Ever wonder what a professional bookbinder's studio looks like? Pick up a copy of the Summer 2013 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors Studios magazine and read my profile of Charlene Matthews, a Los Angeles-based bookbinder, book artist and book restorer.
I loved Charlene's bindery the minute I stepped foot in it. The space is unlike any I've ever seen, populated with serious equipment like a 19th century board shear and a 20th century guillotine (for cutting paper, not heads), along with amazing books and other works of art.
Not many people in the U.S. make their living creating custom handmade books and doing book restoration, so this is a rare view into the inner works of a bindery. Charlene also talks about why she decided to move from a private space into a public one, and how the studio influences her work.
Here are a few more photos I took when I stopped by her bindery the other day. She was in the process of working on this 17th century leather Bible for a client, creating new clasps for it:
I noticed that part of the first page (shown below) had been cut out. I asked Charlene about it, and she said that people would often remove images if they thought them too salacious. Apparently this drawing of Adam and Eve was a bit too much for the owner.
I'm a huge fan of Charlene's own books, and this is a particular favorite. It's made with a Panavision fish-eye lens embedded in the cover and lives in a custom clamshell box:
There are more photos of Charlene's bindery in the magazine, taken by the very talented Marissa Roth. Other terrific studios are featured in the magazine as well, so pick up a copy! More info on Charlene, her work and her bindery can be found here.