Mary Liz Riddle | Bookbinding / Papercraft

I believe a book ought to lie in your hands comfortably, easily occupying its own space. A book should open naturally, the pages falling freely, one after another, and finally a book should close with the satisfying sound of coming home to rest. The books I create have this intention about them. I strive for this quality, keeping in mind the varied capabilities of the materials I have chosen. As I perform the common tasks of my craft — measuring, folding, cutting, sewing, pasting, pressing

I work in harmony with the unique nature of the building blocks of the book — the boards, the leaves, the cords, all ancient terms of the bookbinders’ craft. The tools I use have not changed since those early times . . . a ruler and scribe, knife or board shear, bone folder, needle and awl, nipping press. At times it almost seems the paper, the Davey board, even the linen thread come alive under my gentle manipulations. It`s as if they too share my goals for this book- to- be.

I believe a book should above all enhance the contents. “‘How,” you ask, “can this be? Many of the books you make are blank books.” Ah, but to my mind, no book is a blank book; rather it is open to potential . . . waiting and inviting you, the new owner, to complete the process I have begun for you. It is asking you to listen to your desires and imagination, to fill the pages with your own visions and thoughts. I invite you to choose a book that calls to you and begin the journey.