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Archive for April, 2011


Nico Papergoods on Etsy

Craftsman, bookbinder, Seattle-based artist, Andrea Kohler is all that and more; using old world papermaking techniques she learned in Switzerland and abroad.

Ann Kohler’s online shop on Etsy, Nico Paper Goods is full of colorful and whimsically designed photo albums, journals and more.  There you will find everything from cheery pink leather-bound journals to vibrantly colored photo albums and more. Each and every cover, each and every page, of these books is made with care, precision and passion.

I was lucky enough to interview Andrea and was impressed by her love and passion for her craft. Below is my interview with Ann Kohlter, bookbinder (in my humble opinion) extraordinaire.

Interview with Andrea Kohler:

1 I understand that you had four years apprenticeship before you opened your own studio in Zurich. What was the one thing you were taught that made the most impression to you?
There was a tremendous attention to detail in the art of bookmaking and binding.

2. What made you decide to move to Seattle?
I met my husband back in Zurich many years ago. After living in Switzerland together for three years, I was ready for a new beginning in Seattle, where he is from.

3. What do you like best about Seattle?
The freedom of being whoever you are. The friendly people. Mount Rainier and all the water surrounding the city. Not the rain, I have to say.


4. What is the difference between traditional bookbinding and contemporary bookbinding?
Traditional bookbinding adheres to the rules of the historical craft – contemporary bookbinding combines the craft with the creative use of materials and designs.

5. What do you like about bookbinding?
It is deeply satisfying to give new life to an old book.

6. Do you teach classes in bookbinding in Seattle?
I used to teach back in Zurich for many years with great pleasure. The opportunity has not occurred as yet, but I’m open for it.

7. When someone hands you an old book that needs rebinding, what do you ask your customer first?
How valuable is the book to you?

9. Approximately, how long does it take to rebind a book with a badly deteriorated binding as shown on your website?
It really depends on the condition of the book. There are always surprises hidden somewhere along the process. The book I show on my website, took three full hours to repair.

9. What parts of bookbinding do you like the best?
I love holding the finished book in my hand and give it to a happy costumer.

10. If someone had an old worn book that needs to be rebound, how would they contact you?
Through my website: www.kohlerbookbinding.com

11. Where do you get your bookbinding and book making materials?
Mostly from a source in New York. I still bring back special paper and fabric from my visits in Europe.

12. Do you use recycled paper?
Not for restoration. That paper has to be very high quality and acid free. But for notebooks I do.

13. I love your pendant/journal necklaces; do you make these from scratch as well?
Thank you. Yes I make everything new from scratch, and I am proud of it.

14. If so, what do you use?
For these journal necklaces I use leather, paper, thread, glue and a chain.

15. I see from your website that, not only do you bind books, but you make other very colorful notebooks, pads, photo albums, etc. on Etsy.com through your online shop Nicopapergoods.com you tell us a little about your online shop?
I have been active on Etsy for two years now and I love it. It is a great place to sell your handmade items.

16. If someone had a question about bookbinding or wanted you to custom make a photo album, what is the best way for them to contact you?
You can find all information on my website. www.kohlerbookbinding.com

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