Halifax is one of the most historical cities in Canada and lays claim to being the birthplace of modern printing in Canada. The first Canadian newspaper, The Halifax Gazette, was printed there on March 23, 1752. A poster image of this first Canadian newspaper appropriately hangs on the studio wall of paper and bookbinding artist, Rhonda of My Handbound Books.
Having grown up in rural Nova Scotia, and now making her home in Halifax, Rhonda finds inspiration from the history, landscapes and people around her. The colours, culture and cartography of the area are readily apparent in her Nova Scotia book shown below.
Nova Scotia Book
Currently, Rhonda is focusing on historic book structures from the Medieval and Renaissance eras, researching the techniques used in historical bookbinding, and reproducing what she can. She tries to be as accurate as possible when constructing books using the methods of these eras given the limited and often incomplete information that is available. Her other creative work consists of making artists books and editions and some print making, paper making, and paper marbling.
Oatmeal Leather Journal
Preferring to use Canadian based suppliers, Rhonda uses Saint Armand handmade paper which is made in Montreal. Rhonda states, “I wish I could use more local materials...I have to import a lot of my supplies unfortunately. But I am always looking for new local, or at least Canadian, sources.” As the Halifax area is small in population, resources for the local book arts
community are in short supply. Rhonda mentions that she “…would love to see more dedicated resources for the book arts in [the Halifax] area.”
The hand bound journals from My Handbound Books are as lovely as they are original. I have had the pleasure of ordering from her online shop on two occasions, and each time I received prompt and courteous service. Her products are always as described, and I have enjoyed giving her journals and bookbinding kits as gifts to my daughter and nieces.
Rhonda is a member of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artist’s Guild and sells her journals and books through her online store, My Handbound Books.