“The thing I love about books is that they are a vehicle for self-expression, learning and reflection,” explains Jonna Twigg, founder of Twigg’s Bindery, a Brooklyn-based studiothatproduces leather and fabric journals, hand-stitched with thread and wax-embroidery floss (third picture).
For nearly a decade, Twigg’s Bindery has served the niche binding needs of discerning private clients, as well as museums, including the Smithsonian. Her custom creations (all featuring signature long-stitch, flat binding that makes each one a unique work of art) range from simple diaries to wedding albums using sumptuous silk, suede or rare decorative paper, and books for children – 100 of which were recently created for a family playroom (costing $20,000). “Those children will be expressing themselves through those books for years to come,” says Twigg. “How nice to have the evolution of thought and ability all together in a set of beautiful books that will be a treasure for the children and parents alike.”
From the outset, Twigg has been committed to premium American-made cover materials – vegetable-tanned leather, raw silk, linen or satin – and colourful binding patterns. Commissions (about $200-$3,000) begin with a discussion about size, paper, typeface and palette, and while it’s possible to commission from afar, a visit to the vibrant Fort Greene studio offers the chance to see Twigg’s artisans in action, as well as her stunning swatch board and range of ribbons.
Among the most popular requests are leather journals ($120-$250) featuring 80lb Mohawk Superfine paper (first picture), chosen for its opacity, with binding in hues of cyan, fuchsia or ivory – to name just a few. Each cover can be personalised with embossed messages or initials, and volumes come wrapped in fine-wool/cashmere protective bags. Tone-on-tone fabric-and-thread hardbacks ($120-$180) are a particular speciality; spines in shades of saffron, red or cornflower (second picture) add a pop of colour to a bookshelf.