What I’ve been up to


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Though it might not be well reflected by the blog’s posts, this year (and by year I mean summer-to-summer – duh!) has been very busy. Like, way-too-many-irons-in-the-fire busy.

Here are some highlights from finished and ongoing commissions alike.

A Memoir
This was a commission for 6 quarter leather bindings of the Memoirs of a passed away relative.

The client wanted something very simple with a classic look, that would perhaps be reminiscent of old ledgers. She also asked specifically for something plain but with a bit of character to it instead of marbled paper on the covers. The specific paper is
Elephantide from Shepherds (London); it’s not visible in the photos but it has a discreet but quite pleasant veined pattern.

I’m also quite proud of the titles. I tool titles by hand, each letter individually, and this kind of horizontal title is my bane; it’s almost impossible to keep it straight! Fortunately I thought of using a jig I saw from Jana Pullman. Worked great – almost 100% success with the exception of a couple of letters!

Watership Down
 For those of you unfamiliar with the book, Watership Down follows the adventures of a band of wild rabbits seeking a home. Originally rejected by several publishers it is now a classic and, although considered a “children’s book” (close to 500 pages!), I cannot think of a tale-loving reader that would not find it enjoyable. If you like good writing, adorable characters and are fond of the order of lagomorpha then do yourself a favor and “silflay” in the pages of this epic tale!

Being the owner’s most beloved book she and I have discussed a lot on the design.
 I really want to do the story justice while also ensuring a warm smile on the owner’s face when she receives her binding. Taking her ideas into consideration I teamed up with Petite Marianna who created a lovely concept for the covers.
 The design is not a finished art, rather a rough layout to see how all the elements and colors fit together. It has had a few small changes but the end result will be more or less the same as here.

I’ve been doing many tests with an airbrush, trying to achieve a smooth gradient effect similar to that of the concept art.
For the sake of this binding I purchased a compressor. If only I knew sooner; I can’t fathom how I managed to do the occasional airbrushing before this!

Have you ever seen a binding naked?
I suppose not, bindings are really shy things and you wouldn’t want to disrespect to their feelings. This one however has agreed to pose for us – for educational purposes of course…!

In the picture above you can see it with its spine covered, banded and then dressed only in quarter leather (such a tease!).

Amalie & Peter
A trio of guest books for a wedding. Each to be opened when so many years have passed as indicated by the corresponding number at the bottom.

The clients wanted a specific color palette for each binding. They also requested a simple decoration with Big Dipper included on the cover of the purple wish-book.

Had a lot of fun tooling the letters for the spines with this one!

Book laundry!
This book, bought from a book-dealer by the client, arrived quite smelly – probably from spending many years in a basement or so. Not that “old-book” aroma many people talk about but rather on the stinky side! After two months like this, with a fan constantly airing it, the smell has finally dissipated almost entirely.

Another lengthy project, in large due to its complex and difficult design which has required a lot of testing. There are still a few changes to be made but this will be it for the most part…

I’ve designed the crown drawing inspiration from historical examples. There are a lot of symbolisms going on in this, eager to see how it will turn out.


Techniton Politeia – Interview with Robert Wu


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Welcome to another Techniton Politeia interview!
This time we get to talk with Robert Wu about his Reliure d’Art, marbled papers and miniature bindings.
Wu is a Taiwanese-Canadian bookbinder and paper marbler located in Toronto. He makes one-off or small editions of books, presentation boxes, leather fine art bindings or jewellery boxes and decorative papers for individual collectors, libraries or institutions.

He holds a Masters degree in Architecture and also a Bachelor degree in Architectural science. He has also studied classical painting techniques for 3 years at Toronto Academy of Realist Art.

Wu Started bookbinding in 1990s through CBBAG in Toronto with Don Taylor, Betsy Palmer Elderidge and furthered his training in bookbinding with Masterbinder Monique Lallier & Don Etherington at AAB (American Academy of Bookbinding) in Colorado USA, where he was awarded the “Tini Miura Scholarship”, selected by the masterbinder herself. Later on he received full-time intensive private training in French reliure d’art technique with Tini for more than a month. He also attended a workshop at the Center for the Bookarts in NYC with Masterbinder Luigi Castiglioni of Italy.

