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The Diary Shop

Notes on Paper
My Ethical Production Policy
How your book was made
What is genuine leather
About the seller

 

The Diary Shop

sketchbooks and journals designed for artists by artists

The Diary Shop produces hand-crafted journals, sketchbooks, and diaries. My products are designed by artists for the use of artists. I offer a range of fine handmade papers and cartridge papers suitable for a wide variety of media. My leather-bound books are made for artists on the move - they have rugged leather bindings and individually stitched signatures of handmade paper that will open and lie flat, and which will not yellow with age. I also make photo-albums for those who cherish pre-digital photography. I specialise in individual commissions and unique pieces that match your exact requirements.

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My Ethical Production Policy

 

 

It is my policy to produce books from natural and renewable materials that will have a minimum impact on the environment.

 

I use exclusively water-buffalo hides and cow hides from mature animals that have come to the end of their working life. No animals are bred and slaughtered solely for the purpose of producing leather for my books. All prepared leather 'blanks' are sourced from Hindu village communities in India and Nepal and are imported to UK by my own company DESTINY HANDICRAFTS Pvt Ltd; I do not purchase or import from any other wholesaler. I am personally responsible for all aspects of design, embossing and finishing. Metal book furniture is - regrettably - imported from China, as all other sources have dried up. But I can make up book clasps/locks/trims etc in silver for custom orders.

 

To tan leather I use a natural tannin wash as an alternative to the highly toxic chromium salts commonly used in tanning. This natural tannin dye occasionally leaves a small residue on the surface of the leather, and some dye may appear on your hands on first handling of a new book. This is entirely harmless, and will cease altogether on further handling when the dye stabilizes. I hope you will agree with me that this is a small price to pay for a method of production that avoids poisoning our environment.

 

My handmade paper is sourced directly from the Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, Taj Handmade Paper of Jaipur, and the cooperative of paper producers in Luang Prabang, Laos. It is produced without the use of bleaches and other toxic chemicals commonly associated with paper production.

 

It is my aim to produce books that meet the needs and wishes of the artists, art students, travelers and writers and poets who commonly purchase my books. For that reason I am always interested to hear your comments, and any suggestions you have for improvements or for new products. Of the 200 designs in my 'library' of embossing plates over half were made in response to requests from individual customers - but if you do have a special request, please remember that embossing is a low-tech mechanical process and that etching a plate requires time.

 

You are very welcome to choose and collect items from my workshop in Sussex rather than receiving purchases through the post - so that you can see exactly what you will get before you make up your mind.