During my Art Major studies in Iowa, a creative and inspiring college professor introduced me to Bookbinding. I was hooked from the first book I bound.

Initially, my book compositions included recycled class eight diesel truck engine parts as design elements - an influence from my father, a parts manager at a repair shop for semi tractors and heavy hauling equipment. I continue to incorporate mechanical parts, now expanding my interest to motorcycle, telephone, camera, typewriter, clock, & airplanes components ...recycling interesting found objects to create a new life & purpose for them.

In my Minnesota studio, I utilize cord sewn Bookbinding techniques, dating back to the 6th century, creating a synthesis of traditional bookbinding with contemporary compositions.

Fabricated metal designs intertwine with stained glass, carved and embossed forms, metal engine parts, handmade papers and prints.

The binding process includes folding acid-free papers in half, stacking them into ‘signatures' and then hand sewing each signature around leather cords with a needle and thread. Random serigraph and intaglio prints on rag paper are bound within some books for added color and texture.

The spine is then clamped, brushed with archival permanently flexible glue, and immediately hammered to round and tighten it. The leather binding cords are affixed to cover boards, while in conjunction, two layers of 55 pound tensile-strength fabric reinforce the cover hinges for added structural integrity to ensure heirloom quality.

Handstitched dual color headbands consist of cotton or silk threads wrapped around leather cords and sewn directly onto the spine ends for protection, strength, and decor. I finish the outer edges of the bound paper by ripping each page individually to create a sculpted deckled organic shape. Or to achieve angled smooth edges, the book is squeezed askew and placed in a clamp. I then trim it, one page at a time, with a razor blade for a controlled crisp lineal edge or angled shape.

3-Dimensional cover designs are hand sculpted from Binders Board, 1 to 12 layers thick, using a razor blade, and then embossed under the leather. A press is not used to achieve the wrapped three-dimensional forms. Rather, glue is applied just one half inch at a time while the leather is handworked into each crevice of the sculptures with small tools until dry. This covering process requires selecting a precise starting point, and directional course, for the leather to smoothly cover. I regularly utilize this method of carving and embossing for personalized requests and Custom Leather Book Designs.

I fabricate copper, silver, and other metals with fine jewelry tools. These metal designs are wired through the cover for secure attachment. Copper elements are given a natural patina by utilizing lemon juice, salt, & vinegar to achieve various finishes.

Book covers consist of multiple layers of Binders Board to create deep three-dimensional qualities and to build the intricate internal structures needed to frame and secure leaded stained glass windows. All glass elements are individually cut and soldered.

I enjoy handmaking paper, from Kozo fibers for example (inner tree bark from the Philippines). These and other handmade papers are applied to the interior of the covers as endsheets - the final step which completes the binding process.

I encourage custom requests. A special one-of-a-kind book can be bound specifically for you as a Personal Journal, Scrapbook, Leather Wedding Album, Guest Book, Photo Album, Portfolio, or Leather Address Book. Or carry a refurbished leather and copper Bible. Request binding of printed materials such as your thesis or authored book. Lidded or Clamshell Leather Boxes can hold your treasures or will present your skills as a professional Leather Portfolio. And Refillable Bindings will allow ongoing use as a Presentation Book, Portfolio, or Sketchbook in a Multi-Ring, Screwpost or Slipcover format.

I am the sole creator of each handbound leather book and box. I do not have any employees or assistants. Let me create that unique keepsake binding especially for your life event or daily enjoyment.

