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Inspired by Flights of Imagination. Crafted by Artist’s Hand.

By Joanne Kluba



Bringing creativity, individuality and uniqueness together in book form underlines the essence of Joanne Kluba’s many projects and creations at Paper Birds Studio. With an extensive background in printmaking, painting, photography and calligraphy, Joanne brings a variety of expressive visuals to her varied formats of art books, custom bindery, portfolios and handmade boxes.


Since 2001, Joanne has created small custom bindery, specializing in hand bookbinding, small edition binding, boxes, portfolios and calligraphy in her St. Louis studio. She teaches regular classes and workshops here as well as at other art and cultural institutions. Joanne’s works have been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe.


With a BFA in Printmaking and an MA in Business from Webster University, St. Louis, Joanne also studied traditional bookbinding with St. Louis conservator Richard Baker. She continues to study with guilds and universities around the country. Prior to owning her own business, Joanne was Project Manager and Creative Manager for Studio 612 and Maritz Motivation Company.


•  Washington University

•  Casey Communication

•  Javeiln, Inc.

•  Maritz Travel

•  Fleischman-Hillard

•  Patty Gabriel Photography

•  Mozaic

•  Private Collectors


I have recorded my journey through life and lands, dreams and events, in journals since I was young. In my journals I observe, collect, create. I am motivated to tell the story of life. The books I make are containers for the stuff of life. As an artist I am a collector of sketches, paintings, prints, papers, ideas, words, stories, experiences. The book is perfect vehicle for tying together the confetti of inspiration. As a book artist I am interested in binding together the fragments of imagination that inspire writers and artists into a well-designed, hand-crafted book. I love taking a box of someone’s very sacred photos and turning them into a family heirloom. I love taking pictures of children, along with their stories and making a book they can treasure for many years to come. I love taking a novel or a body of poetry and interpreting the subject with a cover and binding that expresses the spirit of the work. I love to create a portfolio book or box of an artist’s work that complements and enhances the work. I love creating a wedding memory book that enhances a couple’s special day and provides a unique, treasured keepsake. I love making custom blank journals for people to record their thoughts and memories, to pass along to their children. And it’s not just about the contents. The binding itself is a lasting work of art. It is a favorite pattern, selection of favorite colors. It touches you in the way it feels, how it closes and opens. A carefully hand-crafted book can take you places, record your personal stories and house your favorite memories. The exquisite craft of the book, in these days of mass publication, is an art that demands preservation. I am thrilled to pay personal attention to detail, to take the time with each step of production, to create the beautiful enclosure for an artist’s or a writer’s collection of work. Each book or box is planned with careful attention to interesting textures, rich colors, beautiful presentation, ease of use and aesthetic quality. I work with archival materials as much as possible to preserve the boxes and books. I make these books, crafted by hand, inspired by flights of imagination.