Gosh, how I love books. And handmade. And craftmanship. There’s a reason I graduated in Book & Publishing Studies (now called Book and Digital Media Studies, I see) (and yes, Journalism was a Master too, but I couldn’t graduate in two fields). I just loved digging into the history of books, the amazing craftmanship that people displayed hundreds of years ago. But after graduation, I didn’t actually do anything with it, I just went on to artschool and did graphic design (only to drop out a year later), and then started working in the filmindustry. Of course.
Anyway, I’ve never lost my love of books. The smell of paper, the way it feels when you touch it with your fingers… Beats a kindle any day (can you believe we discussed the coming of e-readers during my studies, 10 years ago? My teacher was so modern with his e-reader back then!). So doing a workshop with Marlous Tode was only logical: she taught us some pretty useful bookbindingskills, and reheated my fire! Since then I’ve been making lots of books myself, I just love it! Turning some loose pieces here and there into an actual book is just an amazing process.
‘Getting lost will help you find yourself’. A sentence from the Holstee Manifesto which really hit me this week. I always tend to drift off my path, only to finally arrive at the place where many, many years ago I thought I should be. That’s ok though, I don’t always need to take the short way home. So I’ve been thinking about this many times, and I’m great at procrastinating, but… shouldn’t I be doing something with bookbinding, on a more serious level? I don’t mean quitting my dayjob and become a bookbinder. But I could research the world of bookbinding and see if there’s any good courses out there. Embrace the craftmanship, that sort of thing.
Since I know I sometimes impulsively dive into things and then lose interest again, let’s just make this sit around in my brain a little while longer. But for anyone out there looking for some bookbinding inspiration, here’s some interesting (Dutch!) links:
The 2 year bookbinding course in Utrecht
The Ambachthuys in Den Haag offers courses too
Boekbinderij Papyrus in Leiden offers workshops and courses
An organisation which promotes bookbinding
The Vereniging Nederlandse Handboekbinderijen
If you have other suggestions and inspiring links, please share them with me and everyone else!