This feature highlights all the crafties in Maine who don’t necessarily have a physical shop or an online presence other than Etsy (etsy.com), which is like an online open craft fair that allows users to sell vintage items, handmade items that are modified, as well as unique (sometimes downright wacky) handcrafted art.
Meet Anna Low, owner of Purplebean Bindery in Portland. While in college, Anna took a binding class and became fascinated with book forms. Many years later, she had shelves filled with hand-bound books. She is always experimenting with new bindings and matching form and function.
Irish Spring recycled notepads "Most of the books I bind are blank, one-of-a-kind hand bound journals that use decorative paper or fabric for the covers. I often have scrap paper left over from binding these books and hate to waste it, so I started binding up these little pieces of paper for grocery lists, phone messages, or random notes. My studio paper 'recycling' got me thinking about all the other paper and cardboard I recycle in our home and how I could use it to make books. The Irish Spring notepads were one of my first experiments with what I've come to call 'foraged' materials. They also opened my eyes to a wealth of book making supplies that would otherwise end up in our blue bin. I have a special place in my heart for the Irish Spring notepads because they are super pungent—somehow that soap smell clings to the cardboard box for months. I often catch people smelling them at art fairs—and it makes me smile.
Frozen Pizza Box booklets I love frozen pizza boxes because they are coated and make very sturdy covers. I've used playing cards as covers (because someone let the 8 of hearts fall in between the deck last summer). In October, I discovered Halloween candy containers. Those are especially fun because they are so small. Last spring I taught a workshop with a Girl Scout troop using cookie boxes for covers and recycled envelopes for pages. Each recycled material that I incorporate into a book also comes with its own binding challenges including size limitations and the best binding style to use to make the book functional—and I really love a good binding challenge. As a bonus, I love how the package design, now re-purposed into a book cover or pages, changes the original intent. For example, with the pizza boxes, words often get clipped to give them new meaning. The bright colors once used to promote or identify the product become patterns or colorful decorations. For more of Purplebean Bindery's work visit http://PurplebeanBindery.etsy.com
The Killer Convo
This blog is a is a killer roundup of all arts, entertainment, brewery & distillery, food trucks, happy hour happenings in the Midcoast Maine. Feel free to email me anything about Midcoast arts, entertainment & the creative economy.