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Publishers Weekly Bookselling

Foreign Artists Flourish
Cynthia Clark -- 6/26/00
Add some international flavor to your sideline offerings
with these foreign favorites

Made by Humans' CD wheel
holds 30 cases.
If the year 2000 is any indication, international artisans and creative thinkers will flourish in the retail world during the new millennium.
In both Europe and the U.S., elegant, artsy, handmade stationery and desk accouterments are popping up all over. The delightful Beatrice Rigaud Creations of Paris designs a wide variety of creative blank books, photo albums, Post-it holders, correspondence portfolios, greeting cards and papers made with high-quality materials assembled with distinctive flair. Many lines contain collage-like, often witty elements juxtaposed with elegant, handmade papers or fine-grade leather to impart a whimsical yet refined style. Greeting cards are tres chic, many sporting transparent, vellum-like papers for both note and envelope. More than 30 collections to choose from; custom mix-and-match orders encouraged. In the U.S., call Sylvain Messe de Regnier (617) 426-2962, fax (617) 426-1052; e-mail ateliers@beatrice-rigaud.com.

Ambiente Papierdesign, of Ohringen, Germany, creates a fabulous and inventive array of colorful, handmade boxes, gift bags, writing paper and cards decorated with cut-out, recessed windows filled with small, decorative objects. The boxes, especially, are playfully sophisticated and beg to find a desk to call home. Heart motifs are a specialty of the house, and the company also manufactures stone hearts in a wide selection of sizes and colors for use as paperweights, mementos, or key chains. Custom orders available. Call 00-49-79 41/634 67, fax 00-49-79 41/613 17; e-mail ambiente.klees@t-online.de.

Closer to home, a. i. Paper Design, of Oak Park, Mich., offers handmade photo and scrap albums, journals, photo frames, and decorative objects featuring collage and shadow boxes. Albums and journals have appealingly craftsy covers of handmade paper with recessed windows filled with collage elements; all are bound with silver rings that open and close, allowing for easy page turning as well as adding or subtracting pages. Photo albums are filled with acid-free cardstock and can be used equally well as scrap books or journals; dream journals are filled with all kinds of colored and textured papers. The specialty of this house consists of charmingly embellished albums of various sizes filled with envelopes and, yes, paper bags, giving great new potential to the term scrap book; the envelopes and bags can not only be filled with mementos but also written or drawn or pasted on like a journal or traditional scrap-book page. Paper-bag albums contain 30 10"×13" paper bags bound with wood and raffia, in natural or bright batik colors; envelope albums come in 6"×9" or 3"×6", sizes in collections geared toward individuals, brides and new babies (or parents of). Photo frames come in square or peaked styles and sport nifty collage elements plus the occasional, usually literary quotation. Call (248) 336-2356; e-mail aipaper@earthlink.net.

The Rag & Bone Bindery, in Providence, R.I., is an independent bookbinding studio that creates, binds and distributes its own handmade blank books, albums, journals, diaries and guest books. Classic albums come in four sizes and can be bound in any of 21 different decorative paper covers; they contain 40 hand-cut, deckle-edged, acid-free pages in either creamy white or black. Artisan albums also come in four sizes and combine Japanese book cloths with unique and unusual decorative papers and can be bound in 14 different decorative fabric and paper combinations. Guest books, address books and journals can be bound in a selection of papers and fabrics. All of these elegant books would make stunning gifts or memorable keepsakes for special occasions. Call (888) 338-8128, fax (888) 338-8129; www.ragandbone.com.

The talented guys at Pigalle in San Francisco have rounded up a marvelous collection of very cleverly packaged journals, pens, pencils, sketch portfolios, library photo albums, drawing sets, artists' pastels and, should the occasion warrant, erasers and artists' hand soap. Keenly interested in the creative being, either verbal or visual, Pigalle presents these essentials in simple but well-appointed, even dashing, trappings. The 9"×13" refillable library photo albums come with 40 black pages and durable buckram covers available in lapis blue, light olive, black, mustard yellow, apple red and pumpkin orange--served straight up with nothing cloying to distract. Boxed writers' journals hold six softcover, 8½"×11" lined notebooks designed for the traveler, student and diarist; in vivid primary colors. For the stylish yet practical muse. Call (415) 923-0889, fax (415) 929-0739; e-mail pigallesf@aol.com.

For those who prefer to jot electronically, Made by Humans, of Vancouver, Canada, has devised a jaunty line of computer monitor giftware so that your PC at work or home needn't feel unloved or at least unadorned. Using transparent, self-adhesive stickers and clear suction cups, a bevy of mini-vases, CD holders and memo or picture holders are ready to perk up that workstation. The best of these are clean-cut and straightforward, and even won Best New Product awards at the National Stationery Show in May. Other products from the company are equally original and range from a lap table or desk to several modes of witty desk clocks, memo and picture holders, pop-art-style desk lamps and a surprising assortment of small vases, among others. Being a working human seems more palatable somehow. Call (604) 731-0503, fax (604) 731-0585; e-mail info@madebyhumans.net.
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