September 11, 2011

Playing with Books by Jason Thompson [ book review ]


Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book
shop at Amazon
shop at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

Playing with Books | Amazon | The Book Depository

omg I love this book. I have a little obsession with paper art and crafts at the moment and have been digesting lots of books on the subject. Playing with Books is not the best I've seen if you're looking for examples of the art, but it's a must have for people who like to get their hands dirty because it's truly a craft book. There are plenty of tutorials on remaking books into art and other forms, and making all sorts of cool stuff with book pages, and best thing is the projects are not out of reach at all for amateur paper crafters and paper lovers.

When I look at books like Papercraft: Design and Art with Paper and Masters: Book Arts, which are both smorgasbords of paper  and book art, all I can pretty much do is gawk. I think it's near impossible for me to reproduce most of the works featured there. But there are a lot of things in Playing with Books that aren't too difficult to make, and they are cute and practical too. How about folding a nice sheet of paper to make a special envelope? Or cutting up some paperback covers into postcards? Too easy? All right then, try making your own billfold, beads, bag, flowers, ornaments, mobile, gift box or wreath. The photo-accompanied instructions will help you do all that. Other than one advanced project (book vase) which requires the use of power tools, the other projects are quite easily achievable and what you'll need are easily found at home or in craft shops.

There is also a gallery of artworks from paper artists that unfortunately fall in the realm of the unachievable for me, except maybe one or two - with a lot of patience and a lot more practice for sure. For now, though, it's more amazing paper art to admire.

Here's a look at some pages from Playing with Books (and more from a Google preview at the bottom of the post).

business card holder, from Playing with Books
bead jewelry, from Playing with Books
book mobile, from Playing with Books

frame, from Playing with Books

papier mache bird, from Playing with Books
apple-shaped book, from Playing with Books

works by Cara Barer and Doug Beube, from Playing with Books
paper cut art by Su Blackwell, from Playing with Books

Jason Thompson is the author of another book I enjoyed, Making Journals by Hand (I have a copy of Making Memory Books and Journals by Hand, which is a compilation of projects from 3 books including Making Journals by Hand, which you can buy for as little as 50 cents pre-shipping at Amazon, which is a damn good value. I paid about 20 times that plus international shipping and I think that was worth it! ).

Thompson has a beautiful blog full of paper crafts, of the same name as his book. Check out his Playing with Books blog . He also has a shop The Rag and Bone Boutique with gorgeous stuff like these:

growth chart circus | $16
@ the rag and bone boutique
accordion book (circus) | $25
@ the rag and bone boutique

[ check out my other book reviews ]
[ check out my other posts on paper crafts ]
[ check out my posts on art ]
[ check out my posts on books ]

Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book
Author: Jason Thompson
Publisher: Quarry Books (April 1, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1592536009

shop at Amazon
shop at The Book Depository (free shipping worldwide)

A preview of the book from Google Books

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