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Everything you want to know about paperdoll history & creation
on August 26, 2006
I waited eagerly for this book to be published, as I have been fascinated with the art paperdoll phenomenon on eBay and elsewhere (Claudine Hellmuth's "poppets," for example). This book has more than satisfied my hopes. The author, Terry Taylor, has organized the book in an unusual way, mixing three main elements throughout - the history of paper dolls, fabulous art dolls made by himself and other artists, and projects one can do oneself at any skill level. Instead of plowing through the obligatory history chapters before getting to the inspirational part, the book slides a brief but solid history of paper dolls in with the contemporary art and the project ideas.
It is lavishly illustrated, all on glossy paper, and it is astonishing that the publisher could produce the book at this low price. You'd expect a paperback, but this is a solid hardcover. Everybody I've shown it to became engrossed in paging through it, whether they were interested in paper dolls to begin with or not.
Taylor has a wonderful presence, too; his voice is so friendly and funny. "If you never made a paper doll chain, I suggest - no, I insist - that you stop right here. Gather several sheets of paper and grab some scissors (but don't run with them)" he advises the reader before giving instructions on making a chain of paper dolls. You feel like you have the most fun high-school art teacher who infectiously loves his subject, and he's going to make sure you feel good about your own artistic vision, and that you learn everything you need to know as you go along.
This is one of the best of the recent art how-to books that I've read, and I adore the author. I'll read his other books just to enjoy more of this talented and interesting guy.