Pick up a book from Sollas Bookbinding and you hold in your hands a complete original. Owner, Corinna Krause, not only binds every book herself, she also creates her own unique paper for each cover.
"I developed my own way of making decorative papers by adapting wax paper-making to suit what I need for my covers," she reveals. The result is that no two papers are ever the same!
Corinna describes her technique, saying: "It starts off with a plain sugar paper, to which I add layers of ink and wax. At the end, I iron out the wax and end up with a paper that has really warm and vibrant colours. It is sturdy and tactile at the same time - people just love the feel of it." Corinna's work will be showcased at the Aros Centre in Portree, where she is involved in The Skye Book Festival on the 4th and 5th of September.
"I am doing two separate workshops, but they work together as a series if people want to attend both," explains Corinna. "The first workshop will show how to make a hand-sewn notebook using a very simple sewing technique. People will be able to leave the workshop with a memorable but simple way of creating their own books."
The second day workshop will feature the oldest form of bookbinding - coptic binding. "The beauty of this technique is that the books lie perfectly flat, so it's a brilliant structure for artists or writers," Corinna says.
Corinna's studio is in Sollas, North Uist - from there she creates books, makes boxes and works on commissions and book repairs. "Over the last couple of years, I also worked on several commissions for presentation boxes for artists, which I personalise by inlaying the artist's work into the lid." Corinna's wide range of skills means she is very much in demand - as well as selling her work, she continues to offer workshops to pass on her skills to others.
What is Corinna's favourite aspect of her craft? "It's exciting that, out of something that's two-dimensional, like a piece of paper, you can create an object of aesthetic beauty. I'm really excited about teaching - people can go away with something they've made themselves that they can put to their own creative use. That's a wonderful thing."
Does Corinna have any plans for her business? She replies: "We are building our new family home at the moment, where I plan to have my new studio. I hope it will be ready by next Easter. "the Outer Hebrides has such a wonderful potential for visitors to engage in a creative holiday - there are lots of artists and craft-makers. And, with my new studio, I can get people to engage with me and other artists."
In the meantime, you can see Corinna's work in her studio in Sollas or find it available on her website (http://www.sollasbooks.com), where you can contact Corinna for your personal one-to-one bookbinding tuition. "If you would like to explore your own creativity and learn how to design your own bespoke books, visit the Aros Centre, Isle of Skye on the 4th and 5th of September from 10am.
Corinna Krause explains more about bookbinding