He has taught several workshops at CBBAG and participated in Designer Bookbinders International Competitions UK twice, with his submitted bindings  chosen for the touring exhibitions. In 2012, he had the honour of being invited to participate in Album Amicorum – an International marbling exhibition in Turkey, USA and Europe.
Collections of Wu’s marbling art and bindings can be found worldwide in private collections or libraries.

Last but not least in his own words:
Besides bookbinding and marbling, I also occasionally do letterpress printing with a floor model antique Gordon treadle press and an antique Sigwalt tabletop press for printing stationery, invitations or business cards. In my spare time, I enjoy playing the piano and the cello with a local orchestra. Phew! Where do I find the time to do all these!

 We live in an age in which speed and efficiency matter a lot, often in expense of quality. Almost anything can be instantly found and bought from a shelf, be it a garment, a furniture or appliance, a car. Custom handmade objects on the other hand take a lot of time to be made. Bookbinding is definitely a good example of this; a book may take weeks, months and some times years to be finished.
  Can you explain to us why a binding may take so long to be completed? Which was the longest time you had to work on a binding? What are the requirements of such lengthy commissions and what are the problems a binder could encounter?

It’s true a lot of things are made to be disposable nowadays. I prefer the care and quality of things made in the past, where they were made to last. I made a clear decision at the beginning of my career to focus on the French design art bookbinding technique. So I went to study at AAB (American Acadmey of Bookbinding) in USA to further my training in the French technique with masters who studied in Paris.

A full fledged French art binding has about 100 steps to complete and design takes time to nurture. I would work on a bunch of books at the same time up to the same stage. But when it comes time to do finishing/design, I prefer to focus on just one binding at a time. I usually give my clients about 1 to 2 years of waiting time to complete a commission.

 Bindings can be works of art. However, unlike most art objects which will sit safely on display high on a wall or behind a piece of glass, bindings have moving parts, must function properly and must endure the wear and tear of handling for a long time. That’s quite a lot to ask from an artisan and people tend to forget about these aspects of bookbinding. I believe one reason is because most don’t often -if ever- get the chance to handle a fine binding. We’re used in seeing still-pictures of them and therefor lack the sense of their “materialness”.
 You often accompany your bindings’ photos with videos where you take them out of their protective cases, display them from various angles, open and page through them. I’ve seen this done by a few other binders as well. I believe such videos are important because they highlight the material nature of a binding, its volume and tangibility.
 Please share a few thoughts on this aspect of our craft; the demand to produce a sound and long lasting and yet pleasing, both to they eye and touch, object. How can a binder balance between functionality and aesthetics? How does this dual task affect you personally as an artisan?

Art bookbinding is considered as a fine craft rather than fine art because it is essentially a book that needs to be read in the end. Unfortunately we couldn’t compare our work to fine paintings or charge our work accordingly even though a design binding might take just as long to complete as a fine painting! But I still think book-art is more interesting and rewarding than a painting or sculpture as you can touch, feel and smell a binding and enjoy reading the text and images. A book engages all senses and it tells you a story in many ways!

I also think that music is an important aspect of my work. So whenever I create or design a binding, I want the viewer to experience that aspect when they handle my bindings. Videos are a good way to include that and show all details of a binding that you couldn’t see in pictures. And off course, handling a fine binding in person is a totally different experience! I became hooked on fine binding after I first held my teacher Tini Miura’s binding in my hand. It was a magical experience. A binding like that has soul.

  Your work is often characterized by sumptuous covers and it is evident that you don’t shy away from combining various decorative techniques on a single binding.
 If you could only pick one what would you say is the most important element of a design (any design) – the defining characteristic? Something which always plays a key role during the initial stages of planning and comes to bind -pun intended- everything together afterwards.
Furthermore, once you’ve settled on an idea about the design how do you choose which decorative techniques to use? Can you give a few advices on how to make different elements and techniques come together for a design without it looking “noisy” or “overdone”?

Good question! Personality wise, I am a hopeless romantic. To me, LESS IS LESS and it’s BORING. I love a complex design. At the same time a complex design doesn’t have to look busy. It’s a fine balance. I admire the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright, Carlo Scarpa, George Barbier, FL Schmied, the music of Chopin. They are all masters of composition and details. God is in the details. I want my designs to look spontanious and dynamic. Since I am trained as a designer (architecture), I can usually work out my designs or ideas down on paper very fast, within the hour, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I would refine and change minor things but I believe in the importance of trusting your vision or intuition or inspiration – whatever you call it!

