Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Spotlight on: Katherine O'Connell

In a small path behind New Brewery Arts are hidden several studios bursting with life and innovative creations. Completely open to the public, each studio holds something unique as their owners all belong to a different craft. Together with the gallery, shop and café they make up New Brewery Arts.

On the second floor in a quiet room opposite the brewery arts offices Katherine O’Connell creates quirky notebooks and sketchbooks perfect for travel journals, fitness diaries, sketches and Ideas or anything else that your heart desires. Katherine binds new books hardcover and soft cover using a method called ‘upcycling’. Everything inspires her and she is constantly looking for castaway fabrics and papers that can be turned into a vibrant handmade book.

After a hint from her father, Katherine got her start in bookbinding at the London College of communications studying book arts and crafts. After graduating, she took on an apprenticeship where she learned the trade of bookbinding. It was there that she gained confidence in the art and became the wonderful bookbinder that she is today.

Bookbinding is the process of physically assembling a book from a number of folded or unfolded sheets of paper or other material. It also usually involves attaching covers to the resulting text-block.[1] Katherine does everything herself; she folds the pages herself and binds them together, finally covering them with whatever material caught her eye.

Although she does not repair books, she does a huge amount of custom work, so if you have an idea for something, pop by her studio and she might just make it for you! She has tons of readymade stuff sitting in her studio ranging from small journals to photo albums all unique in design. Many of her products have removable pages so if you are journaling and mess up a page, you can just rip it up and not ruin the work!

New Brewery Arts is an exciting place to work, but for Katherine, the sense of community is the best part of working there. There is always someone to talk to and the numerous artists around provide a creative and inspiring environment.

You can contact Katherine O’Connell at 07739 313 348 or thequalitybureau@mac.com . Feel free to pop by her studio during the week: Studio 8, New Brewery Arts, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, GL7 1JH. Check out her website at http://www.thequalitybureau.com/ to see some of the wonderful creations yourself!

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to see what binding techniques you use here, do you go down the route of perfect binding or PUR binding?