Marcia Engeltjes—Maker of Fantastical Bound Books

August 5, 2009


Above: A sampling of the whimsical and exquisite leather bound books Marcia Engeltjes creates. Image ©Marcia Engeltjes.

Books can be art objects, Marcia Engeltjes proves this everyday when she binds her lovely leather bound journals and albums. Collage elements, hardware, souvenirs, photos, it all makes its way onto these book covers. As you can see from the examples in the above photograph Engeltjes also plays with the form of the book in the way the pages interact with the cover. These albums become sculptural pieces.

Well, I just found out that Engeltjes is going to be at the Uptown Fair this weekend. So if you want a truly unusual and unique handbound book it would be the perfect opportunity to stop by her booth: #214 on Hennepin Avenue, on the west side of the Hennipen Avenue Bridge—the old railroad bridge, now the bike path bridge—under the bus shelter awning, near the YWCA.

The art fair runs from Friday, August 7 through Sunday, August 9. Hours: Friday, noon to 8:30pm;   Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

You can contact Marcia Engeltjes at the website link provided above, or at Handbound Leather Books, 9 Como Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55103; (651)222-3029. Custom Designs are welcomed.

To learn more about the Uptown Art Fair go to their website.

Several years ago I took a class from Engeltjes in album binding at MCBA. The class was enjoyable, but I'm still leaving the work in leather to other folks with way more patience than I have. What I can say, because I've seen Engeltjes' books in person, is that they are well-crafted and robust books demanding to be used.

    • Chris
    • August 5, 2009


    • Roz
    • August 5, 2009

    WOW! is right Chris. Marcia makes stunning books!

  1. Reply

    The ones with the springs are just so inventive!

    • Roz
    • August 9, 2009

    Wendy, all of her stuff is inventive. A delight to hold, open. It’s solidly made so that you don’t feel it’s all going to fall apart when you do open it. The specialty carving and shaping she does is so cool. I think there are photos on her site which show her process, many steps, lots of shaping and forming and it all shows in the final piece.

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