action station: e bond of roughdraft books

It’s been far too long since I’ve featured an Action Station on this blog. I’m so very happy to introduce the 2nd Action Station in the series: one of my favorite people on this earth, Ms. e bond. e (yes, e, just e) is a bookmaker and writer and has spent years honing (and folding and stitching) her craft.

e in the classroom

e in the classroom (photo by Corey Tester of Southern Illinois University)

e and I met years ago while working together at a very creative fashion retailer. I was always mesmerized by her ability to make something digital feel so very handmade. I once had the great honor (and joy!) of being a helper on one of her biggest custom book orders. I helped fold stacks of pages as we gabbed about life and creativity. It was so nice to be in a maker’s studio, using tools that have been around for decades, or longer. It was a day I’ll always remember fondly.

And so with that, I’ll hand the mic over to the artist with a giant heart and humble soul…


just one of the many places where the work gets done

just one of the many places where e gets her work done

Tell us about who you are and what you do.
My name is e and I am basically a maker. I make all sorts of things: books, poems, digital experiences…A year ago I was a binder and designer of handmade books and art objects, a freelance graphic designer and a professor at moore college of art. Currently I have traded in the teaching for being a student again at Mills College in Oakland, Ca. I just finished the first year of a dual Creative Writing / Book Art MFA program.

Where do you find inspiration?
Lately, trees, lots of trees, and water. Now that I am living around water on almost every side, I am enjoying being inspired by it every day. I also live around groves of eucalyptus and huge forests of my absolute favorite, the redwoods.

I am soaking it all in because I am so in love with them and have come a long way to experience them. Even though I am in school, I am trying to see as much of Northern California and the Pacific Northwest which really is kind of indescribable. There are days I still don’t quite believe what I am seeing is real. It’s inspiration for a lifetime.

What are you feeling when you are making / creating?
I am usually just feeling the most like myself, which is why I have to do it everyday. It’s a complete feeling of understanding and knowing I am doing what I am supposed to be doing, like a still, deep calm. It doesn’t have to be all day but it does have to be every day in some way, shape or form. When I am not making something I tend not to be the best me.

How would you describe each space? Does each have a name? How are they different from one another?
These spaces are all very new to me still, having just moved west in August of 2012. I really miss my old studio space back in Philly so I am still acclimating to working in a new way. Although most of the work tends to get done in the studios at school, the wooden coffee table area tends to be where most gets done at home: list-making, organizing, small models being built, bad tv watching.

the coffee table

the coffee table

The yellow table is actually my kitchen table which basically just stands there to hold the projects I really want to be doing but don’t have time for yet. I am the out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of person, so i usually have ideas, specimens, sketches, etc.. out to remind me of what to work on when I have a spare moment.

the yellow table

the yellow table

How do you bring the inspiration to each space?
Is hoarding an answer, lol? I collect things all the time. That’s why my kitchen table looks like a science experiment. I carry these small plastic bags around with me all the time so I have spaces to fill with sand, or rocks, or bark, or anything I can find. I find it’s easier than stuffing my pockets. I guess I bring the inspiration to me.

What are your favorite tools?
My sketchbook, bonefolder (the one with the #3 on it) my really sharp scalpel, and my favorite metal triangle, I’ve had it since freshman year of college (over 20 years)

some of e's favorite tools

some of e’s favorite tools

What is the most unexpected thing you ever discovered in your creative process?
Hmm, I guess I learned many years ago that I enjoy the process much more than the outcome, so that was extremely unexpected at the time. Now I understand that about myself so I try to really be in the moment of the making, and not worry so much about what comes from it in the end.


Such a special person, that e. If you’ve enjoyed this post, you can keep up with e’s adventures (and see her incredible work!) on her blog: roughdraftbooks.com/blog/ and on twitter at @eisroughdraft.

If you’d like to share your creative workspace, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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