Mary Carol Koester

A resident of Asheville since 2000, Mary Carol has reinvented herself as a fine craft bookbinder. She grew up in Pennsylvania in a large family with nine children (she is the oldest girl) and was exposed to music, museums, books and art throughout her childhood. She set out on a career in Forestry, eventually being offered a position as national program manager for the USDA Forest Service in Washington, DC. 

That location, near the Smithsonian Museums and Renwick Gallery, afforded her the opportunity to keep up her early interest in appreciating the arts. But it was after her relocation to Asheville that she took a leap of faith and pursued exploring her own creative side.

A class in bookbinding proved to be a perfect fit. Mary Carol always had fine attention to detail and an interest in fabric and the papers: they linked her to her many years working with forestry and being in the outdoors. Today Mary Carol is one of a small number of craftspeople in the region that practice bookbinding.  She offers customers a wide selection of journals, notepads, wedding albums, boxed sets as well as custom binding.

Visiting Mary Carol’s Asheville home and art studio is a delight. We’ll see her large stash of marbled papers, her custom stamps and interesting leathers as well as her tools; all organized and thoughtfully arranged matching her work–precise and beautiful. 

Artist Gallery