Sunday, April 18, 2010

book review

Holidays are almost over and head back to term 2, tomorrow. I have had a fantastic break. I didn't go anywhere so actually got a bit done around the place and spent a bit of time in the studio.

Last term I bought some pretty cool books on book making, and have had a chance to have a good look at them:

by Kojiro Ikegami

and Esther K Smith

I love Smith's style - both her layout, the images she uses and the type of books she makes.  She takes the simple books from childhood and gives us permission to use them at the level of artists book.  She has an example of the turkish map fold i used for BAO, (she calls it a pop-up map fold). Some of the other book types she talks about are pocket movies, origami star, shaped pamphlet and, my favourite, cross stitch star book.  Her diagrams are a little hard to follow but you can get them with a little bit of imagination. This book is definitely worth a look.  It took me back to primary school in a grown up sort of way.

Ikegami's book on Japanese book binding is a very different animal. Slick and informative it requires focused ready.  But it is well worth it. If you read the debate on Amanda's site about stab binding you might find it worthwhile to take a look at this book.  It does not try to bring the Japanese binding styles into the 21st century but it doesn't have to. It simply gives clear instructions on things such as four hole binding (kangxi, hemp-leaf, tortoise shell, chinese style, Yamato) Accordon books ledgers, scolls and miltisection book.  

It has very detailed. If you like lots of coloured pictures of examples and varitations of the styles (something i usually do) this is not the book for you. but i appreciated the information that was shared.  It certainly increased the already huge respect I have for stab bound books. Again definitely worth a look.

I am in the process of altering some board books I bought at the op shop last term.  have spent a lot of time gessoing and covering them and am now doing a lot of writing and drawing to fill them. Great fun!
Covered this one with an old butterick dress pattern, one with a old typewriting excercises and another with a maps from a jaranda school atlas.

have also done a couple more stick trees ....

ciao for now!


  1. I've got and enjoy Esther Smith's 'how to make books' book - but hadn't dome across this title....

    (I'm saving up for 'japanese bookbinding' - I've borrowed it from my uni library more times than I care to admit... and now that I stop to think about it, I probably could have afforded it long ago if I hadn't blown all my funds on postage getting the library copy back to monash!)

    ps love the work btw...

    have fun back at the salt mine

  2. thanx ronnie. let me know when you want some casual work ok. Cheers jane.

  3. I like your book covers! I've got the Japanese Binding book myself but not the other one, which looks like lots of fun... Enjoy yourself! Sara x

  4. love Japanese book binding methods. have done a few in my time. l love making bksxlynda

  5. love your drawings and strong graphic style - your lines are so crips and the images so fun! I will look for those books, thanks for the write up.

  6. Dear Ida,

    I have a number of older books on bookbinding, including Ikegami's book on Japanese book binding, which I think is just great.

    Your illustrative drawings are very strong and in particular I like the first one you did.

    Thank you for sharing,

  7. thanks for your comments everyone