In her own work, Susan delights in the interplay between form and content, the accidental imagery of paste paper painting, and the pleasures of discovery in paper engineering. The subjects of her work include the natural world, poetry, the intersection of myth and science, and change over time. She enjoys investigating and incorporating found materials such as mica, stone, dried plants, shells and other natural objects in her books. Pochoir, handwriting, hand-carved stamping, pen and ink, gouache, watercolor, inkjet printing and hot foil stamping are some of the techniques she employs.

She notes: “The journals I have kept over the past fifteen years reflect my ongoing practice of close attention. Rapid changes in technology are influencing “first world” people in ways that separate us from our animal bodies and from the lives—vegetable, mineral, and animal/human—that our thoughtless habits are helping to destroy. Teaching and practicing close attention—through book arts and journal keeping—is my small way of resisting this trend.”

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Otter Pond Bindery Book Arts Kits

Bookbinding kits include all materials and printed, illustrated instructions. Age recommendations/experience levels vary as indicated. All kits also include a 10% discount on a class at Otter Pond Bindery. Kits may also include additional items as noted. Email me at for prices, to order, and to find out about additional kits.

Simple bookbinding toolkits are also available. They include a needle tool, bone folder, needle & thread, cardboard sewing cradle and cutting mat, acid-free permanent glue stick, clips and a Davey board 45° angle ruler—everything needed (except scissors) to complete the book kit projects.

“No Glue—No Sew Accordion Book”
Contains Otter Pond Bindery marbled paper, text paper, colored paper, marbled spine and cardstock covers. Finished book is 3" x 4.5" x .25". Age 10 and up. All skill levels.

“Five Books in a Five-Minute Case”
Kit includes all parts necessary to make five different book forms that fit in a paper case. Materials for each book are clearly labeled. Finished size of case with five books is 4.125"w x 5"h x 1.5"d. Ages 15 and up. Some book arts experience/skill highly recommended.

“Double-Signature Book in Paste Paper Wrapped Cover”
Kit includes Otter Pond Bindery paste paper, 16 pp text paper, cardstock inner cover, thread. Finished book measures 6.5" x 7.75" x .25". Ages 12 and up. All skill levels.

“Small Double-Signature Book with Marbled Cover”
Kit includes Otter Pond Bindery marbled paper, text paper, cardstock inner cover, thread. Age 12 and up. Some experience helpful. Finished book measures 4" x 4.75" x ~ .25"

“Tracks and Traces”
This kit includes a paste paper-decorated cardstock cover with ready-to stick pockets, button, thread, text pages, plus four-inch and ten-centimeter ready-to-stick-on paper rulers, and an animal tracks ID card for animals in the Northeast.* Finished book measures 4" x 4.5". Age 8 and up. All skill levels. This kit is designed to encourage kids to have fun discovering animal visitors in their own back yards.

*Many other ID cards are available, including winter twigs, leaves, seashells, aquatic invertebrates, ferns, raptors, etc. from Libby Davidson, in Colchester, VT.

Special commissions often focus on preserving family memories — from a twenty-volume edition of a personal memoir to unique, hand-bound wedding guest books and photo albums. High-quality materials and craftsmanship distinguish Susan's work and her open, friendly, and creative style insures that what you want is clearly understood and that her design will best suit your needs.

It was a complete pleasure working with Susan on a 20-volume hand-bound edition of The Mental Portrait Album adapted from one my great-grandfather had in the 1890s. She overcame several challenges with the format, created a beautiful product and cared about results as much as I did.

—Jennifer Gilbert