Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle.....

I think I've got my bookbinding mojo back. This is huge for me.

There's a long story that goes with this.

I started bookbinding as a hobby in about 2000. I had a little studio set up at the Apple Farm and I kept a small inventory of gift journals for friends and every Christmas I started doing the Holiday markets.

I took a few classes and after a while I started teaching myself conservation and repair techniques and got a studio to work out of in Fairhaven. I got a business license and started selling my books at the Bellingham Farmer's Market. The market wasn't nearly as big as it is now and I never really made more than pocket money for all the work I put into it. It was a labor of love, though, and the people that bought my books usually bought them for themselves after saving up for a while and that really touched me.

After leaving my longstanding job at the ReStore, I hooked up with some other artisans in town but we really couldn't work together. After hitching my wagon to what I thought was their rising star, I hit the ground pretty hard and couldn't touch my books for a while. In long retrospect, I did get some good things out of my collaboration with them. I learned some lovely technique that you only get at the university level and I learned how I never want to run a business.

Today when I touch my bookbinding equipment, it's with real purpose and only when I feel like doing it. I've had a couple of commisions this year and the one that I'm currently working on is for a dream client - the kind who has no expectations and just lets me do my thing.

Here I am at the Farmer's Market (maybe 2003ish)

I started off doing very rustic pieces like this (circa 2002)

Here's a custom leather binding a did for the wood-fired kiln log out at Carly's house.


I started playing with leather and copper

A repair job (2004)


Text blocks for the Dennis' Kingfisher Log for his boat. In my studio today.

2 out of 3, without stamping yet.

It's so good to be back.

1 comment:

  1. you never cease to amaze me. i so want to write a book just so you'll bind it for me. i do have some ideas and i'm not focused enough to accommplish them. great motivation. i love them all. i can't even choose a favorite.