My name is Katie Wagner and I am a book conservator and a bookbinder. I make traditionally bound books out of funky materials like LEGO® pieces, felt and chalkboard vinyl.
When/how did you start your business?I started Moonlight Bindery on a whim in 2007. I read an article about Etsy and posted ten poorly photographed journals and somehow they sold! For years, while working as a book conservator, I had collected paper and fabric. So, for the first year of my business I needed to purchase very little material
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Well, I am a collector of things: pens, old luggage and vintage kitchen equipment. I like to incorporate things I collect into my work. Right now I have a series of photo albums with prints from the turn of the century inset in the covers. The vintage luggage is used in my craft fair displays.
What first made you want to become an artist?
I have taken art classes all my life but had never found the medium that clicked until I started making books. Bookbinding is the one thing I have come back to over and over in my life that brings me joy.
Paper - handmade, marbled, paste, letterpress. There are so many great papers out there. My current favorite is a paste paper I received as a gift from my best friend. It is paste paper created over a map! Look for it in my etsy shop sometime soon.
What's your favorite thing about your craft?
The versatility in book structures and the ability to use anything as a cover material for books. I am working on a new series right now of books made from building materials like wood and sandpaper.
In my basement studio - thankfully there is a window!
What's your favorite music to listen to while you work?
Mumford & Sons and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
The Coptic bound book structure. I'm teaching a night class right now on Coptic binding - it is a style of bookbinding developed in Egypt around 200 A. D. The structure allows the book to open all the way - you can write on the entire page. I find the binding and its history amazing!
If you could have one wish granted for the craft community, what would it be?
A better understanding and appreciation of the effort and energy crafters put into their work - my fellow crafters are some of the hardest working people I know.
You can check out all of Katie's work in her Etsy shop.