A Book Swap and a Literature List for November and December

I am currently organizing a book swap over on Jackie’s Book Arts Forum. You need to be a member to participate, but you are welcome to sign up and immediately join the swapping fun. – Just two more days until sign-ups are closed, so hurry and take a look here.

Unfortunately I didn’t have much time for art or bookbinding this month, and so this post is a literature list just like the last one. I hope you enjoy them!

  • The Mixed-Media Artist: Art Tips, Tricks, Secrets and Dreams From Over 40 Amazing Artists by Seth Apter. Can’t say much about it yet. I skipped through it but no more. I bought it because I follow a blog of one of the artist featured (Elizabeth Bunsen). But other than expected this is not a collection of interviews. It is more like one sentence answers to questions like “what is your working motto”, presented one question after the other (with all answers given) rather that one artist is featured after the other. The images look great, though, and I will surely have another look.
  • Print Collective by Jenny Doh, this book does what the screenprinting book on last month’s didn’t do and I am (at this moment) very happy with my purchase. I must admit that I have not seen it all yet, though.
  • 100 embroidery stitches, published by J & P Coats, this is a real treat. According to the cover, it once cost one shilling. It is a 50 pages pamphlet, featuring 100 embroidery stitches with clear images. Great!
  • Learning Lino Cut. A comprehensive Guide to the Art of Relief Printing through Linocut by Susan Yeates. As the title suggests, this is an introductory book. It was fun to read, and I read from first to last page in one go. I am a bit disappointed, that I found so few new information, and personally didn’t find it very inspiring. The instructions are all step by step, which is good for those just starting out. I found it a little too repetitive while reading, but then, this is not necessarily a book meant to read cover to cover.  What I like about it is that it has a different set-up than other introductory books to linocut that I know: It has five chapter, the first one is called Getting Started and the fourth “The finished lino cut”, together they make up almost half of the book. In the first you will find not only explanations about how to set up your working area, but also quick drawing exercises, as well as advice such as to go visit your local museum for inspiration. The other chapter talks about framing, and storing prints, how to sign, what an edition is, and the like. As I said, I like this approach. I missed some novel ideas here, though, and sometimes would have wished for a more in depth discussion. There are several section dedicated to telling you how and where to get started and how to be inspired – but it is not very inspiring on its own. It mentions that good matting and framing is important, but instead of at least giving some rough outlines and principles, it tells you to have it framed by a professional. I don’t mind this advice. I guess it is good advice. But while we are at the topic, Yeates could talk about this a little more. The same is true for the chapter that treats more advanced techniques. They are more mentioned than explained, and I miss some inspiring examples of artwork where the technique was used. The core chapters are thorough and well written, and explain block prints in general and lino printing in particular. I like that she decided to step away from the project driven instructions that can be found a lot on the market. Apparently she or the publisher felt some projects should be included, and so some are put in the last chapter.
    All in all I find this book is a very interesting addition to my library, and I don’t regret buying it. My favorite book about lino printing is and remains Drucken ohne Presse: Eine Einführung in kreative Drucktechniken by Anne Desmet and Jim Anderson (available in English translation with the title Handmade Prints: An Introduction to Creative Printmaking without a Press). It was my first book about printing and I wrote a review years ago. But the internet doesn’t forget, and you can still read it here.