“One of the biggest joys of my working life is the relationship I build with my customers, often over the course of many years.”
Artisan book maker Susan Green, of Bound By Hand, is in the business of binding memory to something beautiful, largely in the leaves of the books she binds.
Scrapbooks for newly weds, sketch books for artists and guest books and memory books all mean her works become part of the fabric of people’s lives, much to her satisfaction
She adds: “It’ pretty incredible to make a useful and beautiful product that wouldn’t exist without the work of my hands.”
Working from her studio in Dorset, alongside her studio dog, The Littlest Greyhound, Susan now sells her work worldwide, having started her craft and business in an unusual way.
“I began bookbinding in 2008 after a chance encounter with a library book,” Susan explained. “I hadn’t had any art, craft or design training, but I started making and a year later went into business. So I’m a self-taught bookbinder who now teaches others to make books too!”
Despite coming to the medium by chance, Susan is the consummate artisan, drawing inspiration from a creative hero whilst keeping an eye on the ever-changing world of design.
“William Morris is a huge inspiration to me,” said Susan. “His work ethic (he was self-taught in many respects), his love of writing, travel and art – as well as designing and making – and his colour palettes, too. Also, I follow a lot of different creatives on Instagram to refresh my eyes, and am endlessly inspired by their colour palettes, whether they work in interiors, textiles or illustration. My studio is full of materials, work in progress and has a pin board with inspiration and a plan for the year.”
Susan works on bespoke projects throughout the year, but also has a wide range of ready to ship items – including her new collection of Marbled Notebooks with labels – presented as gift sets with the stationery lover-who-already-has-everything in mind.
Having reached a level of excellence which has seen her become an associate member of Designer Book Binders and a member of the Heritage Crafts Association, Susan also exhibits her work and offers bookbinding courses to help sustain her craft into the future. She also works hard to ensure her products reach high environmental and ethical standards, seeking to incorporate sustainable, natural materials in her designs.
Buy Susan’s work at www.boundbyhand.co.uk
Susan recommends: “I recently saw Green Spiral Willow’s work at Walford Mill Crafts in Wimborne, Dorset and was totally blown away by the way the maker combines found driftwood with willow basketry to create sculptural pieces and useful objects likes baskets.”