Fine handmade books, albums, boxes, and more...
bringing beauty & distinction to life's personal & professional collections.

About Azalea Bindery


Azalea Bindery provides custom bookbinding services specializing in new books, custom photo albums and clamshell boxes. We also hand marble paper in house adding beauty and uniqueness to our pieces. We work closely with our clients to bring your creative ideas and collections together in a lasting, meaningful format. Our clients enjoy the process and can help us render a perfect gift or family heirloom. Let’s create together! If you can picture it, we can make it.

Our fine bookbinding pieces begin with book board covered in silk, linen, or leather and accessorized with hand titling, tooling, and marbled paper. Many of our design ideas come from architectural, floral, and geometric elements.  And, we love harmonious hues and distinctive patterns.

Whether we’re making a goatskin leather book, a clamshell box, a unique journal, or our 6-piece wedding collection, we continue to refine the utility of our fine bookbinding pieces using new technologies, advanced flexible adhesives and a full inventory of high quality materials. All pieces are one of a kind and hand crafted. Using only traditional bookbinding and marbling techniques, we are environmentally friendly and guarantee our work for life. The work takes place in beautiful Asheville, NC.

Meet Mary Carol Koester, Bookbinder and Paper Marbler

Artist/Owner, Mary Carol Koester


Bookbinder and marbler, Mary Carol Koester, compares her craft to couture. Only a handful of bookbinding and marbling tools compliment her master craftsmanship. Her professional book binding pieces help preserve memories and enhance professional presentations making your documents and images come to life. Not surprisingly, your finely crafted pieces will be treasured for generations. Mary Carol is a juried member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild, a member of The Guild of BookWorkers, and a lifelong supporter of the arts.

capital at play magazine cover of Azalea Bindery

Read more about Mary Carol Koester in the article published in Capital at Play magazine

Preserving the Crafts of Custom Bookbinding and Marbled Paper

Photo Album, Silk & Marbled Paper, 8×8


Mary Carol Koester mentors new makers and occasionally teaches small classes from her bindery on book making, box making and paper marbling. Book binding and paper marbling are exacting art forms and normally begin with an apprenticeship which can last for years.

Intricate, complex crafts can’t be learned from a book and a devoted student needs a devoted teacher. In the 17th Century, a book binder or paper marbler worked for 20 years under a master before she was permitted to open her own studio.

“When I made my first book 20 years ago, I knew I’d continue learning and perfecting the skills of book binding and marbling for the rest of my life.”

Need Custom Book Binding Service Quickly?


Azalea Bindery will personally work with you to meet your deadline or unforeseen event.  Our work schedule is normally booked 12 months out. Please email and she will contact you to discuss your project. A 50% rush fee will be added. We will do our best to assist you.

If you are visiting Asheville, NC, check out this great list of things to do while you’re here.
Scroll to top