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Exotic Wood Books

The covers for these books are made up of a variety of exotic woods creatively handcrafted by Tore Vollan.   Tore is the Bestefar (Norwegian for grandpa) of my goddaughter Hannah.

Tore Vollan

Tore was born in Trondheim, Norway in 1931.  He immigrated to Canada then moved to Washington State where he became a citizen and met his wife.  He became superintendent of a construction company, but when his granddaughter was born, he retired, and devoted the rest of his life to help raising her.  It was at this point that he began focusing on his woodworking.  He crafted fine clocks, chests, trays, and jewelry boxes for over 20 years, often having his work displayed in galleries and winning awards.  As he got older he made less and less, not just because he was tired, but because he didn’t feel he had a purpose.  Then his granddaughter suggested he make a set of book covers for her godmother to make into a journal.  This renewed his joy of woodworking and he swiftly created hundreds of covers that his granddaughter would either bring in her suitcase or mail to Winnipeg.

Tore died in April of 2018.  His last act in his workshop was to pack up all of his unfinished work to send to Canada.

I am so honoured to be able to incorporate Tore’s beautifully crafted wooden covers into the books that I make and I treasure every set that sits in my studio ready to be transformed into a book.

This collection is currently at Woodlands Gallery in Winnipeg as part of their emerging artists’ holiday exhibition.

Exotic Wood














Driftwood Books

Being by water has always been soul restoring for me – whether it’s by our favourite place to camp in the Experimental Lakes region of northern Ontario, our home away from home on Malcom Island, north of Vancouver Island or once in a lifetime far away places – being by water gives me rest.  I love taking long walks along shorelines and discovering what has been washed ashore.



These driftwood books are made from pieces found along the shores of Lake Ethelma in northern Ontario, Long Beach and Campbell River on Vancouver Island and in Sointula on Malcom Island (north of Vancouver Island).

Driftwood 7Driftwood 5

Driftwood 9

Driftwood 16Driftwood 11

Driftwood 17Driftwood 13Driftwood 12Driftwood 15Driftwood 10Driftwood 1

Summer Workshops

Yesterday I taught the first of two coptic binding workshops out at the beautiful Runs With Scissors Studio out near Winnipeg Beach.

In the morning we focused on creating book covers on archival book board.    Some of the participants had created geli prints from a workshop the day before taught by Heidi Hunter, others brought their own hand dyed fabric to cover the boards and others used maps and other decorative paper to cover their boards.

In the afternoon we got to work preparing templates, drilling holes, creating spine liners and learning the two-needle coptic stitch.  The books they created are all so beautiful and wonderfully unique.

THIS is why I love the coptic binding method so much.  It allows for endless opportunity for creativity and innovation.

There are still a few spots available for my second workshop which will be in the same beautiful setting on Sunday, July 29th from 10-4.  This one will focus on creating books with wooden covers.  The cost for this workshop is $99 plus a $20 kit fee which includes everything you need.

Email me if you are interested or you can contact Runs With Scissors Studio directly.

intro to coptic.jpg

In the zone!

intro to coptic 2

The finished books (mostly).


Grandma and granddaughter – what a beautiful way to spend time together.



coptic spines

and more spines!


She made the prints for these covers in the geli-printing class and then bound them into a book.  Stunning!