Below is a list of books that Studio Creations recommends for making props and costumes.
"The Prop Builder's Molding And Casting Handbook" by Thurston James is a major reference book for prop builders. It costs about $19.00 U.S. and shows in Step-by-Step instruction about 8 different ways to make a mold. It also goes into great detail how to build a Vacuumform Machine. I cannot say enough about this book.
"The Costumer Technicians Handbook" by Ingham and Covey is one of the best beginner costuming handbooks out there. Multiple techniques and materials discussed. At $38.00+ it is a bit pricey, but the information inside the book is worth it. This book mainly focuses on the softgood (cloth) parts of costuming, but it delves into the hardgoods (props) a little too.
"The Prop Builder's Mask-Making Handbook" By Thurston James. - Gives a general overview for creating any type of mask you may want to make. Paper Machie, latex, fiberglass, etc. Thurston is a prop god and his books are a must have in anyone's creative library. This book is semi-out-of-print and tough to find, but it is still available on some store shelves. Keep the name of it in your wallet for when you go out. Price $18.00 - $90.00
"The Singer New Sewing Essentials" - Singer made great sewing book for beginning and intermediate sewers. It gives in depth color photos and explains common terminology and techniques like basting, blind hem stich, edgestitching, overcasting, etc.. A must have for those of us not fluent in reading those hard-to-understand sewing patterns.
"The Monster Makers Mask Makers Handbook" by Arnold Goldman - This paperback book is a godsend for budding latex maskmakers. It covers all the basics from sculpting to casting the sculpture in plaster, to pouring the latex. One of my top 10 books in the reference library.
"The Complete Metalsmith" by Tim McCreight - This spiral bound book looks to be flimsy but it is chock full of useful information on metals. It's an in depth guide to the world of working with the hard metallic substances. Highly, highly recommended.
"The Artists Complete Health and Safety Guide" by Monona Rossol - An in depth analysis of chemicals and other safety concerns in the shop. A must have for your own safety. Many a good craftsmen die early in life just from not knowing the basics about safety around the chemicals and solvents that go into costume and prop making.
"The Star Wars Visual Dictionary". Excellent reference book for Star wars costumes and props. It really goes into detail on the stormtrooper costume and it has almost one shot a every costume that was in the trilogy movies. A must have for SW prop/costume makers. It normally costs $17.00 retail.
"The Star Wars Episode 1 Visual Dictionary" Another must buy for Star Wars reference material. Geared specifically to the "Episode 1" movie of Star Wars. It runs for about $17.00.
The "Star Wars Chronicles" is the mother of all Star Wars reference books. Over 300 full color pages of studio shots of all the props from the Star wars movies. I cannot stress how well done and detailed this book is. If Lucas would only allow this kind of quality in all his licenced items, we'd be some big time happy fans. It's a bit pricey though at $110.00.
"Magic of the Myth" was made in celebration of the Smithsonian Star Wars exhibit that happened back in 1997. It has some great reference pictures of the MAIN costumes and props from the movies. The book runs for about $35.00.
"From Star Wars to Indiana Jones : The Best of the Lucasfilm Archives " Before the CHRONICLES book was available this had the most photos of the Star Wars props anwhere. One of the best things about this book is the fact that someone actually took measurements of the props and therefore gave the propmaker dimensions to go by when recreating the items. Measurements are always invaluable. The book runs for about $25.00.
"The Making of Star Wars (TM): The Definitive Story Behind the Original Film" A great behind the scenes look at how they made the classic film "STAR WARS". This book was compiled mainly from set interviews and studio PR interviews taken from the cast and crew while they made the film. This means you get to hear a lot of how the production staff truely felt about the movie, before it was released and become the film classic that it is. While not a prop or costumers book per-se, it is a very geniune look at the art of film making. The book runs for about $25.00-$40.00 depending on condition.
"The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" A hardcore look at what it took to make ESB. All info was taken from set interviews and production notes. One of the many highlights in the book is 20 pages of transcribed audio from a cassette tape that was tethered to Director Irvin Kershner on the day they shot the Carbon Freezing Chamber scene. More of a filmmakers book, than a costume/prop book, it is a Star Wars fan 'dreambook'. The book runs for about $25.00-$55.00, depending on condition.
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