I am Anne Murray and I have been learning the craft of bookbinding since 2006. I have taken classes from several well-known paper and book artists and craftsmen and have also worked on my own to develop my skills. I like to think of my skill development in terms of the language of medieval crafts guilds: I have definitely moved beyond apprentice, but am still in the ‘journeyman’ stage. I expect one day soon to earn the title of master craftsman.
When I started with bookbinding I began with artist books, wherein the structure may or may not look like a traditional book, but complements the artistic message. I quickly realized that my interest lay more with crafting the structure. I then learned to marble paper so that I could create my own decorative sheets and I learned to make the paper itself. I have also learned to make book cloth, which allows me to rummage through thrift stores for interesting fabrics that I would like to see on books. I have even taken woodworking classes to improve my skills with the tools required for making wooden covers.
For me, the key is that I create functional structures that will complement the use to which they are put and will also last. In a time when e-readers are common and some folks wonder if books still have a place, I shout an enthusiastic vote for the pleasure of holding a hand-bound book and turning pages while feeling the texture of the paper. (see further comments on this topic in my newsletter dated March 29, 2014.
Whether you use a blank book as a journal or for writing your to-do list, for collecting comments from guests at your special occasion or for collecting recipes, you deserve to have a hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind book. As I point out in other parts of this website there are many uses to which a hand-crafted book can be put. Let me help you find yours!