When I talk about handmade books, I mean handmade. In my little living room bindery, I don’t have much on the way of machines or technology, so I have to rely on basic hand tools and my own skills.
I cut my paper and boards with an x-acto knife and a ruler. I sew with needle and thread. I glue up my materials with my fingers or a glue brush. I hand-sand textblocks if they need evening. I press my books in a DIY press that I built from MDF board and carriage bolts. It’s very much 18th century style bookbinding here. And I love it.
This work is so different from my day jobs—it engages my mind and my body, and I can throw myself into it with a zen-like focus.
Artist Samantha Keely Smith paints breathtaking abstract landscapes that resemble the swirling waters of the ocean. Using oil paint, enamel, and shellac, Smith builds up multiple translucent layers of color, alternating between soft brushstrokes and large, sweeping gestures to evoke crashing waves, surging tides, and stormy floods.