My first interest in bookbinding was sparked by my day job in publishing. I became aware of the beauty and craftsmanship that goes into fine binding, and I knew that this was an avenue I wanted to explore for myself. Four years ago I started my journey, and the pandemic has allowed me to devote more of my personal time to study.
My philosophy with book arts is that all genres are equal and worthy of being someone’s treasure. The joy in opening a beautiful handmade book is only enhanced when it is perfectly suited to a beloved title.
I am mainly self-taught through books and YouTube videos, as well as a few online classes through the Austin Book Arts Center and the Jaffe Center for the Book Arts. In the summer of 2021 I started taking sessions from a retired bookbinder to learn how repair books and use a variety of bookbinding equipment such as the Scharffix, board shear, and kwikprint.
I consider myself skilled in the basics such as sewing single and multiple signatures, casebinding, and box making. Examples of each can be seen below. One of my favorite parts of bookbinding is creating the perfect case to house the title, and I’ve explored the more whimsical side of boxes with custom stationary containers, fountain pen ink containers, and dice boxes.
My desire to attend AAB lies in the focused classes in leather, tooling, and finishing. I’ve worked some with leather, but I want to learn more than the basics of paring and application. Techniques such as onlays and inlays, and the deeper characteristics of working with different types of leather and the reasons why a binder would choose one over another are subjects that I want to learn from attending classes. Learning from experts such as Peter Geraty and Don Glaister would be the opportunity of a lifetime. My goal is to eventually complete either the Fine Binding or Integrated Studies diploma program.
Book and Clamshell Set
This project was a commission to convert a soft cover print-on-demand book into a hardcover title. The book’s subject was on lucid dreaming, the practice of which involves a token. The accompanying token was two-sided, but there wasn’t a way to display each side upright. I solved this by creating an insert in the front of the traycase held on by magnets. When you wished to display the other side of the token, you could remove the inner square, flip the token, then replace the back.
Materials used were italian bookcloth and hand-marbled paper.
Bullet journals made using Kathy Abbott’s instructions for multi-signature binding. Interior text block designed by me, and sewn with linen thread.
Clamshell to house a mass market paperback. The goat leather was pared down and pasted over a false rounded spine. Japanese silk was used for the inner lining and boards.