Why is bookbinding endangered?
There are few jobs – and even fewer apprenticeships – where one can still practice the craft. Additionally, it can be challenging to articulate the added value of quality to costumers used to going to less expensive bookshops. This has encouraged me to hold exhibitions and attend big fairs.
How important is your collaboration with other artisans?
Networking with other craftspeople, from calligraphers to engravers, goldsmiths, carvers and joiners, is a big part of my work. I have a habit of really getting to understand how other people with great skills in other crafts can influence me, and this has often led to collaborations.
What does "well made" mean to you?
One could refer to perfection in craftsmanship but I feel "perfection" is a pointless term. I prefer to say that the well-made objects move people, they are touched by it – but not everyone will be moved by the same thing. One should feel something, anything, when holding a book in their hands.
Do you train apprentices?
Yes, it is very important for the survival of the craft. With me, and the type of bookbinding I am doing, good practical skills are important. Therefore, my apprentices tend to be older and have ended up in my workshop through many different routes.