Sunday, March 15, 2009
Book Recommendation - Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter
Image from Lotta Jandotter's website
One of my favorite things about the library is the fact that I can request books I want to read, and then they order them! I have a huge addiction to non-fiction books of all kinds, but how-to crafts and art technique books are amongst my favorites. I would have to live three lifetimes to be able to actually use all the techniques I have collected from reading. This is part of the reason (that and the recent closing of our town's independent bookstore) have caused me to curb my habit, and look to the library. The first requested book I picked up from them was Lotta Prints by Lotta Jansdotter. I was thrilled to be the first person to read this book, aside from the librarians who had been drooling over it and told me so when I picked it up. Crisp, clean, almost like buying new at the bookstore. Not that I only like new, I have long loved the smell of old books. In fact, I laughed out loud in recognition when Carrie, on the Sex in the City Movie, talked about her love of smelly old books...
Cushion cover available at Jansdotter.com
This book is a design feast for the eyes. Jansdotter, originally from Sweden (like my grandmother), was always drawn to the creative arts but was not sure how to parlay that into a living. After taking a screen printing class at a community college, she quit school and moved to San Francisco. Ten years later she is a well known surface designer who writes books.
Address book available at Jansdotter.com
In this book, Lotta (whom I feel I can call by her first name) warmly shares her expertise in several areas of printmaking. The techniques covered include:
~ Iron-on Transfers
~ Rubber Stamping
~ Leaf Printing
~ Stencil Art
~ Potato Printing
~ Lino-Block Printing
~ Screen Printing
Linen remnant bag available at Jansdotter.com
The short how-tos are simply written and easy to follow. This may not be a book for those who have never tried any of these techniques, as they rely on the reader to just dive in and get started when some people need a little hand holding to take a technique and just start doing it. There are many pages of ideas and inspiration but there are not any specific step by step projects, just start to finish overviews of the general techniques and a photo gallery of ways to use them.
Image from Jansdotter.com
I have taken several classes in printing, from printing making with a press to mono printing, and I am excited to take what I learned in this book and to incorporate it in future mixed media pieces, as well as to try some basic surface printing on textiles. I wish I could take a class from Lotta, she does offer them. Howeverm this book is the next best thing to actually learning in her presence. Thanks, Lotta!