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Book review: Mixed Media Master Class

Sherrill Kahn wants to free you from worrying about your final product when you are in the midst of creating your mixed media materials!
"Have fun and don’t worry about making masterpieces. Think about creating fabric and paper that will be cut up or torn to be used in larger works—don’t worry if every part of a piece of paper or fabric isn’t perfect. You can select and use the portions that work for you. The examples in this book, especially in Putting It All Together (pages 131), will give you some great ideas on combining and collaging." (page 7)

If you don't already have any good surface design books, get this one from C&T Publishing.  This isn't a project's about techniques, explained in the simplest possible way.  This is a strength or a weakness of the book, according to different reviewers.  You might expect that a book titled Mixed Media Master Class would have a lot of new and/or advanced techniques, but I think what was meant by this title is that Sherrill has collected over 50 techniques to share them all step-by-step in a consistent and thorough way.

I really like the organization: Sherrill covers creating surfaces, media, resists,  textures, rubbings, and printmaking.  I was a bit sorry that there weren't more new-to-me techniques and materials, but I really do think it's a good beginner's book.  There's a very cool section at the end where Sherrill takes you through creating one of her multi-layered lovelies, step by step.  Then she shows several more finished pieces with the different components identified as to the technique (and page number) used. 

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Hooray, a book I have already read, for a change! Its the third one of her books I have and I agree, its perfect for someone starting out, far more imaginative than many on the market, and takes your mixed media skills to another level. And its useful having everything in the one book, instead of spread over several. I like her distinctive style, and use of colour, and her sometimes unconventional use of materials appeals to the recycler in me. Its so easy to expand on the techniques once she shows you how its done. The only downside I found was that if you have her earlier books, I would suggest getting it out of the library first, as she has duplicated some of her earlier work and techniques.
Apart from that, it stands out from other books of this type in that it encourages you to do the work for yourself, and use your own ideas so that you understand what you are doing and why, instead of merely copying something someone else has created.
My only real complaint is that its paperback, instead of spiral bound, not good for any book that will get a good workout.
Cyndi L said…
Yay! Finally I'm not going to cost you $$$...not my fault! Spiral-bound would have been brilliant, I agree. The duplication was mentioned by several online reviewers, and that's what held me back from giving it a completely gushing endorsement, but I do definitely think it's the best of all her books. Absolutely!