Feb 2, 2020
Naturally, a healthy love of the tools of the trade followed suit, and with the generosity and encouragement of toolmaking legends Jim Croft and Shanna Leino, Brien also creates a limited assortment of specialized hand tools for bookbinding and its related trades.
Over the last nine years Brien has taken and taught a variety of bookbinding and toolmaking workshops, and is an active member of the Guild of Book Workers. In the fall of 2016, he and his wife upped their roots in Charleston, South Carolina and set up shop in Bloomington, Indiana, where Brien works from his home studio with Wren, his curmudgeonly Brittany.
Over the next 3 years she studied bookbinding, paper-making, printmaking, calligraphy, and book repair and was taught by some of the most respected practitioners in my field. Upon completing her MFA in Book Arts in 2014, she moved back to her hometown in Nashville and founded Crowing Hens Bindery, where she designs, makes, and sells everything from blank books to letterpress printed stationery, decorative papers, art prints, and tools; all made by hand, one at a time.
how Brien and Mary met the bookbinder and papermaker Jim Croft and how he affected their relationships to bookbinding, printmaking, papermaking, and craft in general.
how learning about bookbinding and craft processes at Jim and Melody's homestead in northern Idaho is unique because of their land-based lifestyle
how Jim Croft's books are modeled after medieval era books, but are unique to him and the landscape of northern Idaho
the scavenge nature of Jim Croft's craft process
Brien talks about his focus on bookbinding, toolmaking etc. and his preference for making his books and tools accessible
Mary speaks on her work of bookbinding, printing, and art making; as well as her graduate school research on paper-making production
how industrialization affects the slow craft of bookbinding especially when using materials from the land and doing the process by hand and with the focus of quality books in mind
the effects industrialization has on the consumer's expectations of perfectionism, something that didn't always exist in bookbinding and paper-making historically
some bookbinding history
the responsibility of carrying on the trade of bookbinding and not losing the knowledge of how to make different styles of books
how capitalism affects our understanding and treatment of books
some talk on the value of art vs. craft in our culture
Jim and Melody’s website, where you can contact them about future classes out in Idaho (calling or writing letters is best): https://cargocollective.com/oldway
Brien’s website: https://www.beidlermade.com/
Brien’s instagram: @bhbeidler http://www.instagram.com/bhbeidler
Mary’s website: https://www.crowinghensbindery.com/
Mary’s instagram: @crowinghensbindery http://www.instagram.com/crowinghensbindery
Penland School of Craft: https://penland.org/
Friends of Dard Hunter paper-making conference: https://friendsofdardhunter.org/conference
University of Iowa Center for the Book: https://www.iowacenterforthebook.org