The studio is getting cleaner, but I’m still far from done. I’m afraid I’m having to undo years of bad stashing habits. Creating new strategies and new systems is taking longer than I’d like. I am, however, determined not to stash anything this time around.
In the meantime, here are the second five books that have earned shelf space on my new, cleaned out, bookshelf.
As a reminder, my criteria for a book staying include one or more of the following:
- Unique binding ideas
- The best photos and instructions for a particular binding
- A gallery of book examples with outstanding artists books.
In case you’re wondering about the first five, here are the “How To” Books That Deserve Shelf Space #1 from last week’s blog post.
This week’s five:
Making Books by Hand by Mary McCarthy and Philip Manna
This book has outstanding diagrams and clearly labels everything. Excellent for a beginner and a good reminder for experienced artist. There are also several box structures that I find useful such as this portfolio, below. Apologies for the bad photo, the glossy black page and my studio lighting were not making friends, you get the idea.
Books Unbound by Michael Jacobs
This book is probably in my top 5. It does not have the clearest instructions and he does not use the best materials, but Michael Jacobs approaches bookmaking from a sculptural standpoint and the books and boxes he creates are truly unique.
The Matchbox Marvel, above, is typical of his enthusiasm to combine book structures and boxes into interesting shapes and variations. His Specimen Book, below, is one of my favorites. I’ve made this as a gift a few times. It is always a hit. A wonderful way to highlight a treasured (small) item.
Also in my top 5, Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms by Alisa Golden
This book is the most comprehensive on my shelf. If you’re only going to own one “How To” book on making handmade books – this is it. From basic accordion books to basic pop-up and move-able books, you can find something here to fit your ideas. If if you use scrap materials and patience, you can teach yourself any of these bindings or boxes.
235 pages of instructions, diagrams and ideas!
You’ll notice the next two books are also by Alisa Golden. There is a lot of overlap with the Making Handmade Books, above. Virtually all of the instructions and diagrams from the next two books are in the 100+ book. So… I wouldn’t recommend buying them, too. Unless you find them for a great price. What makes them worth having are the gallery/example photos that are not in the Making Handmade Books. I’m still debating whether they have enough value to stay on the shelves. But for right now they’ve earned a spot. When that shelf begins to overflow again, these are the first two I’d reconsider.
Unique Handmade Books by Alisa Golden
Creating Handmade Books by Alisa Golden
One more set of five to finish out that shelf and then we’ll move on to some other topics. In fact, I’m looking forward to my husband, Greg, writing some guest posts. One on lighting, which we’ve just redone in my studio and one on what it’s like to be in his role as a support system and collaborator for an artist.
You may have noticed that I haven’t talked about the Pop-Up “How To” books in that shelf cubby. I’m saving that discussion for November when the Pop-Up Now Exhibition opens at 23 Sandy Gallery.
Do you have a “How To” Book in your studio that I should have in mine? Give me some of your recommendations in the comments!