Events Inspiration

Boekbindbeurs Sint Niklaas

14 april 2014

The Boekbindbeurs in Sint Niklaas was already on my wishlist for a few years. Curious if this fair is different from the bookbindfair in Leiden I wanted to check out this one, hoping for some new participants with new surprising materials or methods.

Since Sint Niklaas is situated between Antwerpen and Gent, two amazing cities to visit for a weekend, we chose Gent for our weekendtrip. We did some nice sightseeing, some shopping in between and we had good drinks and dinners, even the weather cooperated, so we also enjoyed some of the many terraces on the Gent squares and streets. Some of the nicest shops I want to share with you, just in case you pay a visit to Gent in the coming period – which I can recommend – 🙂
Huiszwaluw                  interior and design products
Javana                            tea and coffee
A.Puur.A                         cloths, interior and design
Le Pain Quotidien        lunch
Vintage                          wine and dinner
Greenway                      veggie food

In short we had a great weekend and in this relaxed mood we arrived at the Bauhaus in Sint Niklaas at the end of the morning. Unfortunately we weren’t alone, we had to stand in line for more than half an hour to get in. We chose peak hour to arrive 🙁  Because it was so busy, we had a hard time trying to get a glimpse of the merchandise. Luckily the crowd decreased after a while and we were able to talk to some participants, such as the nice people of Louët. They are specialized in basic tools for bookbinding. Who needs big expensive machines if you can use the practical solutions of Louët. I bought myself a universal pricking gauge, so the pricking of the booklets will be so much easier and faster. Maybe in the future I will purchase the vertical plough as well. This stationery version of a plough makes really clean cuts for special editions.

Louet universal pricking gauge
There were not only participants selling bookbind stuff, but also some bookbinding and graphic design training institutes, such as TNA from Antwerpen, Syntra West from Brugge, the Academie from Genk and the Plantin Instituut from Antwerpen. The last one offers short courses and a longer curriculum for typography, its history and the practical use of it. Theoretical insights combined with the historical background, technical knowledge and practical skills of typography …. sounds amazing … if I only had the time … I would know !!
I also met some nice people from the 14 x 14 Boekbindproject (bookbinding project). This sympathetic bookbinding collective presents its project results in local libraries, on fairs and in a small inspiring 14 x 14 catalog.
In comparison with the fair in Leiden, Sint Niklaas is smaller and there is much emphasis on leather and leather processing. Each time I see this beautiful and colorful material it starts to itch a little … maybe I should learn how to process this material and give it a twist … but I still have so many things to discover and working with leather is very expensive and the booklets bound with leather will also cost a lot more than the booklets I am making now … so that means totally different customers … so maybe later 🙂
For now the Boekbindbeurs in Sint Niklaas was inspiring and worth to visit … but it is not necessary to visit both Leiden and Sint Niklaas … one is enough 🙂  … although the next one on the list is Keulen in October … who knows 🙂 …

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