go-to person. I’ve been using the program for a very long time and feel extremely fortunate that I can generally get design work done using the program without thinking about what tools I need to use to get that work done. Even so, learning the program was a long time in the making, and the learning never ends.
Many people email me asking for Photoshop book recommendations, and there are several I like. However, Deke’s one-on-one series is particularly good, especially for those needing a good foundation on which to quickly build on. It’s why I’m happy to share that his one-on-one series has a new title: Adobe Photoshop CS5 one-on-one published by Deke Press/O’Reilly. If you haven’t read an earlier Photoshop book in this series, this is an excellent one to start with. Not for the faint of heart, this is a heavy book, both in physical weight and depth of information. It is full color printed on 460 glossy pages. It is not inexpensive, retailing at $49.99 – and that’s without a DVD ($32 on Amazon, click the link above). But if you’ve been toying with the idea of taking a Photoshop class, or if you upgraded to CS5 are feeling a bit overwhelmed, this book is worth every penny and then some. If you take the time to sit down and go through it chapter by chapter, set up as lesson by lesson, you can learn a great deal from an incredibly knowledgeable teacher (plus you can develop your biceps with it). With the book, you also have online access to images and videos to accompany each chapter.
I love when people buy my book and tell me how much it has helped them. But if you have that book (hint, hint) and want to go beyond the basics of Photoshop, consider this book. And if you’re about to write me asking for a Photoshop book recommendation, here it is.
Meg Cox is a quilter and former Wall Street Journal reporter with over 17 years of experience. Her journalism expertise is evident in the vast tome of information crammed into this almost 600 page book. She covers such a mind-boggling range of information, leaving no quilting subject untouched. She cover all the tools, including lots of helpful instruction and advice, the shows, the guilds, the art and quilt museums; she profiles 20 top teachers; including 12 projects; and the list goes on and on. The main sections include: Who Quilts and Why; Sewing Now: Tools, Technology, Techniques; More Revolutionary Tools; Fabulous Fabric and Where to Find it; Great Teachers: So Many Ways to Learn; for the Beginner; Putting it Together; Shoot It, Show It, Ship It, and More. I am very extremely flattered to be included among so many talented individuals, each who have contributed to the growth and popularity of quiltmaking. The artists included in the book cover both the traditional quilt for the bed and the art quilt made specifically for display on a wall. I am honored to have two of my quilts included in the book, featured in a section called “Early Days: Internet Quilting Pioneers,” and mentioned on other pages. Amazingly, this one encyclopedia of quilt information sells for only $18.95, less on Amazon. It is an amazing bargain and a book that should be in every quiltmaker’s collection.
While attending the Birmingham, UK quilt show a couple years ago, one of the things that caught my attention was the sketchbooks by many of the exhibiting UK artists. The pages were covered with items stapled, glued, taped, and sewn on. There were written notes, drawings, paintings, fabric scraps, and fabric experimentations. The books bulged and overflowed with inspiration.
Kay Greenleess’s book reflects that type of sketchbook, how you can use one (or several), and why having these references of ideas and images provides you with a personal library of materials for future projects. She explores different methods of using sketchbooks — sketching at a museum or outdoors; different methods of incorporating samples and experiments of your work; she also explores the types of sketchbooks available and what may work best for your purposes. Her jump in and do it attitude is very inviting. I’ve always been a journal person, and this book was a must for my library. If you find yourself attracted to sketchbooks or are considering ways to start your own, check out this 128 page, full color book.
Dorothy Krause is one of the authors of Digital Arts Studio, Techniques for Combining Inkjet Printing with Traditional Art Materials” a book that I love and have been recommending for years.
Dorothy's latest book surpassed my expectations. 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, 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 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.
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.
144 pages, color, softbound, $29.95
By using fabrics, stabilizer, and threads, Linda guides you through the process of making fabric bowls. They are so much fun to make that you'll find yourself wanting to make another and another and another. Great fun and highly recommended!
Allow Sandi and Karen to help you stretch the ordinary quilt design into the extraordinary. By using a series of concepts, each building upon the next, you can transform traditional blocks into dynamic and artistic quilts. While the gallery of quilts offer plenty of inspiration, it's the clear explanations and illustrations, the no-rules approach, and continual "just try it" attitude that makes this book a winner.
I had the pleasure of meeting UK artist Ruth Issett while at a UK quilt show. She tirelessly demonstrated a variety of print techniques and shared piles of sketchbooks showing various printed examples of her work. Her latest 124 page book reflects many of her techniques and has that “I’m going to show you everything I know” style. The book contains four sections: getting started; printing on paper; printing on fabric; and design ideas and development. Each section contains a variety of techniques such as mono printing, roller printing, block printing, various print mediums for fabric, screen printing, and more. She covers methods for further experimentation, creating unique shapes, and so on. The color examples throughout the book are luscious. For anyone interested in adding a variety of customized pattern and color to their work, this book will not disappoint.
His concept is simple: take at least two feature fabrics, cut them into strips of specified widths, sew them together, cut them apart again and sew them into a quilt top. Yet the results are stunning. Beginners wanting to try something a bit more artistic will enjoy this book and more advanced quiltmakers will enjoy incorporating some of his concepts into their work.
This 128 page, full color book clearly explains how to make a variety of journals, including simple bound books, spine books, wood covered books, paperback journals, folded books, envelope books, and more. Materials and procedures are also included