Frequently asked questions
What is Crowing Hens Bindery?
Crowing Hens Bindery is a one-woman bindery and letterpress print shop in Nashville, Tennessee owned and operated by me, Mary Louise Sullivan. I specialize in a tradition of bookbinding known as stationery binding as well as letterpress printing to create journals, albums, notebooks, miniature book jewelry, stationery, art, and even papers for other bookbinders and artists to use in their own work.
What is "stationery binding" ?
Stationery binding is a branch of bookbinding dedicated to the design and manufacture of blank books. For example: journals, notebooks, photo albums, guestbooks, ledgers, and sketchbooks are all considered stationery bindings because they are bound with blank pages so that a client may write, draw, or fill them after purchase.
How are stationery bindings different from books that contain printed text?
Stationery binding differs from other styles of binding because the focus is on how the book functions. For that reason, the design of a stationery binding depends largely on how the book will be used, the size of the book, the materials used, and the longevity of the binding. Every journal, album, sketchbook, and ledger at Crowing Hens Bindery is designed differently based on these considerations, but above all they are all sewn by hand and designed in such a way that it will not fall apart from repeated use by its owner.
Do you have a storefront?
Crowing Hens Bindery does not currently have a brick-and-mortar store and is not open to the public. You may browse and purchase from both the Crowing Hens Bindery online store, as well as the Crowing Hens Bindery Etsy store. You may also shop for Crowing Hens Bindery goods at the following locations:
- Parnassus Books—Nashville, TN
- Shimai Gallery of Contemporary Craft—Nashville, TN
- Art and Invention Gallery—Nashville, TN
- Flatrock Coffee Tea and More—Nashville, TN
- Postscript—Ashland, NE
- Union Ave Books—Knoxville, TN
Would you like to become a stockist? Fill out my wholesale form to discuss terms.
Do you repair and conserve old books?
The short answer is no, I do not.
As with many trades, bookbinding is vast and while many bookbinders have a wide array of knowledge of experience on various styles of binding, many choose to specialize in one particular area. My expertise is in the design and manufacture of new stationery bindings and not the repair and conservation of older books. I can be commissioned to place a new book in a cosmetically new binding, but older books that require mending, repair, and and extensive rebinding will require a referral to a bookbinder who specializes in the care and conservation of older books.
Can I commission a new binding?
Absolutely! Whether your needs are for a special journal, sketchbook, photo album, guestbook, ledger, or even to put a new cover on a brand new book, I can work with you to design a book to fit your needs and desires. Just fill out the form on my Contact page. Once I've received your message I'll explain the process and we can begin a dialogue to assess your binding needs.
Can I commission you to print and bind an edition of my novel/biography/thesis?
I do not offer printing and publication services at this time. Copyright is a tricky beast, and Crowing Hens Bindery does not currently operate an imprint for publication. If a text has already been printed but unbound, we can treat it as putting a new binding on a new book for a limited run. Fill out the form on my Contact page to discuss your options.
What about custom printing?
As with my binding services, my printing services are specialized and limited to my technology, type, and the materials I have on hand. If you're a gift shop in search of a series of prints to sell in your store, or you'd like custom postcards or stationery, you may submit an inquiry on my Contact page to discuss your options.
Do you wholesale?
Yes! Many of my items, such as my stationery, notebooks, and handmade leather book jewelry are available to wholesale. If you are a merchant or represent a gallery, bookstore or other business you may submit an inquiry on my Wholesale page to discuss my wholesale terms.
Do you teach workshops?
I do! I specialize in workshops from simple, low tech bookbinding all the way to advanced stationery binding. I also teach workshops in letterpress printing, linoleum carving, and marbled and painted decorative papers. Visit my Teaching page to read about some of the workshops I've offered in the past and fill out a form on my on my Contact page to inquire about hiring me to teach a new workshop.
Do you offer internships or apprenticeships?
At the moment, Crowing Hens Bindery does not offer one-on-one teaching or internships.