This year was challenging. It was a year of moving to the Netherlands, working without a workshop and searching for new ways to go forward with iBookBinding.
But I’m happy with the way it went through and how it is ending.
Moving to the Netherlands
It is almost a year since we moved to the Netherlands. My wife was offered a promotion to work at the international office of her company. Without long hesitation, we decided to go. For her, that was a great opportunity to move forward with her career and to get even more opportunities in the future. I had to leave my day job, but I was in a better position compared to other spouses facing the expat life. This move was a chance for me to spend much more time developing iBookBinding and bookbinding tools shop at Etsy.
There were downsides for me as well. I had to leave my woodworking workshop in Moscow and stop teaching bookbinding. The latter one is one of my main regrets. Teaching was one of my greatest pleasures. Especially classes for kids organized by one of the prominent Moscow’s museums I had every weekend.
Before settling in Leiden we spent three months in a temporary apartment in Amsterdam. All these months and even a bit more I was looking for a workshop. I’ve been making wooden bookbinding tools for several years, and I moved some of my equipment with me to the Netherlands. I was ready to continue that work. However, as it appears, to find a place here for noisy work with power tools is either quite expensive or almost impossible for a person, who doesn’t speak Dutch. By midsummer, I was very upset by my inability to find a proper working place.
I guess that was one of the lowest points of my year.
3D-Printed Bookbinding Tools
That’s when I had some chats with colleagues and decided to shift my focus to 3d-printed bookbinding tools and jigs I’ve been designing and selling for almost a year at that moment.
I guess that was a turning point both for me and for the iBookBinding project. Having a positive mindset really helps to be much more productive.
The other thing that’s very important for me is that there are much more 3d-printed bookish tools at our Etsy shop now. The designing process is very challenging and fulfilling at the same moment. It’s a great pleasure to see that your ideas are well received by your peers.
As I’m constantly using almost all of the tools designed by me, all of them have gone through multiple updates this year. Book scanning frame, for example, is now in version 3.4. You may guess how many small and large changes were made to the initial design.
Even more tools and jigs will be added to our shop next year. Starting right from January.
Meeting New People
I have met a lot of new wonderful people this year.
Since summer there were many posts at iBookBinding that launched interesting discussions. Even more activity you may have seen on our Facebook page. I’m very grateful to our followers for constant support and willingness to share their experiences and ideas.
Every fair was challenging work and a great pleasure at the same moment. It is awesome to meet so many people who love books and bookbinding as much as you do. The other inspiring thing was that at every fair there were multiple visitors who came to iBookBInding’s table and told me they know what iBookBinding is and that they follow us on Facebook, or read the website.
These moments are what makes me go forward, and to work on the project with a doubled effort!
Getting Financial Support From Patrons
More people have decided to become our patrons at Patreon this year and to support iBookBinding financially. This helps to pay some of the bills and to bring even more content to all our community. I hope that trend will continue next year and we will be able to invite even more contributors to our project.
I’m very glad that we were able to start a new initiative to reward our patrons with our digitization project. Each month with digitize two or more old books about bookbinding, book arts or book history and share them with our patrons. Other visitors may also get these books for a small fee at my Issuu account.
Wooden Tools Have Returned to Our Shop!
Finally, this December some of our wooden bookbinding tools have returned to stock. Early next year I plan to start selling even more of them once again.
This was a challenging year, but I’m like how it turned out in the end. Looking forward to what 2019 brings =)