The Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is pleased to introduce our Standards of Excellence scholarship recipient for 2016, Kaoru Perry. Kaoru works at Cloverleaf Studios in Austin with Jace Graf and is a new member to LSC. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us and also to submit a few photos of her work.
Q: Where are you from originally?
A: I was born in Hiroshima, Japan and grew up on a small island outside of the main city.
Q: How long have you lived in Texas and how do you like it?
A: I have lived in Austin for 4 years now, but had spent time here visiting before. It is a unique collection of people, I like that so many come and start businesses around the things they want to make.
Q: How did you get into bookbinding and what was the first book you ever bound?
A: My husband Sean introduced to me to my mentor Jace Graf. Cloverleaf (where I now work) had published a single signature catalog of Sean’s photographs, and I had the opportunity to help make them. It was really just for fun, but I discovered my hand-skills were naturally suited to this type of practice, and I was eager to learn more. Cloverleaf had just accepted a commission to make a fancy edition for the gallerist Stephen Daiter, and that was my first, official work. Watching that edition come together, I knew this job would be one to really love, and be challenged by. I am so grateful that Jace is willing and continues to train and teach me.
Q: What book would you most like to bind, if you had a copy? (This is a roundabout way of asking what your favorite book is.)
A: I studied and worked as a painter, and have always loved the magic of the surrealists and the symbolism movement. I hope to someday bind a beautiful book about Arnold Böcklin. (Arnold Bocklin)
Q: You work at Cloverleaf Studios in Austin with Jace Graf. Is there a job you’ve done that stands out in your mind as being particularly challenging or fun?
A: I love the moments when Jace arrives with crazy, cool ideas, and I am the one to help bring them to life in 3D. It helps me feel that I am connected to the craftsman who have brought this art form forward. I simply feel lucky I get to practice everyday.