Behind the Scenes with Broken Compass Trading Co., Spring Market New and Featured Artisan

Be inspired to write, sketch and more by the gorgeous, Coptic Stitch wood notebooks, designed and produced by Sarah Hieb of Broken Compass Trading Co.

FF: How did you begin your handmade journey?

BCT: I’ve always love creating with my hands, from ceramics, to jewelry making, and woodcraft. From a young age, I have sought out a new and challenging creative endeavors, and am drawn to work that is quality made, detailed, and embraces elements of the natural world.

FF: What lead you to your current line of goods?

BCT: After my husband and I moved into a tiny home (a 25' Airstream), there was no longer room for an excess of anything. I packed away my jewelry supplies, and happened upon bookbinding through a graphic design course. It was love at first stitch! After creating books with decorative paper covers and fabric, I tried my hand at wood-working and found my niche.

There’s nothing more satisfying that creating something functional, yet unlike anything else out there. Living in 200 square feet has changed my lifestyle, my values, and informs everything I do. Each book is thoughtfully made and crafted for durability.

FF: What materials do you work with & why?

BCT: The handmade books you find in my shop are made from a variety of wood species, but my current favorite is Walnut. This naturally dark, rich hardwood has unique grain patterns and color variations that I can’t help but be inspired by.

FF: Inspiration comes from where?

BCT: More than anything I am inspired by my materials and the natural world. I scour wood shops, websites, and art supply stores for the finest materials, and boards with unique grain patterns. Because I work with such an organic material, I find that spending time outside in nature is invaluable. My pyrography designs are inspired by nature, wanderlust, and the thrill of adventure.

FF: What excites you for the future?

BCT: It’s only been a year since I started Broken Compass Trading, and I’m thrilled with where this random adventure has brought me. I always love connecting with other makers, and have some exciting collaborations coming up this summer!

FF: Any advice for makers and biz entrepreneurs new to our creative community?

BCT: Seek out others in your area and online that you connect with. Support is vital! Don’t be afraid to try something new, and ask questions. I have found that feedback from customers, friends, family, and people at markets is immensely helpful in determining my direction.

FF: Anything else you'd like to tell us?

BCT: Each wood cover is carefully and meticulously produced by hand: they are cut, sanded, drilled, and sealed. Many of the notebooks are also hand stained and have hand-burned pyrography designs on the cover. All of the binding and paper cutting and folding is done by hand. When you buy from Broken Compass Trading, you are purchasing a completely handmade item.

Visit and shop with Broken Compass Trading Co. at Firefly Handmade Spring Market, May 21-22, 10-4, Twenty Ninth Street shopping district , 1710 29th St. (between Canyon & Walnut), Boulder, CO.


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