As you know I am a huge advocate of handmade but when it is combined with environmentally friendly it has an added pull for me. If you can combine these aspects with the result being gorgeous books, diaries, albums and sketchbooks well I think it’s a real winner !
I am of course describing the work of Hand Made Books, a small but perfectly formed contemporary book bindery in Cirencester, England. The bindery uses traditional and contemporary techniques and ideas to make a distinctive range of useful, original and desirable books and boxes.
My family commissioned 2 beautifully made photo albums for the christening of the latest 2 members of my family. I also own and adore my Wonder Woman diary, a christmas gift via handmadebooks. I know how much love goes into these books, Katherine and her work are a real inspiration to me.
What is unique about handmadebooks is that they are handmade recycling as much as possible. Old maps, comics and papers are given a new lease of life as a unique book cover, and extra special (chlorine, bleach, acid or detergent free) 100% recycled paper goes inside the notebooks…
Elephant Poo Paper:
This recycled paper is made using the poo collected from elephants at the Woburn Safari Park, in England. The poo is collected and brought to the mill – where it is well washed and then included in the papermaking process, thereby drastically reducing the amount of wood pulp required. Elephants generally have a very inefficient digestive system whereby almost 45% of its food intake can pass through as undigested matter – elephants can produce about 1 tonne of waste material per week!
Rhino Poo Paper:
This recycled paper is also made with poo – but this time from UK rhinos in Paignton Zoo. Rhinos have a very similar herbivorous diet to elephants, but have a slightly more efficient digestive system – but they still manage to produce a huge amount of raw material for the paper mill to work with!
This recycled paper is made by adding some stamps to the paper mix – the misprinted stamps from the Royal Mail are collected and shredded – then added to the paper pulp – resulting in a very attractive paper with a unique smattering of colour and texture across every page. This paper is no longer in production – so there are only a limited amount of notebooks that will ever be made with this special paper…
This recycled paper is made using the off cuts from preciously recycled paper – making it double recycled paper! The ink that was on the paper in its previous incarnation is left on – instead of being de-inked – and this gives the paper an unusual feature of making it look like it was sprinkled with a light dusting of salt and pepper.
We should all be moving towards recycling as much as possible. Have you done your bit to recycle today? If nothing else I hope this post will bring recycling to your attention and perhaps you can incorporate recycling more into your life or business. I’d love to hear what you do to help the environment so please leave your comments below.
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Elizabeth Anne Norris
Designer / Maker / Teacher / Enamels / Jewellery / Cufflinks
0777 339 4413