Monday, July 27, 2009

Rag and Bone Bindery

Jason Thompson, owner of Rag and Bone Bindery, is someone I might not have discovered if not for Twitter. Jason (screen name bindery) often links to intriguing paper artists on his blog and sometimes posts enticing pictures of his own paper crafting projects.

Jason started his handcrafted book studio in 1991. Dedicated to the art of bookbinding, paper arts, book arts, and journaling, he and a small number of skilled artisans create archival photo albums, journals, guest books, and baby books. With "Made By Hands" as their slogan, the beautiful books are sold in American gift shops, stationery stores, galleries, and photo studios, as well as via the company's website.I love the story Jason relates of how he became interested in bookbinding and am impressed that he's been able to parlay his affinity for handcrafted books into a viable business.

"The first ever hand bound book I can remember holding in my hands was the book given to me by Ilira, my then girlfriend (and now wife!), for my 23rd birthday. It's a book she made completely by hand with materials and tools available at local art stores. She even marbleized her own paper - how cool is that?""I was impressed by the complexity and simplicity of the book and I decided to venture to learn this 'lost art' of bookbinding myself. The idea of making a book solely by hand immediately appealed to me. It's both an art and a craft and though the process is quite simple, it can take many years to acquire the skills necessary to execute a well bound book at every attempt."Be sure to read the interesting (and exhausting!) process Jason and his employees braved as Rag and Bone's present location, a 10,000 square foot 1900 mill building in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, was renovated.
Jason's next exciting venture will be the release of his newest book, Playing with Books - Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book. I'm delighted to show you sneak peeks of some of the projects Jason created for the book and am anxiously awaiting the tutorials!I admire his spare, elegant designs and use of subdued color. Published by Quarry, the book will be available in 2010.
photo credit: Courtesy Jason Thompson / Photography Karen Philipi

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