Friday, April 22, 2005

Book Review - The Paper Crafter's Bible

The Paper Crafters BibleThe Paper Crafters Bible
by Elizabeth Moad
Publisher: David & Charles Publishers; (July 1, 2004)
ISBN: 0715316656
Paperback: 137 pages

Author Elizabeth Moad leaves no stone (or paper) unturned as she outlines the diverse areas where a novice crafter can explore her love for paper. Originally issued by UK publisher David & Charles, distributed in North America by F&W Publications, "The Paper Crafters Bible" is a beautifully photographed compendium of everything from paper weaving to quilling to three-dimensional techniques.

Elizabeth has a simple approach to teaching the art of paper crafts. If she can’t illustrate it in three to six pictures, it’s probably too complicated for this book. Basic Tool Kits appear at the beginning of each section. I can see at a glance, without reading a word, which items I need for decoupage (sandpaper, varnish, cloth, paintbrushes and glue). To speed the learning process, each tutorial is followed by one or more related projects. Want to come up to speed quickly on paper weaving? The basic technique of weaving includes a simple project on weaving glitzy gift tags.

Unless you’re trying the impossible task of mastering every paper crafting technique in a week or two, this book is best used as a reference tool. You can jump around and try out whatever interests you at the moment without feeling like you’re missing something. After you’ve had a chance to practice a project or two, skip to page 60 where you’ll see examples of how to "mix and match" techniques.

"The Paper Crafters Bible" includes a few lesser-known paper crafts, like fringing and the Japanese art of Mizuhiki, tying ceremonial paper cord. But if you’re an altered book or altered art fan, you could feel slighted. There’s nothing in that vein between these pages. Still, it’s always a good idea to try techniques outside your comfort zone so you can adapt them for your favorite paper craft.

A product of Britain, the book lacks many U.S. sources for materials, which the author could have been included in her Suppliers index. Craft Guilds are also limited to three, which means the author ignored at least a dozen paper crafting organizations. But that’s such a nit, it shouldn’t affect your decision to add this book to your arts and crafts library. The real reason to buy this book is to gain exposure to new techniques quickly so you can expand your paper crafting repertoire.

"The Paper Crafters Bible" is a well-designed and clearly illustrated guide for beginning and intermediate paper crafters. I hope to see more by this author.

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  • Article Description: Looking for an easy to read beginner's book on paper crafting? This has almost everything you need.

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