The know-how of bookbinding is as old as the books’ birth. Codex is the first book and has appeared in the 1st Century during the Roman period and has never stoped evolving. During the Middle Ages, it was particularly used into the religious texts. The bookbinding is related to this story and has achieved its apogee in France in the 18th Century and 19th Century, with the traditional bookbinding techniques.
The industrialisation in the 19th Century has introduced the mass production of books and the disappearance of bookbinding. Today, the digital development takes a big place but books have not disappear. The bookbinding know-how is rare and precious. It finds new will, particularly in the contemporary creation.
The objective of this savoir-faire is about creating or repearing books, in order to make them solid or durable. It consists in embellishing a book, the cover especially, through design research. The craftsman has then to master the delicate hand movement to manipulate every object he has created.
The bookbinder is polyvalent. In fact, his savoir-faire is realised with different materials and tools. It involves sewing together a stack of paper sheets, laying stiff or flexible boards that are not attached to the book block, and laying a cover material onto the boards.
Finally, artists use this know-how as an expression tool, or asks for craftsman to realise their arworks.
Laurel Parker is a designer specialized in the art of bookbinding. She is working on both the creation and the restoration part. She produces books, small boxes for artists, agencies, luxury sector, or Institutions. Her work in not juste about classical bookbonding. It is also about contemporary creations. In fact, she has worked with the artist Françoise Petrovitch. Today, her workshop is in France and represents a cultural place: a workshop, a galery and an publishing house.