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Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms Paperback – January 4, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 118 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alisa Golden's work is collected by such institutions as the New York Public Library; the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the V&A. She currently teaches at California College of the Arts, San Francisco and the San Francisco Center for the Book.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lark Crafts (January 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600595871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600595875
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 8.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I received this book as a belated (since it came out shortly after Christmas) holiday gift and I'm slowly and blissfully making my way through it. I've been making books more or less on my own for a number of years and have read lots and lots of books on making handmade books, so I was a little worried that this one would be somewhat redundant.

Happily, I was so wrong. I'm paging through it slowly, but I've done enough peeking ahead to see that there are dozens of gorgeous book forms here that I've never explored. In fact, just reading the first chapter taught me a number of useful new things about tools and techniques. Throughout the book, instructions are clear and include lots of practical tips for executing them, and the illustrations of finished books by Golden herself and by other artists are inspiring without being too intimidating. Golden's book is getting a permanent place on my art book shelf, and I can't wait to wade all the way in and start trying some new bindings.
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This is the most comprehensive and clear guide to making book structures that I have ever seen! There are no wasted pages - every inch is used to make the process clear, starting right from the first chapter on Materials and Methods. There are many interesting tips and tricks that will interest even veteran bookmakers. The variety of structures with technical and content information is phenomenal. The numerous illustrations cover a wide range of bookmaking approaches and subject matter. I especially appreciated the commentary written by a number of book artists that is interspersed throughout the book, giving background and insight into the creative process. These roughly paragraph-long sections are noted by a fleur de lis symbol.

My only complaint is that I wish the book had come out earlier! I would have used it as the textbook this semester in the University Book Arts class that I teach! I will definitely be sharing it with my students.
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By Fred M on February 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let me say at the outset that I am a fan of Alisa Golden and I eagerly await all her books. As said fan, I own all her titles and I was very interested in this book. I was very disappointed to find out that it is a compilation of her two previous books, Creating Handmade Books and Unique Handmade Books. Nothing new here. It is, however, a good value. It is a good book but don't bother if you already have the others because this is nothing but a retread.
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I had hoped to learn how to make handmade books when I purchased this, but the author seems to have focused on adding a large number of TYPES of books to the repertoire while not really spending enough effort to describe any of them in detail. It's great (I guess) that there are 100 types of bindings, but the descriptions and diagrams for even the most simple ones are quite difficult to follow. She wastes a lot of type talking about her friends and who invented what, but when I try to follow the instructions I find them sketchy and poorly diagrammed. A ten-step process may have only one or two diagrams. Ten would be better.

Often the author assumes knowledge that I don't have. For instance, she has a whole page devoted to making endbands, but she never explains what an endband IS. She also does not show a diagram of one in use. I suppose I could go to the web and get a lesson on that, but then why do I need the book?

This might be a great text for a class taught by the author. As a stand-alone teaching aid it lacks substance.

I found the book "Cover to Cover" by Shareen LaPlatz to be more useful. It is a smaller book with many fewer binding types, but each one is explained in clear detail with adequate drawings for each project.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms is reprint of past books by Alisa Golden. Whether the book is useful depends on what you seek.

Helpful for those who already know bookbinding, Alisa Golden's Making Handmade Books 100+ Bindings offers various binding styles.

The best introduction to bookbinding for beginners exists in Cover To Cover: Creative Techniques For Making Beautiful Books, Journals & Albums by Shereen LaPlantz with detailed stitch by stitch, step by step illustrated instructions. Her writing is clear, easy to follow, gently encouraging and kindly. The Art & Craft of Handmade Books: New Ideas and Innovative Techniques presents genuinely inventive and creative book styles for advanced bookbinders.

For a personal approach Live & Learn: Real Life Journals: Designing & Using Handmade Books (AARP) by Gwen Diehn provides guidance in identifying a book style to match your specific needs (gardening, shared collaboration, music, food, photos, fishing), how to assess journal suitability to improve subsequent book binding planning. There is more guidance for thinking about the bookbinding process than contained in Making Handmade Books.

For integrating bookbinding with content (pop-ups, writing, illustration), Paul Johnson's
...Read more ›
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