Handmade is imperfect, uneven, individual and full of soul.. Like a home made bread taken out from the oven. Nothing compares with that.
Handmade also connects people from all over the world that share the same vision, it is so nice to know someone from far far away made an unique object just for you, with passion and skills.
Anca the Bookbinder
I don’t really know when my first interaction with crafting took place – maybe it was when I realised lead can be melted at home – I created some killer jewelry from lead back then :)
All the schools I’ve been to had art profiles, from piano to sculpture, to painting and photography.
I’ve always kept in my heart the nostalgia of working with clay so when I found out about this fabulous medium, polymer clay, I quickly bought a lot of supplies from overseas (in Romania, where I live, shops didn’t sell it yet). I bought hand-blown glass eyes and wool to make dolls. I love making them in a Victorian style, as I have a sweet tooth for past eras, especial for the Victorian one - you can see three of them in my Forgottendolls shop.
The bookbinding adventure started in a similar way, emerging from my need of creating 3D objects, that one can look at from different angles. My sister (teostudio) and I have always kept diaries, which made us hunt each other’s diaries when we were kids. So when I saw her actually creating journals from scratch, I had to make my own too. Then, I couldn’t stop; I made a travel notebook for my best friend, a sketchbook for my dad and so on. Now I am hooked, hopelessly addicted to bookbinding.
I am passionate of all crafty things, I tried everything, from crocheting to jewelry making – my secret hunch is that each new hobby is an excuse to buy more supplies! Yes, I am a handmade supplies hoarder. I know I have to part with some of the goodies I’ve been stashing so I opened a vintage shop (artstock) to let them go… it’s so hard! I can only take comfort in the thought that I am making room for new supplies!
But I think I found the perfect passion for me – bookbinding. I love the process - dying the paper – if it’s a vintage style leather journal for my MedievalJourney shop, adding a vintage beauty on it… or, making a polymer clay button for my journals at Baghy, engraving or painting the design. It is a complete craft that kind of puts all my hobbies to a good use. When I create a journal, I usually have a good idea of it in my mind, sometimes I draw sketches of the design… then I chose the leather (from my big stash of leather) torn large sheets of paper, decide for the color of the thread, the closing style… sometimes I add vintage stamps on some of the pages (did I mentioned my vintage stamps collection?), or a page of vintage ephemera… or add a design that matches the concept of the leather cover.
I love making journals and always think I am very lucky to be able to earn my living out of it – I am not rich, but when I think of my supplies, I think I am the king of the world! Making a hobby into a profession is tricky. Yes, it feels like I am in vacation each day, as I do what I love to do, but that doesn’t mean I don’t work non stop. This is very important when you are your own boss – you gotta be a demanding boss, and always try to improve all aspects of your craft. I do hope I will be able to continue doing this for a long time, as I truly enjoy making each journal from the concept to the book, from the sketch to an useful artsy object, that someone will cherish and entrust it with his/her dreams, creative ideas or secrets.
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I love to read stories of passionate people, don't you?
And I love to see what they are creating using their skills and talents.
Especially when they are creating such unusual things as Anca's journals and dolls. I just adore the dolls...
You are welcome to visit Anca's blog (and I strongly suggest that you do, there are quite some awesome things to be found on there) and check out her Facebook profile.
You are also very welcome to come back here next Tuesday, for more of Anca's pieces.