About Us

  Nancy and Matt Hulan, owners of Arte of the Booke

Nancy & Matt

Ever since Nancy was a child, her two great loves have been painting and books. Not just reading -- although reading is wonderful! -- but also books as objects, to see, to hold, to smell, to caress. After she discovered the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance through involvement with a medieval history group, she studied all three traditional book arts -- calligraphy, illumination, and binding---and has taught these skills to members of living history and reenactment groups. Nancy uses authentic techniques and materials for most of her work, including 23K gold leaf and animal skin parchment.

Matt grew up with a love of reading and art as well, and he focuses on binding leather journals. Together, he and Nancy carefully curate the selection of nonfiction history books they carry in their festival shops, and share their love of historical writing and bookbinding techniques with patrons. One of the things that sets Arte of the Booke apart from most other journal sellers is our knowledge of medieval techniques and use of historical materials, such as hand-cut quills, genuine parchment, and vegetable-tanned leather.

Our festivals

Our bookshop at the Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, NC

Our home studio is in Roanoke, VA, but we are usually on the road at Renaissance festivals throughout the country. Come visit us in person at the Georgia Reniassance Festival in the spring (Fairburn, GA), the Bristol Renaissance Faire in the summer (Bristol, WI), and the Carolina Renaissance Festival in the fall (Huntersville, NC).