Let’s focus on a particular piece from your work. I was absolutely enamored with your binding of “A Voyage towards the North Pole”, I couldn’t find something I don’t like about it, even if I tried. More specifically, although the “Faux Ammolite” emulating the northern lights is particularly impressive, the eggshell panel for the ice-covered mountains stole the show for me – so fitting!
Please share with us some behind-the-scenes stories about its making; why did the pages require such an extensive treatment and what did it include? How did you come up with its design? What was the most difficult part of making the decoration? Can you tell a few things about your “Faux Ammolite”?

  The Arctic binding was a commission from a library. I was given the task to create a design binding on a 17th century book. First, it was a very moldy and dirty book. I advised the client that I had to wash the book before I could make an expensive design binding. It was a neccesity.
The design was inpired by the beautiful etching images in the book. I wanted to capture the grandeur of the North pole and came up with a new idea of creating my “Faux Ammolite” panels to represent the mysterious northern lights! I was very happy with the effect and overall design of this binding with eggshell panels. I love Art Deco. So I enjoy incorporating materials like my creations of “Faux Ivoire” or “Faux Ammolite”. It’s necessary to push the boundaries, to get out of the comfort zone and try out something new! It’s rewarding.

  One of the things that stands out amongst your work is miniature bindings. You’ve made quite a few of them and they boast a dazzling variety. Some are slightly larger than a big coin, yet they have almost all of the characteristics that can be found on a normal-sized binding.
 Why miniature bindings, what makes them so fascinating to you? Can you explain to the readers the intricacies and difficulties of making such a small, often tiny, binding?

I started getting interested in bookbinding via origami. I was folding little origami books out of one sheet of paper. But I couldn’t really write much in it so I came across a little bookbinding manual in a bookstore to see if I could make my own journals. At the beginning it looked so difficult with all the tools one would need to make a properly bound book. So I started making a tiny properly bound blank book by following the instructions in the manual and used whatever simple craft tools I had. After that, I was hooked on bookbinding and wanted to learn more so I started taking workshops with CBBAG.
So just like anything in life, one starts small and your interest grows, and you start to have bigger ambitions. It’s just a natural process. Miniature bindings are a great way to learn all aspects of bookbinding in a smaller scale so it’s more managable for beginners. But a masterpiece in miniature requires the reverse process and it’s definitely more difficult to do than its large counterparts.

  On to another topic; it is obvious that marbling holds an important place when it comes to your creative identity. Your marbled papers have a distinct character and almost all of your bindings feature them.
 How were you initially drawn to marbling and what kept you to it? How did you go about learning it? And finally how has such an asset -being able to make your own marbled papers that is- affected your creative approach when it comes to binding books?

I am mostly self-taught in marbling. I did take a beginner course in marbling with CBBAG. But it was very basic. I started to marble because I could use my own marbled paper for my own bindings. Like anything, the more you do, the better you get. I experimented for a long time and it eventually evolved into marbling art which I call “Marbled Graphics”™. I love compositions, regular marbled papers don’t satifsy me, so I started creating marbling art with my own compositions. The general public appreciate my marbling as art but most people are not that creative so they don’t know what to do with regular full patterned marbled paper for bookbinding or craft. They think they are just fancy wrapping papers, lol!

 Many of your marbled papers -especially those used as endpapers in your bindings- seem to be inspired by classic western marbling, yet they veer off in a very different, very personal, direction. They are often abstract, sometimes almost free of pattern, but instead of looking like “mistakes” or failed patterns they have an air of confidence. As if having crossed some boundary and being bold but at the same time relaxed about it.
 Does this come naturally to you when marbling or is it a result of meticulous care? Can you define the elements that contribute to the uniqueness of your marbled papers?

I love details and compositions. My marbled paper or marbling art also reflect that. I like finess in everything I do. Doing regular marbled paper for store orders is very difficult because if I make a mistake or get an air bubble in my paper, I can’t sell them to the store. Doing edition marbling for store orders is a challenge because consistency is hard to achieve and when you have to do a couple of hundreds of sheets at a time for a couple of months, it takes the fun out of marbling. Being meticulous is a must for doing professional marbling or fine binding and it’s not easy!

