Susan Green Books
Sketchbooks, Guestbooks, Travel Journals, Notebooks
Etsy.com - $USD
Tell us about yourself. Who you are, where you live and a
little bit about you and what you do in your spare time.|
Hello, my name is Susan Green. I live in rural Dorset and I love it here in the countryside; the landscape provides so many inspiring textures, forms and colours and it’s all right on my doorstep. My favourite spare time things are often outdoorsy things - just sitting and taking it all in, playing with the dogs or growing herbs and salads. I also love to read, play the piano and visit exhibitions of local artists & craft-makers, especially during Dorset Arts Week. I especially love textiles, sculpture and woodwork.
What do you make?
I’m a bookbinder – I make artists’ sketchbooks, guestbooks, travel journals, writers notebooks and everybody’s everyday journals. I use a variety of binding styles and covering materials depending on what the book will be used for, from full leather medieval limp German bindings to cloth-covered hardback Belgian bindings that will lie completely flat on a desk, to the more familiar leather and cloth hardback notebooks and journals which are great to use in-hand.
How & when did you get started designing & making?
A couple of years ago I was browsing a local library for a collection of African short stories, and quite by chance Angela James’ ‘The Handmade Book’ caught my eye and that was that! I never, ever imagined I’d be spending my time being creative - every day I’m thrilled to be designing and making books and making people happy with the fruits of my labours.
What venues / websites do you sell from?
My Etsy shop: www.susangreenbooks.etsy.com and Meg Morton
Interiors in Child Okeford, Dorset, a lovely boutique shop which stocks decorative home accessories,
furnishings, stationary and original art and craft work.
What / who inspires your work?
William Morris, the 19th century English textile and furniture designer, architect, writer and socialist, really inspires – and encourages – my attitude to the process of designing, making and refining my books. He was passionate about the worth, beauty and integrity of hand-made items and the dignity of doing such work.
The ‘feel’ of my books – their materials, colours, textures and so on - is most obviously inspired by the countryside. More obliquely I’m inspired by my responses to the work of other artists and craft-makers from different disciplines. I went to Hilary Bower’s exhibition ‘Of Quiet Observation’, an amazing collection of sculptural textiles that gave me a great sense of space and stillness. I’m attempting to convey that feeling through some of my books.
What are your plans for Susan Green Books for the next 12 months?
My dance-card is pretty full on the making side of things; I have some commissions to complete this year, some designs for Travel Journals to develop, and I will be stocking up my Etsy shop, mostly with Hardback Journals and a variety of Artists’ Sketchbooks. Business-wise I’m concentrating on branding, approaching more bricks and mortar venues, and completing my first tax return with the minimum of pencil-chewing.
What marketing tips do you have for other artists, designers, crafters & makers?
A sunny disposition goes a long way! Flash your biggest smile, your most positive attitude and be cheerful, generous and chatty with everyone. Always carry your business cards and if practicable, samples of your work.