I’m going to start this little review out by staitng a fact: I LOVE Alisa Golden. Seriously if I saw her in person I might have to profess my love. My first bookbinding book that I actually learned from was one of hers and I suggest it to anyone who might be interested in making books.
Her diagrams are easy to follow and read. Explanations are concise without being incomplete yet descriptive without going overboard. Photos are fantastic. Golden has mad skills when it comes to creating or dissecting book structures and putting those instructions on paper.
Unlike her other book, Unique Handmade Books, Expressive Handmade Books is about books that are a little more personal. She departs from her strict binding tutelage and give some journaling and artistic advice. Rather than giving a series of binding styles she also give some ideas on how to use them. These bindings are fully explored. There are multiple pictures to give the reader more of an idea of what is inside.
This book focuses on many folded structure, accordion, folded books, books with pockets as well as a few multiple signature books. The beauty of these books is that they can be made quickly, with easy to find materials or high end art materials and made large or small. I could see many of these structures being used in art classrooms with kids of any ages. The other aspect of these bindings is that they can be made very artistic. The art can take center stage and the binding can be secondary to the art. A major issue I have is matching art to binding, To diffuse the situation I tend to stick to a blah binding rather than make it part of the art. By using these simple binding styles one can alleviate that situation.
I found this book not only a great tutorial but inspirational. Typically I like to separate the two facets of art- I like my bookmaking books to be about book making and my inspiration to come from a separate book. I think Golden did a great job with this book combining the 2 sides of binding.
This books gets a generous 5/5 Binders needles and 2 paint covered thumbs up. You can check it out over at Amazon here.