Sue Gould has always loved and collected art, but it never occurred to her during her business and professional career, nor while raising a family, that she would make art. Three months in Florence, Italy changed that.
“We rented an apartment, and I wanted to create a life there, not just be tourists,” she explained, sitting in her art-filled home in Ladera. “My husband had studied Italian, but I didn’t want to do that. Eventually, I settled on book binding and paper marbling. I got in touch with a fifth generation book binder, Enrico Giannini, and went to his studio three times a week.
“I continue to work with Eleanor Ramsey in San Francisco as well as Enrico when we go to Florence, which we’ve been doing once a year. It’s an avocation — I’m not ready to bind someone else’s book.”
The book binding has lead her to another form of art, handmade boxes, that she is selling on Etsy.
“I’ve always made iPhoto books as soon as we had a set of pictures,” she said. “I could never find a box that fit the iPhoto books. The ones I make are a perfect fit.”
In addition to selling through Etsy, Susan’s boxes are sold, fittingly, in Enrico’s daughter’s store in Florence.
“I enjoy business still, but I really like not going to the office every day,” said Sue, who retired in 2010. “This is amazing freedom for me. It would still be great to see the box business grow.
“The really wonderful part is that all kinds of art stuff is coming out now — things I’ve never done before in my life!”
Photo by Irene Searles