Three Trees Bindery » Handmade Lookup

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Three Trees Bindery

Artist: Michelle Skiba
Work Charlotte North Carolina USA Etsy Shop


Handmade Wood Covered Books & Journals

Three Trees Bindery is a small bookbinding studio specializing in unique handmade wood covered photo albums, custom wedding guest books and journals.

Three Trees Bindery began as the marriage of two of my favorite things: trees and books. As an avid journal keeper and book collector, creating books from things found in the forest evolved slowly and naturally from my wanderings. Completely taken with the beauty of an acorn, a leaf, or a piece of bark, these small tokens I was unable to put down became the sources of inspiration for my wooden library.

Over the years as I have become more acquainted with woodworking, my appreciation for trees, and the wood they give has deepened. I am captivated by the unique and varied character of wood, the intimacy that is developed by working with your hands, and the details that are hidden behind a finished product. I love the tactile sensations through different stages of finishing and the scents of wood dust in the air.

For me, bookbinding is a meditative process. The attention and focus it requires is a beautiful practice of being in the present moment. When I sew my whole world consists of simply this thread, this knot. Any worries are easily lost in the steady rhythm of stitching. I have a great appreciation for all styles of binding, from the simple and elegant Japanese stab bindings to the intricate structures of the Gothic & Renaissance periods, but I am most taken with variations on the Coptic binding, the exposed stitching for me evokes the same feeling as trees in winter, their bare branches reaching for the sky. I love seeing the structure that lies underneath things.

My techniques have developed over years of steady practice. Most of what I know I learned by experimenting and making lots of mistakes. I am a constant student. I enjoy learning different techniques, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and exploring new ideas. I continually try to balance the unique characteristics of a handmade item and the slow progression toward mastery of my craft. I want my books to reflect the quiet beauty of the forests that inspire them.

I enjoy the community and personal connections I have found here on Etsy. It gives me great pleasure to work with clients on custom books and commissions. I love hearing how my books will be used. I am continually touched by the stories people share. It makes me sad to hear someone say my books are too pretty to write in. I want to create books that are beautiful but also functional and useful. My books are made to hold the things closest to your heart.