A Bookbinder can be a number of things: Yes, they, we, bind books, but what does that mean? For me it is two things:
Repair of broken books using traditional methods and the same or similar materials depending on cost and availability - and the wishes of the book's owner. Current thinking is to retain as much of the original as possible respecting the whole, as a book assumes a cohesive shape through time. Repair is what's required, not a makeover.
It is important to note that I do not do gold tooling or title label blocking, however I can order the latter from a bookbinder who does have this all-together-different body of equipment.
Making books/journals for personal travel or exhibition or sale in gallery/shops, or to commission. My preference as can be seen is a no-glue in the spine approach, which means the book lays flat. I tend to use 140gsm cartridge, or watercolour, or a harlequin mix including papers for pastels or charcoal, and Khadi cotton papers for the ends.
With raggy leather covers they become artefacts unconstrained by the expectations of a rigid book. I have recently become bewitched by the Dartmoor organic felted sheep wool purchased from Bellacouche in Moretonhampstead, which I use for covers instead of leather. But, clearly if being commissioned the client's preference is paramount.
More About Me
Learn more about how my journey with bookbinding began.
...because reading books and having them bound represent two enormously different stages of development. First, people gradually get used to reading, over centuries naturally, but they don't take care of their books and toss them around. Having books bound signifies respect for the book; it indicates that people not only love to read, but they view it an important occupation. Nowhere in Russia has that stage been reached. Europe has been binding its books for sometime.