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Bookbinding meets Dark Art – An Interview wi...

Bookbinding meets Dark Art – An Interview with Nate McCall

Today we are jumping right into the wonderful world of the amazingly talented bookbinder Nate McCall. Craftsmanship at it’s best.

His Books are so well made that you can see the love in every stitch and every little detail…

To be in a field of work that is so old and slow these days is highly admirable but not so common.

I asked Nate how he got into this field of work and how he started out:

„I started out wanting to do all sorts of things with my business – wood and leather home goods, furniture, apothecary goods, etc. – hence the name McCall Company Handcrafted Goods. Bookbinding was where I chose to start, but as I got deeper into learning that skill set, I realized that I wanted to focus exclusively on that. There are so many aspects to the craft that I felt like trying to focus on too many other things would cause my bookbinding skills to plateau, and I didn’t want that.“

nate nccall dark bookbinding handmade grimoire journal the house of twigs

And it sure was a good thing to focus because his craft evolved from first experiments to books so beautiful, that you will hesitate writing into them in fear to destroy the beauty…

„I’ve always been obsessed with books, and when I discovered the craft of bookbinding, I think I knew right away that I was going to be pursuing that for the rest of my life. I honestly wasn’t even aware of the idea until around 2012, when I joined Instagram and discovered the work Margaux Kent of Peg and Awl (@pegandawl) was doing. The idea that I could make my own books was more than I could resist! I started obsessively ordering supplies and reading tutorials on the internet. I started out making cloth-bound hardcovers, and they were objectively pretty terrible. Essentially though, I just kept trying, and making mistakes, and learning from those mistakes. I read everything I could find on the various processes involved, and I was able to get some invaluable advice from various experts. I still have a long way to go – you can always get better – but I’m pretty happy with my progress so far. I love bookbinding, and the opportunity to make money at it – though I am not making a living yet – is pretty incredible. I’m inspired by old books, as well as fantasy, witchcraft, and nature. My books would never pass as historical artifacts, but I don’t set out to simply reproduce, merely to inspire. I love being able to take historical inspiration from across the centuries and bring it together to create something new and unique.“

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Of course I wanted to know if there are any exciting new projects coming up that he is working on and if there is some cooperations with other artists in the making…

„I am working on a new project right now, which I will be doing in addition to my journals. Hopefully starting within the first half of the new year. I am going to be publishing and binding very limited runs of public domain classic books. I hope to do two editions a year, in runs of around 30 copies. There will be original illustrations by various independent artists, and borders and flourishes done by me – I’m very excited for this project! If all goes to plan, the first two books I will be publishing are Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and an Edgar Allan Poe collection.“

nate nccall dark bookbinding handmade grimoire journal the house of twigs

If you are as stoked to see what those will be like and what Nate does I can highly recommend following his Instagram where he posts regularly about his progress, his work and for sure the beautiful end products…

You can find him at:

Instagram: @mccall_company

Tumblr: mccallcompany.tumblr.com/

Gwendolyne Hawk

Staff writer for The House of Twigs and creator of German Brand and online Store Ancient Hearts. Ancient Hearts is a one-woman art and witchcraft project from Germany.


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