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Playing with Books: The Art of Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book [Kindle Edition]

Jason Thompson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.99
Kindle Price: £7.12 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

In these pages, Jason Thompson has curated an extensive and artistic range of both achievable upcycled crafts made from books and book pages and an amazing gallery that contains thought-provoking and beautiful works that transform books into art.


The content encompasses a wide range of techniques and step-by-step projects that deconstruct and rebuild books and their parts into unique, upcycled objects. The book combines in equal measure bookbinding, woodworking, paper crafting, origami, and textile and decorative arts techniques, along with a healthy dose of experimentation and fun.The beautiful high-end presentation and stunning photography make this book a delightful, must-have volume for any book-loving artist or art-loving book collector.

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Product Description


Transform old, damaged books into amazing cards, jewellery and gifts with this inspirational book. --Papercraft Issues Magazine, July 2011

About the Author

Jason Thompson is the founder and president of Rag & Bone Bindery, and author of Making Journals By Hand (Rockport Publishing 2001). He is highly regarded as a book designer with integrity who creates unique handbound books and other fine bindings, as well as a popular blogger who writes about bookbinding, book arts, artist books, and paper craft.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6032 KB
  • Print Length: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Quarry Books (1 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004R1Q10Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #347,647 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recycling in an unusual way 3 Aug. 2011
By Maria
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
I was initially disappointed when this arrived as I expected more projects & less gallery of other 's work. However, I decided that the projects were well described & achievable, & that the work of other artists in this field inspirational & both in one volume a good idea. Not all unwanted books are suitable for passing on to others as I have found ( this includes offering them to family, friends, neighbours, schools, charity shops ,libraries , jumble sales or re-selling them). Now there is a use for them before the re-cycling bin. The items are not all child orientated either & include both practical & decorative objects. This with only basic & readily available tools so no need to go searching around for & hard to get or expensive equipment. Certainly worth the money.!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT BOOK!!! 28 Nov. 2011
This is a brilliant book with 28 inspiring ideas for paper crafts. The basic idea is to create beautiful, unique and functional items, using old unwanted books. I always cherish my books and even when I no longer need them, especially now with all these e-books, I usually give them to charity. However, I still have boxes filled with books that are in no condition to be given to anyone, and this fantastic book gave me just the inspiration I needed, in order to recycle them, and create lovely things for the house and original hand-made gifts for friends and family.

The first chapter; "Getting Started: Fold, Mutilate, Staple & Spindle", has all the information the reader needs in order to prepare and create all the crafts, explains each technique, and presents all the tools that are required.

The second chapter; "Projects to play with: Novel Ideas for Artists and Bibliophiles", has all the projects, with detailed instructions and useful photographs, of both the finished products and the various stages of the projects. Sadly, the projects in this book are without the necessary templates. There are collage, folding, beading, jewellery making, rolling, cutting and shaping projects, that are fun and easy to make. It may seem that 28 projects are not that many, but there are many variations for each project. The projects include, cards, a book bag, a business card holder, necklaces and earrings, flowers, wrapping ideas, a book clock, coasters and ornaments to mention just a few.

The third chapter; "Gallery: Reimaging the Book", presents the work of many artists who work with books and create amazing art.

I love books and crafting, so I was delighted to get this book and I already made some of the projects. However, if you are reluctant to destroy books, in order to make these crafts, most ideas work just as well with unwanted catalogues, magazines, newspapers and any kind of paper you have available.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incredible book arts 9 May 2010
By K. Platt TOP 100 REVIEWER
This amazing book features the work of many artists who excel in their field. They deconstruct, re-organise, shape and form books into works of art. An art that has become known as upcycling. Discover the techniques from bookbinding to origami that make these incredible works possible. Anyone who loves books or book-making will find a place for this book on their bookshelf as well as in their heart. It is full of fascinating work, beautifully presented. Find out how to understand the makings of a book, salvage old prints and illustrations to use in your work. I love the pocketbook, the paper houses, the necklaces and blooms not to mention the folding, manipulating and inspiring details in this book. The gallery takes you several steps further, showing the ultimate in what is achievable with good artist profiles. This review first appeared on Karen Platt's book reviews website.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new life for old books 19 May 2010
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
As a book lover I must have donated thousands to charity shops over the years, many of these I know would end up being pulped. The return to the charity must have been minimal and probably didn't cover the handling, storage and transport costs. This brilliant book offers another alternative by showing how to convert unwanted books into objects of art. It is very well written and brimming with ideas. I look forward to further volumes from Mr Thomson along similar lines. Colin
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recycling books 2 April 2012
Format:Flexibound|Verified Purchase
Contains twenty-eight projects. My eight-year old daughter has tried one of the easier projects, though some of the others require a little more patience. The artists gallery at the back of the book has already given me a nudge to try out my own sculptures from books. As craft books go, I'm not disappointed with this one.

Unfortunately, there are no templates, which means you have to spend a little longer making some of the pieces.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and truely creative ideas 19 Nov. 2010
He encourages us to go beyond the conventional, and brings home the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover". For Jason, "Books are more than pages, board, glue, and thread--they are artifacts of the human spirit and hand". And with excellent photography and easy to follow step-by-step instructions, this is a must-have volume for crafters, artists, and bibliophiles alike.I found this book so inspiring, that I immediately went home made my own version of the Kusudama with an old Giacometti catalogue. As well as the how-to guide's, Jason starts by describing a books anatomy, and then goes on to explain the tools required to deconstruct it effectively. He also showcaes works from a number of "book artists" such as the previously featured UK sculptor, Su Blackwell. Its not surprising that Jason is seriously multi-talented, being the the founder and president of Rag & Bone Bindery, author of Making Journals By Hand, a book designer (who would have thought), as well as a fellow blogger.

Read my full review on my blog - The Curiosity Workshop
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