{Unique} Spotlight on TYLER BENDER BOOK CO.

2 Nov

Last week, I emailed several questions to another green vendor who will be selling his wares at the Unique LA December show. Tyler Bender, whose “BOOK CO.” bears his name, thoughtfully responded to our inquiry. We hope you’ll check out his exquisitely creative, decidedly green products.

All the photos you see hail from postings on Tyler’s Etsy shop. Enjoy the interview, and thanks, Tyler, for your time. See you in December.

G|F : How would you describe what you do?

TBBC : I make functional everyday objects from yesterday’s discarded materials, currently: blank notebooks from vintage clothing, LPs, cereal boxes, and discarded library book covers.


Is the “green” element of your work a conscious decision or a pleasant by-product of your design aesthetic? In other words, what came first : the eco-mission or the art?

Our parents raised us to be frugal and resourceful, and this has found its way into every corner of my life, including the making of artwork. The green elements in my work draw more upon the concepts of reusing and reducing via the repurposing of materials otherwise labeled as waste. As I learn more about what others are doing to preserve and make the most of our natural world, my goal is now to become as ‘green’ or renewable as possible. The art is constantly evolving and adapting to this idea, but it was the art that came first.

How and when did you stumble upon book binding?il_430xN.95392645

My interest in bookbinding sparked in kindergarten, when we would ‘publish’ little story books at school. That process was always so exciting to me. After high school I made blank notebooks for myself to write and draw in, using scrap paper from other art and collage projects.

The first binding method I used was my own crude design, using what was immediately available in the house. I pounded holes into a stack of paper with a hammer and nail, and sewed it up with telephone wire.

Considering you work in art and design, where do you glean inspiration?il_430xN.95392916

Thankfully, inspiration may be found everywhere, by almost anything people do. Some of the most brilliant design or technology is often the simplest.

On your Etsy page, you offer custom work. What are some of the most interesting items you’ve been asked to bind or use for binding?

It’s amazing how rarely a customer makes a familiar request. Probably the most heartwarming idea I’ve received so far was the careful portioning of a family heirloom, a grandfather’s coat, into several books, one for each of his children.

And finally : When did you first become involved with Unique LA, and what are your expectations for the December show?

Unique’s Spring 2009 show was my first, and it was very successful.  The organizers really know what they are doing, and I sincerely look forward to December’s event.

You can find Tyler Bender Book Co. on Etsy.


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