I may be reached at marcia@leatherbooks.info


'Best of the Best', Best of Show & Best in Category - Uptown Art Fair
Best of Show - Uptown Art Fair - 2 years
Best of Show - Madison Art Fair on the Square
Best of Show - Honorable Mention - Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair
Best of Show - Midwest Salute to the Arts - 2 years
Best of Show 3-D - Brookside Art Annual 2006
Best of Show - Wausau Festival of the Arts - 4 years
Best in Category - Oconomowoc Festival of Arts - 2 years
Award of Excellence - Excelsior Arts Festival
Award of Excellence - Laumeier Sculpture Park Art Fair - 2 years
Best of Category - Belleville Art on the Square
Best of Category - Midwest Salute to the Arts - 4 years
Juror's Award - Ann Arbor Street Art Fair
Best of Show / Honorable Mention - Fiber / Metal Arts - 2 years
Merit Award - Wausau Festival of Arts - 4 years
Award of Merit - Laumeier Contemporary Art Fair - 4 years
Honorable Mention - Laumeier Contemporary Art Fair - 2 years
Honorable Mention - Shaw Art Fair
Honorable Mention - Wausau Festival of Arts
Invitational Award - Krasl Art Fair
Invitational Award - Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair - 7 years
Invitational Award - Uptown Art Fair - 6 years
Invitational Award - Ann Arbor Street Art Fair - 5 years
Invitational Award - Madison Art Fair on the Square - 2 years
Artist Patron Award - Smokey Hill River Festival
Purchase Award - Minnesota Historical Society

Bethesada Gallery Cafe - St. Paul, MN
Minnesota State Fair Fine Art Showcase - St. Paul, MN
Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair - Ann Arbor, MI
Laumeier Contemporary Art Fair - St. Louis, MO
57th Street Art Fair - Chicago, IL
Uptown Art Fair - Minneapolis, MN
Brookside Art Annual - Kansas City, MO
Art in the Garden - St Paul, MN
Frederic Showcase - Frederic, WI
Lakefront Festival of Arts - Milwaukee, WI
Mills Gallery - The Next Generation Show - Central College - Pella, IA
Belleville Art on the Square - Belleville, IL
Wausau Festival of the Arts - Wausau, WI
Midwest Salute to the Arts - Fairview Heights, IL
Phipps Center for the Arts - Hudson, WI
Back Door Gallery - Edina, MN
Grand Hand Gallery -St. Paul, MN
Dale Street Greenhouse - St. Paul, MN
Hinsdale Center for the Arts - Adornments - Hinsdale, IL
Wells Street Art Fair - Chicago, IL
Des Moines Art Fair - Des Moines, IA
Krasl Art Fair - St. Joseph, MO
Susan Hensel Gallery - 'Readers Art 5'- Minneapolis, MN
Riverstreet Gallery - Manistee, MI
Afton Art in the Park - Afton, MN
Minnesota Crafts Festival - St. Paul, MN
Oconomowoc Festival of the Arts - Oconomowoc, WI
Askew - Geneva, WI
Artist in Residence - Central College, Pella, IA
Morning Glory Art Fair - Milwaukee, WI
Minneasota Center for Book Arts - Minneapolis, MN
Columbus Arts Festival - Columus, OH
Arts, Beats & Eats - Pontiac, MI
Shaw Art Fair - St. Louis, MO
Studio 56 - Lake Waconia, MN
The Good Life - Wayzata, MN
Hollanders - Ann Arbor, MI
Cherry Creek Arts Festival - Denver, CO
Art Resources Gallery - St. Paul, MN
ART Studio One - Mason, MI
Ann Arbor Street Art Fair - Ann Arbor, MI
Madison Art Fair on the Square - Madison, WI
Smokey Hill River Festival - Salina, KS
Lakeside Fibers - Madison, WI
Terra Museum of American Art - Chicago, IL
ACC Craft Fair - St. Paul, MN
Frog and Peach Gallery -Clayton, MO
Minneasota Historical Society - St. Paul, MN
James Shore Gallery - Waukesha, WI
Clay Gallery - New Smyrna Beach, FL
Port Clinton Art Festival - Highland Park, IL
Fiber / Metal Arts - St. Paul, MN
Lapis Moon Gallery - Grand Rapids, MI
Two Rivers Art Expo - Minneapolis, MN
Excelsior Festival of Arts / Art on the Lake - Excelsior, MN
Edina Art Fair - Edina, MN
Two Rivers Art Expo - Des Moines, IA

Central College - Pella, IA B.A. Art
Chicago Metropolitan Center - Chicago, IL
Trinity College - Carmarthen, Wales
University of Leiden - Leiden, Netherlands

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