 No matter how talented a binder is, or any artisan, he/she can only learn and become adept in certain aspects of a craft. Our time is limited and, since our skill-tree translates itself into the identity of our creations, we must choose wisely which skills to learn and improve along the way. Many, I’d even dare to say most – given the immensity of our craft, will be left out or acquired at a very basic level.
 Is there some particular skill or technique/s, within the vast horizon of bookbinding, that you’d like to try your hand at or feel you haven’t explored as much as you’d like?

I guess I am lucky to have discovered the art of French Design Art bindings at the very beginning. I was pretty focused to seek out training in the French techniques after I had read my alma mater, Tini Miura’s book “My World of Bibliophile Binding”, where she talked about the French technique being the most perfect and sublime. Finesse is everything in reliure d’art. I share that sentiment. We were lucky to have Tini in USA and teaching at AAB because one gets to learn the best technique from one person without having to travel to many different places and study with many different masters in Europe. Tini told me that when she was stuyding in Paris in the 60’s, the best master binders worked behind closed doors. But being a female, she was not deemed as a competitor to them so she was never refused or denied lessons. Her male counterparts were not so lucky.

I believe that if you possess good techniques, perfected through centuries and passed down from masters, you really don’t need gimmicks to stand out. I try to focus on good designs and develop my own style and still keep an open mind to new techniques to compliment my work.

You can see more of Wu’s work at Studio Robert Wu.
If you enjoyed this interview there are more you can read at my blog section Techniton Politeia.
Till next time!


Σεμινάρια Καλλιγραφίας


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Το εργαστήρι βιβλιοδεσίας Dimitri’s Bookbinding Corner έχει την χαρά να φιλοξενήσει 2 σεμινάρια καλλιγραφίας από την Μαριάννα Γκαλένη και τον Αριστοτέλη Γιαπράκα!

Για μέρα και ώρες των σεμιναρίων καθώς και πως να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή ανατρέξτε στο τέλος του άρθρου.
Παρακαλούμε όσους ενδιαφέρονται να διαβάσουν προσεκτικά τη λίστα με τα υλικά που πρέπει να προμηθευτούν!

Ακολουθούν λεπτομέρειες σχετικά με τα σεμινάρια.

Σεμινάριο Gothic Calligraphy – Textura Quadrata Workshop
Παραδίδει η Μαριάννα Γκαλένη

gothic_calligraphyΗ textura quadrata, γνωστή και ως blackletter, είναι η βάση των γοτθικών γραφών. Η χρήση της στην Ευρώπη του 12ου – 15ου αιώνα οδήγησε στη δημιουργία αξιοθαύμαστων χειρόγραφων βιβλίων. Στο σεμινάριο αυτό θα μάθουμε τα βασικά δομικά στοιχεία της και θα εξασκηθούμε στο λατινικό αλφάβητο με την πένα parallel pen.

Πιο συγκεκριμένα, το σεμινάριο περιλαμβάνει:

– Σύντομη θεωρητική εισαγωγή στη γοτθική καλλιγραφία.
– Βασικά στοιχεία της καλλιγραφίας: προετοιμασία του χώρου εξάσκησης, σωστή στάση σώματος, υλικά.
– Χρήση της πένας parallel pen.
– Βασικές αρχές της γραφής textura: δομικά στοιχεία, ύψος γραμμάτων, κλίση, υπολογισμός του μεγέθους των γραμμάτων με βάση το πλάτος της πένας.
– Σχεδιασμός των πεζών γραμμάτων του λατινικού αλφάβητου βήμα-βήμα, με χρήση φύλλων – οδηγών.
– Εισαγωγή στον σχεδιασμό των κεφαλαίων γραμμάτων του λατινικού αλφάβητου.
– Αναλόγα με την πορεία του εργαστηρίου, μπορούμε να δούμε και τεχνικές για δημιουργία κειμένου: οδηγοί, υπολογισμός αποστάσεων μεταξύ των λέξεων και των γραμμών.


