Anthony Bourdain Takes Us into the World of Handcrafted Books. I’m Certain There Is Alchemy Involved.

Aside from my emerging writing career as a gutter curator, I also frame artworks with some very fancy conservation techniques. I know what you’re thinking right now. Why is he talking about framing artwork, when I am here to see a video about a traditional bookmaking? The answer is, good readers, that my conservation supplies come from Talas, which also deals supplies for handcrafting books. The Talas catalog is by far the most enthralling catalog I have ever read. Seriously. Enthralling catalog. It’s amazing.

Where else are you going to find supplies like these?

  • Brushes made from boar hair, horse hair, goat hair, take your pick.
  • Corkskin paper
  • Parchment and Vellum
  • Gold leaf (many options between 9K and 24K)
  • Gold powder, of course
  • Sturgeon glue (made from their bladders, naturally)
  • Bone tools (for getting that perfect edge on a fold)

And it’s not like, you have one or two options for vellum. There are pages and pages of options. Same goes for the other items too.

If you have money to spend, and want to check out some really cool stuff, I suggest the product sample books from Talas, and a bottle of Balvenie Single Malt Scotch, since they’re awesome enough to produce this Raw Craft with Anthony Bourdain series.

Photo: “Old book bindings” by Tom Murphy VII 

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