kaija-rantakari-paperiaarre
Kaija Rantakari is a Finnish bookbinder, mixed media artist and poet. She is an explorer of paper and on paper. Her Paperiaarre brand focuses on impeccably crafted handmade books and mixed media pieces that are worthy of the title paper treasure.

about paperiaarre

My name is Kaija Rantakari, and my Paperiaarre blog showcases handmade books, different bookbinding techniques, mixed media art taking many shapes, as well as my love for all things old and beautiful. I hope to inspire my fellow paper enthusiasts through my paper explorations.

Paperiaarre is about finding the things you feel are right for you. I make my art for individuals looking for treasures to fill their daily life - hence the name, which is Finnish for paper treasure. In my blog you will find updates about my new work, practical tips for you crafty people to use in your bookbinding projects, and totally useless but important snippets of beauty. I also have a shop on Etsy where you can buy some of the treasures I've created especially for you.

I believe this time we’re living in is the time of uniqueness. By this I don’t mean everyone wanting to stand out from the crowd, but that many people have (hopefully) recognized their worth as their own person, as an original and special human being. I’m hoping to create one of a kind books, art and jewelry that support that feeling of self worth and uniqueness. Journalling, in any form you choose, is a practice that heals your soul, clarifies your personal goals, and helps you achieve them. I think having a great book to work with can only help the process, don’t you?

As a master bookbinder I, obviously, know a lot about books. Out of all the different types of techniques and materials I’ve learned and tried along the years, I’ve chosen to use the ones I believe are the best. And by the best I mean the most practical, most durable, and most beautiful. From the very start of my career as a bookbinder I’ve considered a superb quality the most important feature of my work. Once you’ve tried a good handbound notebook, you’ll never want to go back to machine made bulk notebooks. It really is a pleasure to write or draw in a nice-looking book that works with you, not against you, by staying open when and where you want it to.

My second love, in addition to bookbinding, is mixed media art. I adore vintage photos and other old materials; I find it exhilirating to use them to make something entirely new and beautiful. I create collage boxes, tiny and slightly less tiny, as well as jewelry that is both approachable and affordable. These pieces of art are treasures for your home and your body – they have grasped a fleeting moment in time you can now recognize and cherish as your own.

In the future I hope to find new ways to combine my bookbinding skills with vintage materials and mixed media techniques, and create artists’ books that touch your soul and mine.

 

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About me

I’m a perfectionist who likes folding paper, textures, collections, vintage finds, odd scientific details, and most people most of the time.

I fell in love with bookbinding because it combines artistic and practical qualities in a most enjoyable way. I have made things by hand longer than I can remember. One of my earliest crafty memories includes a pair of scissors and a very unfortunate woollen jumpsuit. I have an inherited affection to both books and to creating things from scratch, by hand, with obsessive focus on details. A part of me is more an engineer than an artist, and bookbinding feels to me like building art. It’s a puzzle that fits together perfectly only if you know what you’re making right from the start.

I enjoy making books for other creative people because it gives me a chance to imagine what great things are written, drawn, imprinted onto the pages of these simple little books I make. I like to think of my books as vessels of potential which are made to be aligned with your creative potential.

I just moved to Helsinki and I’m enjoying my time exploring my new surroundings while working on my second poetry book. So, not only do I bind books – I also write them! You can buy or download my first book Mikado (Poesia, 2015) here. For the time being my poetry is available in Finnish only, but if you know a publisher interested in a translation, let me know!

custom orders

I don’t currently make any custom order books. This way I can always guarantee the high quality of my work I hold so important. Nothing is designed or finished in a rush, so you can trust you’re always getting the best product possible.

 

education

  • master bookbinder, Tyrvää School of Arts and Crafts, 2006
  • apprentice bookbinder, Tyrvää School of Arts and Crafts, 2005
     
  • my full leather fine bindings have won first and second prizes, and received honorary mentions in Finnish bookbinding competitions. Additionally I’ve taken part in international competitions like the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition where my books have been exhibited in the National Library of Scotland.

If you want to learn more about how I became a master bookbinder, take a look at what I wrote about my studies in my blog (part 1, part 2, part 3).

 

print & feature

 

now what?

Now that you’ve made it this far, I’d like to share a few blog post that I think you might enjoy:

Some of my all time favourite Paperiaarre books

Some of my all time favourite Paperiaarre mixed media pieces

And finally some Paperiaarre tutorials for you to try!