Χρειάζονται (προμηθευτείτε):
– Ένα Pilot parallel pen 3.8mm (περιλαμβάνει 2 αμπούλες μελανιού)

– Ένα Τετράδιο καλλιγραφίας (φύλλα seyès) ιδανικά ή ένα τετράδιο καρέ κατάλληλο για μελάνι
– Ένα Χάρακα – τρίγωνο των 45 μοιρών ή απλό χάρακα
– Ένα Μολύβι και μια γόμα
– Χαρτομάντηλα ή υγρά μαντηλάκια σε περίπτωση που λερωθούμε

– Το αλφάβητο της γραφής (πεζά και κεφαλαία)

– Διαγραμμισμένα φύλλα-οδηγοί για εξάσκηση
– Φύλλα χαρτιού Α4
– Μελάνι (κάσσια) για όποιον χρειαστεί επιπλέον
– Ψηφιακό βοηθητικό υλικό για να συνεχίσετε την εξάσκηση

Που θα τα βρείτε τα υλικά:

Pilot parallel pen 3.8mm:
– Ματαλων – Πραξιτέλους 14, Αθήνα – τιμή: 8.60€

– Paper1 – Εμμανουήλ Μπενάκη 25, Αθήνα – τιμή 9.68€

– The Paper Place – Κολοκοτρώνη 27, Αθήνα – τιμή 10.50€

– Lichnari.gr – Τιμή: 10.52€ (με τα έξοδα αποστολής)

Τετράδια κατάλληλα για το σεμινάριο:
– Τετράδια καλλιγραφίας Clairfontaine: Lea Books – Σίνα 60, Αθήνα – Τιμή 1.51€

– Τετράδια καρέ: Πλαίσιο: 0.86€

Τα υπόλοιπα υλικά, εάν δεν τα διαθέτετε ήδη, μπορείτε να τα προμηθευτείτε από οποιοδήποτε βιβλιοπωλείο / χαρτοπωλείο.
Πριν επισκεφτείτε κάποιο κατάστημα, συνιστούμε να ενημερωθείτε τηλεφωνικά για τη διαθεσιμότητα των προϊόντων.

Σεμινάριο Carioca/Tombow Calligraphy
Παραδίδει ο Αριστοτέλης Γιαπράκας

Είναι εύκολο να θεωρήσει κανείς, με τόσα εξειδικευμένα σκεύη γραφής που κυκλοφορούν στην αγορά, πως χρειάζεται να κάτι πολυτελές και ακριβό για να δημιουργήσει όμορφα γράμματα. Ωστόσο η καλλιγραφία που βασίζεται σε πιο απλά μέσα, τείνει να διαφέρει! Στο σεμινάριο αυτό θα διδαχθείτε πώς να καλλιγραφείτε με ένα πολύ προσιτό υλικό-εργαλείο.

Πιο συγκεκριμένα, το σεμινάριο περιλαμβάνει:

– Σύντομη θεωρητική εισαγωγή στη Σύγχρονη Καλλιγραφία.
– Βασικά στοιχεία της καλλιγραφίας: προετοιμασία του χώρου εξάσκησης, σωστή στάση σώματος, υλικά.
– Χρήση των μαρκαδόρων.
– Βασικές αρχές της σύγχρονης καλλιγραφίας:  πάχη, ύψη και κλίση γραμμάτων.
– Σχεδιασμός των πεζών γραμμάτων του λατινικού αλφάβητου βήμα-βήμα, με χρήση φύλλων – οδηγών.
– Εισαγωγή στον σχεδιασμό των κεφαλαίων γραμμάτων του λατινικού αλφάβητου.

Αναλόγως την ροή του εργαστηρίου, μπορούμε να δούμε και τεχνικές για δημιουργία κειμένου: οδηγοί, υπολογισμός αποστάσεων μεταξύ των λέξεων και των γραμμών.


– Carioca Markers (ένα πακετάκι)

– Tombow Brush Pens ( ένα ή 2 διαφορετικά)
– Χάρακα – τρίγωνο των 45 μοιρών ή απλό χάρακα
– Μολύβι και γόμα
– Χαρτομάντηλα ή υγρά μαντηλάκια σε περίπτωση που λερωθούμε

– Το αλφάβητο της γραφής (πεζά και κεφαλαία)

– Διαγραμμισμένα φύλλα-οδηγοί για εξάσκηση
– Φύλλα χαρτιού Α4
– Ψηφιακό βοηθητικό υλικό για να συνεχίσετε την εξάσκηση

Που θα βρείτε τα υλικά:

Μαρκαδόροι Carioca Birello Double Nib (Χοντροί ή Λεπτοί):
– JUMBO Τιμή: 2.5 με 5€ (ανάλογα τη ποσότητα και το μέγεθος):

Μαρκαδόροι Tombow (2):
– Πλαίσιο Τιμή: 2.69€

Τα υπόλοιπα υλικά, εάν δεν τα διαθέτετε ήδη, μπορείτε να τα προμηθευτείτε από οποιοδήποτε βιβλιοπωλείο / χαρτοπωλείο.
Πριν επισκεφτείτε κάποιο κατάστημα, ενημερωθείτε τηλεφωνικά για τη διαθεσιμότητα των προϊόντων.


