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Hi, pen(cil) pals!
I’m excited to introduce you to Shamese, the incredible maker behind our shop’s exclusive notebooks. As owner and maker of Stationed by Hand, Shamese employs the Japanese Stab Binding method to create one-of-a-kind fabric notebooks. Learn about how she got started in the craft on today’s Meet the Maker feature!
How did you get into Stab Binding?
After 10 years in the numbers industry, I really needed a creative way to fill my time and found the stab binding method on YouTube. I thought it was fascinating. I purchased materials and tools to try and make it on my own. I tried a few different binding styles when I first started including coptic stitching and other exposed methods but really loved the stab binding the most. It felt simple, and looked less overwhelming to try and as a consumer, it was just the most attractive style to me. When I first started, I was using decorative papers for covers but the options quickly ran out if the paper wasn’t thick enough, though they were all very beautiful. So I tried fabric instead knowing that it was basically the same application method. At first the glue would soak right through, and I figured out how to “back” it, so that wouldn’t happen. I was onto something from there. That was in 2018, and August 2020 was actually the 2 year anniversary for SBH! (Already!)
What do you love about the craft?
What I love about the craft and both what the process is like, goes hand in hand. One book has many steps and takes a lot of time. Each step is done by hand including cutting down the board, backing the fabric, paper cutting, gluing and binding. There are shortcuts I have learned over the years especially for larger orders where I can batch the steps, but there isn’t much room for error in any part or it causes a waste of material so it is important that my mind is focused. At the same time, doing this craft does just that. It has become a therapy for me, and is a quiet and zen time where a lot of other reflective thoughts flow through my head and solutions come up for things I had thought about in another time and space but couldn’t find an answer for. It becomes so much more than just making a book for someone. It has expanded me personally, and as a maker. I hope that the person receiving it is also inspired to reflect and express in the blank pages.
What is the process like?
If you are interested in seeing live production, catch me on IG live or IGTV, and for still shots, check my WIP story highlight @stationedbyhand.
Each month, I donate a percentage of story sales to an organization that is on the front lines of so many of social, mental, and economic issues.
In the future, I hope to open an e-commerce site for other makers that I have met along my creative journey and more.