Browsing Tag

bookbinding material



31 juli 2014

Lille … also known as ‘Paris of the North’ … nice to visit for one day! Last Tuesday we took the Thalys from Rotterdam and in two hours we were in Lille. Arriving at Euralille isn’t exactly the best way to enter the city. This modern concrete monstrous environment doesn’t give you a warm welcome … but within five minutes you forget about that. Lille is a beautiful French-Flemish city, very nice to stroll around.

There are plenty of nice boutiques, salons de thé and restaurants in ‘La Vieille Ville’, the old city. Winding cobblestones streets, ancient facades – often very colorful -, hidden passages and nice squares. In short it is a feast for the eyes to walk through Lille.

Unfortunately the museums are closed on Tuesdays, otherwise we certainly would have visited Le Palais des Beaux-Arts or the museum of modern art. Fortunately the shops were open, and we managed to find a really nice one; L’Atelier La Sorciere Verte, a boutique for paper artists, writing and bookbinding. In French it even sounds better: Boutique de Créateurs en Papeterie, Ecriture & Atelier de Reliure. A lovely shop to nose. A lot of beautiful paper! When you are in Lille and you love paper, don’t forget to visit this shop!
Since we were in France we couldn’t go home without some really nice French (smelly) cheese as well, so we saw (and smelled) a lot of funny cheeses that day 🙂

It’s definitely worth visiting Lille! .. I had a lovely day … and now … back to business … I have some books to bind today 🙂


Prien at Lille
Prien at Lille
Prien at Lille


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 🙂 …
Bookbinding Inspiration

Retro Colours

26 november 2013

Sometimes one just has all the luck in the world … and this week it was me!! A week ago I responded to an ad on a typography newsletter offering a remaining lot of bookbinders linen. Unfortunately I wasn’t the only one, and not even the first one … so bad luck. BUT! … a few days later I received an email after all, saying that if I was still interested I could buy the bookbinders linen per meter. So yesterday I went to the library (the selling party) and I met the guy who worked in the bindery of the library years ago. These days the library has sourced out the binding process, so the bindery department, somewhere deep in the cellars of the building has been closed for a long time. But whow, it’s a real treasure house; big (and I mean BIG) bookpresses, small bookpresses, board scissors and a lot of happy retro coloured strong bookbinders linen. It was nice to see the library from ‘the inside’ and meet this nice guy with whom I measured over 70 metres of the coolest linen.
..and after that … I had to transport all those heavy meters to my house … by bike …. I did it in two stages. Luckily the rain stopped for a little while when I biked home heavily loaded, fantasising about all the booklets I can make with this incredible material …



BoekKunstBeurs in Leiden

3 november 2013

Yesterday my friends and I visited the BoekKunstBeurs in Leiden. This fair is situated in an old church in the center of Leiden. It is always a pleasure to visit this yearly event; walking around in a nice environment, talking with enthusiastic exhibitors, meeting acquaintances and checking out new products. Of course I bought too many things, so my arms still hurt because of carrying all that stuff around, but my head is full of new ideas … now I need a lot of time to carry out all these plans 🙂