Ingeniously crafted artists' books are not merely a set format of pages held together by a binding; they are individual expressions, unique creative statements that may take many visual forms. The unique creations in The Art and Craft of Handmade Books
, by Shereen LaPlantz, generally begin with some traditional bookmaking approaches (sewn bindings, accordion-fold variations, Coptic stitch methods) but take these formal techniques to new heights with personalized themes and unusual touches, like exploding pages or the vignettes of a tunnel book.
Step-by-step instructions, discussions of design considerations, and suggestions for what the books might contain all provide wonderful guidance for anyone looking to expand their aesthetic horizons through the medium of handmade books. In addition, many gallery pages highlight other artists' extraordinary book creations. --Amy Handy
With the rush to journal writing most naturally comes a desire to encase that text in some sort of aesthetic container, which makes a perfect reason for professional artist LaPlantz to showcase her and other contributors' wares. The more than 25 patterns become her main form of instruction, with a focus on seven different types of books, from a simple concertina or accordion fold to the complicated recessed skewer binding. It's easy to learn, and relatively painless, since patterns concentrate on the actual form and variations, plus galleries allow the flexing of creative bookmaking talents. Everything is here, including sidebars on content-specific books (bestiaries and abecedaries, to name just two) as well as explanations of such techniques as embossing. Pages worth emulating. Barbara JacobsCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved