Back to Bookbinding

At last I can report that I’ve been in my studio long enough to work on projects other than the daily drawings. It’s not much, but it’s a step in the direction of shifting the shape of my life.

I trained as a hand bookbinder for a number of years, but have not actively worked at it since my children were small, a couple decades ago (yikes!) One of the reasons I’ve been so happy about actually having dedicated studio space now, is that I hope to get back to doing at least a few book-related projects. It’s taken a while, but here’s some movement in the right direction.

I took in this book to mend an embarrassingly long time ago, and finally finished it. The Sacred Harp is a songbook of music in mostly 4-part harmonies, written in shape notes. It’s at the heart of an active community of people who use their books, often every week. People take notes in the margins, collect information from friends, note songs they love or have led on the end pages. The books basically get loved to death. It’s been a dream of mine to return some of them to active use, and I hoped this project would nudge me in that direction. Now I feel more wary, given how long this poor book sat on my workbench, but there’s still satisfaction in seeing it ready to go back to sings.

Maybe someday I’ll even fix my own copy, which is showing signs of giving up after many years of use. For now, I’m enjoying the sense and the space of clearing an old project off my workbench. It feels like settling an old debt.






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