What’s in your bind?

The essence of perceiving quality in bookbinding comes from experiencing the container, while keeping its contents very much in mind – bookbinding is a mindful craft. A fine artistic binding for a book is created in response and informing the content and its context (the text, the type, the visual design, the illustrations, the paper, the printing… and maybe the bookmarks, the book’s previous provenance, its hand-written marginalia, the wear of usage and physical damage, its place in the author’s body of work, its influence on other books). The bound book is a physical and an intellectual and an emotional artefact, more resonant with other meanings than most other forms of handcrafted objects. It has a form that enables its use and its interaction with people, down to even “that minuscule wind, the tiniest flutter created by the turned or flicked page – the ever-so-slight disturbance of the air is as significant or even more significant, than the encounter with the word on the page… For the page read would not occur without this little disturbance.” (Quoted from To Love, To Live: Cart and Barrow, by Lisa McDonald and Vicki Crowley, in Cultural Studies Review vol 19 no. 2 September 2013).

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