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Philosophy of Bookbinding



Thanks, Richard, for returning us gently to the original thread (or
attempting to). Bookbinding, as I believe we're primarily defining it, is
essentially *craft*. The only craft pre-eminently tied (or bound) to
preserving and accessing information/ideas/images. This makes it difficult
to focus on the binding or craft aspect alone. Complicated and perhaps
impossible, except in the case of artist books.  I have heard a bookbinding
described as a 'temple' of the writer's mind, as passed down. Building a
temple could be described as a way to give honor to a soul or spirit. This
is one of the pleasures that I have experienced in executing a binding. I
think this idea can be expanded to giving  honor as appropriate. Primary to
the act of bookbinding is function. Function facilitates access (and
preservation), embellishment suggests honor. A binding for a report on
agriculture might only or primarily focus on function while a book of poetry
might inspire a binder to embellish or somehow reflect the genius of the
writer/illustrator as well as supply function. Touching and balancing the
two aspects, I think, has something to do with the philosophy of
bookbinding. Artist books diverge, perhaps, in that they usually reflect
primarily the creative idea(s) of the binder, with function becoming an
aspect only as it supports the idea. My two cents at the moment....

Scott Kellar


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