Μαριάννα Γκαλένη

Η Μαριάννα Γκαλένη γεννήθηκε το 1991 στην Αθήνα και είναι απόφοιτη του τμήματος γραφιστικής του Α.Τ.Ε.Ι. Αθήνας. Από το 2014 εργάζεται σε δημιουργικά γραφεία και τα τελευταία 3 χρόνια δραστηριοποιείται στον τομέα του web design ως γραφίστρια στην εταιρεία Radical Elements.

Η συνεχής επαφή της με την τυπογραφία λόγω της φύσης του επαγγέλματος και το ενδιαφέρον της για τα γράμματα, την οδήγησε στην καλλιγραφία, με την οποία ασχολείται από το 2016. Έχει παρακολουθήσει σεμινάρια λατινικής καλλιγραφίας με την εικαστικό Ειρήνη Γκόνου στο Μουσείο Ισλαμικής Τέχνης στα πλαίσια του προγράμματος του Μουσείου Μπενάκη. Έχει ασχοληθεί με διάφορες γραφές, όπως: uncial, caroline, cancellaresca, textura, fraktur & copperplate, αλλά την αγάπη της κέρδισαν οι γοτθικές γραφές, στις οποίες επικεντρώνεται η δουλειά της. Επιπλέον, έχει παρακολουθήσει σεμινάριο καλλιγραφίας και lettering με τον Vladimir Radibratovic και συνεχίζει την εκπαίδευσή της πάνω στο αντικείμενο με workshops στο εξωτερικό. Ασχολείται παράλληλα με την ψηφιακή καλλιγραφία και τον σχεδιασμό γραμματοσειρών.

Έργα της έχουν βραβευτεί στο Μουσείο Μπενάκη και στο Εθνικό Μουσείο Σύγχρονης Τέχνης, στα πλαίσια του διαγωνισμού “Αγώνες Νέων Σχεδιαστών” για τις χρονιές 2017 – 2018, με πιο πρόσφατη τη διάκριση για την συμμετοχή της στο project “36 Days of Type”. Θέμα του συγκεκριμένου έργου αποτέλεσε ο σχεδιασμός γοτθικών γραμμάτων και αριθμών του λατινικού αλφάβητου.

Δείγματα δουλειάς:

Αριστοτέλης Γιαπράκας

Ο Αριστοτέλης Γιαπράκας γεννήθηκε το 1993 στην Αθήνα και είναι απόφοιτος του τμήματος γραφιστικής του ΙΕΚ Intergraphics. Από το 2016 εργάζεται ως Graphic Designer στη 4WiseMonkeys.

Όντας από παιδί λάτρης της ωραίας γραφής, ανακάλυψε το 2016 το κόσμο της Καλλιγραφίας. Έχει παρακολουθήσει σεμινάρια γραφών Uncial, Textura, Fraktur, Cancellaresca, Vyaz και Copperplate με την Ειρήνη Γκόνου, Italics και Expressive Lettering με τον Vladimir Radibratovic, Sign Painting Lettering με τον Jeff Marshal, Δυτικής Καλλιγραφίας με τη Λένα Σεπτέμβρη και Κορεάτικης Καλλιγραφίας με τον Jeon Chan Duk.
Ασχολείται παράλληλα με το Custom Digital Lettering σε εφαρμογές όπως λογότυπα, αφίσες, καταχωρήσεις και banners.

Έχει εργαστεί ως Καλλιγράφος στο Ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος στα πλαίσια εορταστικών δράσεων.

Δείγματα δουλειάς:


Ημερομηνία σεμιναρίων: Κυριακή 17/6
Διάρκεια κάθε σεμιναρίου: 4 ώρες
Ώρες σεμιναρίων: Γοτθική καλλιγραφία 12:00 – 16:00 και Carioca calligraphy 17:00 – 21:00.
Κόστος σεμιναρίων: το κόστος συμμετοχής για το κάθε σεμινάριο είναι 35 ευρώ και το κόστος υλικών είναι, αναλόγως το σεμινάριο, έως 10 ευρώ.

