Dorothy Simpson Krause’s latest book is a gem. Not specifically about digital processes, but a gem never the less. It is a book about how to make your own artist books. It covers a whole range of techniques and applications and is illustrated bya great selection of artist books.
Book + Art
Handcrafting Artist’s Books
By Dorothy Simpson Krause
North Light Books
The 144 page book is profusely illustrated by some great artist books that Dot has created. It is divided into major sections:
- A Format for Artistic Expression
- Tools and Materials
- Surfaces, Images and Words
- Blank Books and Altered Books
- Single-Fold, Bi-Fold and Books Folded From One Sheet
- Accordion Books and Scrolls
- Perfect Bindings, Drumleaf Bindings and Board Books
- Side-Sewn, Single Signature and Multiple-Signature Books
- Covers, Boxes and Unbound Collections
Most of these are further divided into specific sub-topic discussions and practical how-to chapters, such as making a tape-bound board book.
The book immediately establishes your confidence in the authority of the author. The books she illustrates with and shows you the step by step construction of are well chosen to illustrate the particular point, of great quality and the explanations are concise and yet complete. The advice given has obviously been hard earned over many years of work.
Of course one of the benefits of an artist book is that it allows you to experiment with the sequencing of images, creating narrative in a different yet somewhat similar way to that of an exhibition. But the book adds a very key extra dimension that few exhibitions provide, tactile involvement. The illustrations in the book certainly make this clear as Dorothy walks us through a huge number of artist books filled with luscious textures and tactile experiences.
Reading the book leaves me confident that I could produce artist books using any of the techniques discussed. It feels like you have done an intensive workshop but with far better notes to take away with you.
The book was also quite surprising for me. I’ve known Dorothy’s work in regard to her digital work. I had no idea that she had and still does so much non-digital art work as well.
Book + Art belongs on the bookshelf of everyone who calls themselves an artist. More than that, it should be read and acted upon by anyone serious about pushing their work to new levels, whether digital artist, traditional media artist or photographer.
Very highly recommended.