When a book leaves my studio and is shipped to its new owner, I like to think that the book's journey has only just begun. The pages are folded, the covers are glued and pressed, and the binding is stitched neatly into place, but the book is not yet complete. Most of the books I make are meant to be filled. Perhaps with congratulatory notes from wedding guests, or records of a baby's first steps and words, or photos of travels far and wide. Once a book is filled, it takes on new meaning and importance, and it is transformed into something even more special than when it left my studio.
I wish I could check in with all of my handbound books months or even years later to see how they've come to life in their new homes, but I don't always get the chance to see my books when they've been put to use. On the occasions that I do, however, it's always thrilling to me.
This particular book was commissioned by Lianne Milton, a San Francisco-based photojournalist, to hold a special collection of her photographs. She requested a simple design for the book. The pages were made from thick, textured watercolor paper. For the covers, I made my own bookcloth using a soft grey linen fabric. And I bound the book with the Coptic binding using navy waxed linen thread.
When the book left my studio, the pages were blank and I was curious to see how they would be filled. Lianne was kind enough to photograph her book for me once she had added photos to the pages, and I'm excited to share her images of the book here.
I highly recommend that you take some time to look through Lianne's online portfolio
of her photographs. She is a world-traveling photographer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and many other publications. Her work mainly focuses on the effects of politics on people and their environments, and she travels around the globe to capture her stunning images. She also photographs a limited number of weddings each year, in a similar documentary style to her editorial work. You can view her wedding portfolio
The craftsmanship of the blank book is very important to me and I enjoy the detailed process of creating a handbound book completely from scratch. But a book like this clearly takes on more meaning once it has completed its journey.