Robin Williams Harper is a paper, book, and collage artist who produces many kinds of handmade books and paper creations including blank books, books-as-art, and calendars out of the tiny Celestine Studio in Haw River, North Carolina. She builds original books using traditional binding methods as well as some styles of her own design.
She frequently works with writers and photographers to custom design and bind small editions of their works. Harper also creates calligraphied documents of all kinds, specializing in wedding certificates after the manner of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). In addition to new books, Harper does a brisk trade in book repair. She has taught bookbinding, papermaking, and printmaking classes in the Triangle area since 1988. Outside of Celestine Studio, she works in the Preservation Department at D.H. Hill Library at NC State University.
Harper was trained in drawing and painting at East Carolina University. Many of her works involved collage, an interest that would inspire her to make her own paper to incorporate into her paintings. Eventually the paper took over as the focal point, which evolved into binding the paper into books and exploring binding techniques. She furthered her knowledge of these processes at the Haystack School in Deer Isle, Maine; the Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts; and the Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina.