So you want to get to know the two of us a little better? Cool beans.

The Name

We are Kleiner Eisbär but you can call us Dennis and Krissy. Krissy started an Etsy account years before meeting and eventually falling madly in love with me (Dennis). There was a famously adorable polar bear in Germany named Knut and he was referred to as “kleiner eisbär” (little polar bear). I believe that there are few things bigger than David Hasselhoff in Germany, and Knut is one of them. Yeah, Knut’s that awesome.
There are few things bigger than David Hasselhoff in Germany, and Knut is one of them. Yeah, Knut’s that awesome.

Books

I started binding books because I’m selfish. I’m not going to go on about how much I loved books as a kid (I did) and how I read constantly (I don’t). No, I started binding books because my wife and I were getting married (at the zoo ) and we wanted something different.

We were tired of seeing so many traditional (read: silver) frames, albums, and guestbooks and wanted something unique to us. So with about a month to spare, I decided to order supplies and make a square format blank guestbook for our guests. Instead of the normal messages, we encouraged our guests to draw us pictures, and we left them all sorts of drawing utensils. Throughout the course of the afternoon, the book, colored pencils, and markers slowly drifted about from person to person until just about everybody had drawn us a picture. And it is one of our favorite mementos from our wedding;.

Custom bound wedding guestbook bound by hand by kleiner eisbar covered in hand made banana leaf paper

Each book we make is made by hand from hand-selected materials. Our paper and boards are cut by me from larger master sheets and then folded, sewn, and bound by hand according to the particular binding.

I’m a paper fanatic, so whenever possible I like to find fun or unique papers to use such as paper made from banana leaves, or paper screenprinted by hand in Zimbabwe. In the future, we hope to screenprint our own custom end papers and covers as we expand our knowledge of printmaking and binding. In the distant future, we’d like to implement letterpress into our bindings.

Hi, my name is Krissy. I like colors and anything miniature.

I enjoy making things. I use “things” as a blanket term for anything that interests me on any given day. I have a fondness for working with paint and making dolls and critters. I work messy. I like glitter. I squeal over cute things. If I had a punk band it would be called Best Swears. I like dresses with pockets. I like tea and buttons. I like music. We have a guinea pig named after Jasper Johns. I am a  preschool art teacher.  Do you like stickers? Me too.

A portrait of Krissy concentrating. Or something.

I have red rain boots. They make me feel invincible when I step in puddles. Especially deep puddles.

So Who Exactly Is This Dennis Guy?

Oh, hey; that’s my cue!

I’m the primary book maker in this shindig we call a business. Krissy totally helps me out though when she gets the time and feels comfortable (so no measuring, cutting straight lines, or case bindings).  I’m also a photographer. I suppose that doesn’t mean much—because who isn’t a photographer nowadays? I guess I’d have to say that I take it a bit more seriously and passionately than most people.

All of the photos on this website are ours and probably taken by me unless otherwise noted. I’m pretty obsessed with lighting. I have two Paul C. Buff Einstein monolights and a Nikon SB-600 flash. I tend to be most inspired by environmental portraiture and would love the opportunity to photography amazing people. One particular project I’m interested in is photographing artists, craftsmen, creators, and makers in the environment where they make their magic.

I’d also love to photograph weddings. Traditionally, photographers haven’t seen wedding photography as “art” but I disagree. Every wedding is special and unique and tells a different story about a different couple. In the last couple years I’ve been to a few weddings, and not one of them was alike the others. Weddings are full of an amazing cast of characters that act as the perfect supporting cast to the wedding couple.

A photo of Dennis from Kleiner Eisbar

I’m keenly interested in art, but on my own terms. I’m not the type to take an art history class, but I find  museums fascinating. Besides, I always have Krissy by my side to tell me that she doesn’t know anything about the paintings I’m asking about. (Apparently, it’s because I ask about the most random paintings.)

I’m pretty obsessed with letterpress. One day I hope to own a press (or three?). Currently we don’t have the space for a press, and I don’t know of a great place or person to learn from. It’s definitely on my to-do list. I also love screen printing. We have some screenprinting paraphernalia and we’re hoping to be able to put it to use soon. I’d like to be able to screen print limited runs of books in addition to making our own covers and end papers. Once we have our screenprinting operation up and running, we’ll be able to do a whole lot of exciting things.

 

Mostly, we are just two kids madly in love with each other making as many things together as we can. We are fun, quiet, a bit nerdy and think that the world needs more rainbows, unicorns, puppies, and kittens. And books.

A portrait of Krissy and I all dressed upp and looking spiffy!