Handcrafted Journals and Paper Craft Book by Jason Thompson

Jason Thompson, owner of Rag & Bone Bindery and Etsy shop Rag & Bone Bindery, is someone I might not have discovered if not for Twitter where he links to intriguing paper artists and sometimes posts enticing pictures of his own paper projects. Jason started a handcrafted book studio in 1991 - more about that in a moment - but his next exciting venture will be the release of a how-to book, Playing with Books - Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book.

woven basket made of folded book pages holding yarn balls

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.

paper bead necklace made of rolled book pages and salmon color glass beads

Published by Quarry with photography by Karen Philippi, the book will be released in 2010. [Update, now available: Playing with Books - Upcycling, Deconstructing, and Reimagining the Book]

kusudama book page flower placed on saucer on table

And now, take a look at these examples of the attractive hand crafted books Rag and Bone Bindery creates.

ribbon bound book

Dedicated to the art of bookbinding, paper arts, book arts, and journaling, Jason 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 [edit: link no longer available] 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.

Visit Rag & Bone Bindery and Rag & Bone Bindery on Etsy.

All Things Paper is an Amazon and AWIN (Etsy) affiliate.
Ann Martin
Ann Martin

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