Sunday, July 25, 2010

Weekend Shout-Out: Conduit Press

Recently I made the decision to do my very best to buy homemade for gifts. I ran across this lovely little notebook, perfect for my niece, from Talia of Conduit Press. I recently asked her if she would mind "stopping by" my Weekend Shout Out, and she graciously agreed! Here is our "chat"...

How did you come up with the name “Conduit Press” and what does it mean to you?

When I was a senior in college I took my first book-binding class and we had to come up with a 'press' name to 'stamp' in our created books. The first name I came up with (I'm horrible with names! I hate titling my poems and it took me MONTHS to figure out and finally settle on a name for my first born!) was Ampersand Press- but, alas, social consciousness let someone else in my class choose that name first. Darn. So, I thought and thought and was sitting in my apt one night trying to think of a 'cool' word, and there, on the side of a videotape, you know, those old VHS things we used to watch, was 'conduit' (it was the name of X-Files episode I had on VHS) and that was that. A brand was born. ;)

Since then I've really had to think about whether the word still means the same thing to me as it did then. Then it was just a cool sounding word, but now it's definitely grown with me. A conduit is a natural passage- something used to get from one thing to another. The way I figure it, this little old business of mine is a conduit- it allows me to create, be creative, and help to support my family.

Your work appears to be mostly with hand crafted books. Tell us about what you make and how you got started.

It all started in that class in college which as actually a class on making 'artist's books' which are a bit more artistic and personal than what I make now.

Now, I specialize in handbound/handmade blank books and journals that range in size from pocket to scrapbook and in style from vintage to modern. Cover materials are often upcycled from leather, vinyl, other fabrics and vintage library books. All books are hand bound (either sewn or wire bound) and are filled with hand cut archival environmentally friendly papers.

How long have you been creating ?

I have been creating my whole life, and I have a feeling I'll never stop.

What is your favorite project to work on?

I really like custom orders. I like making things especially for a person or a group that I know they are absolutely going to Love because they picked out all the details!

How do you get your ideas? Do you start with the paper or a concept in mind first?

Basically I look at what I have and try to think of a way to put it all together. I really try to use what I have and not purchase a ton of new materials to just add to the consumerism in the world. I know I know, how political. But, really. Books are a dying breed. And so are our trees, so if I can use recycled items to make into beautiful books, maybe they'll come back into style. ;)
You mention “upcycling” in your profile. How do you recycle/upcycle/etc in your crafting world? (The leather journals are particularly gorgeous…just my opinion!)

Like I said before, nearly everything I use (except maybe the thread) is upcycled or recycled in some way. The leather I'm currently using is from a local upholsterer. Scrap leather that would just have been thrown out. The vintage notebooks I make are made from discarded library books that otherwise would have been thrown out. The new paper notebooks I'm making are from scrap paper lying around my 'studio'. All the paper I use inside my books are at least partially recycled and I'm working on using only 100% recycled paper.

Of the items you currently have available, which is your favorite?
It's really like choosing a favorite child- it's impossible.

For FUN!

What is something that makes you laugh out loud?

My baby's laugh, he has such a deep voice his little giggle is really special.

Describe your crafting/studio space to us:

Ha! well, that kinda makes me laugh out loud, too. ;)

I design in my dining room. I like to be in the middle of things (for some reason) so that's where I set up shop. Our dining room is home to: our computer desk, a piano, my work desk, a hutch filled with my work and other art supplies, two book shelves filled with music books (my husbands), vintage books waiting to be turned, and crafty things that won't fit anywhere else, a high chair, and a dining room table of course. Most recently I've acquired my desk (mentioned above) from a freecycler and created three shelves to hang above in order to hold all my supplies (to get away from the almost walking babe!). I had my older boy help me to paint them so they are colorful but not quite workable as I'm not handy with hanging things with toggles evidently. Sad.

What is your best “stress buster”?

Oddly enough, creating or taking a walk with the babe.

What is absolutely the best cookie you’ve ever had?

Eh, can't answer that, but I will say the best cupcake I've ever had (and I don't like cupcakes ordinarily) is the red velvet cupcake from the Flying Cupcake in Indianapolis.
Thanks so much to Talia, for sharing her world with us! If you would like to see more of her creations, stop by her Etsy shop at and take a look around!
Have a GREAT week, friends and keep creating!
Quilty hugs,

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