Τα υλικά δεν παρέχονται, παρακαλούνται οι ενδιαφερόμενοι να τα προμηθευτούν και να προσέλθουν με αυτά.

Για να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή:
1) Στείλετε mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
2) Καλέστε στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες)

– Ο αριθμός θέσεων για κάθε σεμινάριο είναι περιορισμένος: 7 θέσεις. Θα τηρηθεί σειρά προτεραιότητας.
– Σε περίπτωση ελλιπούς συμμετοχής ενδέχεται να υπάρξει ακύρωση σεμιναρίου. Σε περίπτωση μεγάλου ενδιαφέροντος θα γίνει προσπάθεια να σχηματιστούν 2 τμήματα και το μάθημα θα επαναληφθεί. Και στις 2 περιπτώσεις θα υπάρξει σχετική ενημέρωση των ενδιαφερομένων.

Παρακαλούνται θερμά οι ενδιαφερόμενοι να σταθούν συνεπείς ως προς την δήλωση συμμετοχής και σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης ή αδυναμίας προσέλευσης να ενημερώσουν αρκετές μέρες πριν ή έστω το νωρίτερο δυνατόν.
– Παρακαλούνται επίσης για την έγκαιρη προσέλευση τους την ημέρα και ώρα του σεμιναρίου.

Θα χαρούμε να σας υποδεχτούμε!


Σεμινάριο Κατασκευής Χειροποίητου Χαρτιού


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Στο Εργαστήριο παρουσιάζεται η διαδικασία κατασκευής χειροποίητου χαρτιού με
την παραδοσιακή δυτική μέθοδο και περιλαμβάνει:

1. Θεωρητική παρουσίαση, με αναφορά στην Ιστορία του Χαρτιού, τη δομή
και τα χαρακτηριστικά του, τις τεχνικές κατασκευής του, καθώς και τις
εφαρμογές και χρήσεις του.
2. Πρακτικό μέρος – εργαστήριο, όπου οι συμμετέχοντες έρχονται σε επαφή
με τη διαδικασία κατασκευής και δημιουργούν οι ίδιοι τα δικά τους φύλλα.

Συνοπτικά, η δομή της παρουσίασης είναι η εξής:
Θεωρητική παρουσίαση ( ~1 ώρα )
1. Ιστορία του Χαρτιού,
2. Περιγραφή της δομής του Χαρτιού,
3. Πρώτες ύλες και διαδικασία παρασκευής χαρτοπολτού,
4. Τεχνικές Χαρτοποιητικής (Ανατολικές τεχνικές, Δυτική τεχνική),
5. Εφαρμογές και χρήσεις του χειροποίητου χαρτιού.

Πρακτικό μέρος – Εργαστήριο ( ~3 ώρες )
1. Περιγραφή και εξοικείωση με τον απαραίτητο εξοπλισμό (χαρτοποιητικό
καλούπι, υφάσματα κατάκλισης, πρέσα, κ.λπ),
2. Παρασκευή χαρτοπολτού,
3. Κατασκευή φύλλων Α5 (14,8εκ. x 21εκ.) ακολουθώντας τα παρακάτω στάδια:
– Αραίωση χαρτοπολτού
– Εμβάπτιση χαρτοποιητικού καλουπιού στο χαρτοπολτό
– Στράγγιση
– Κατάκλιση
– Χρήση πρέσας
– Στέγνωμα

Οι συμμετέχοντες θα έχουν τη δυνατότητα να γνωρίσουν τεχνικές διακόσμησης
χειροποίητου χαρτιού και να τις εφαρμόσουν κατά τη διαδικασία κατασκευής των

Με την ολοκλήρωση του Εργαστηρίου, οι συμμετέχοντες θα λάβουν τα χειροποίητα
φύλλα που οι ίδιοι δημιούργησαν καθώς και έντυπο πληροφοριακό υλικό για το
Χαρτί (για περισσότερες πληροφορίες βλ. http://www.xeiropoiito-xarti.gr).

Το Εργαστήριο απευθύνεται σε όσους ενδιαφέρονται για το χαρτί ως υπόστρωμα
αποτύπωσης (για γραφή, ζωγραφική κ.λπ), αλλά κι ως αυτούσια πρώτη ύλη για
καλλιτεχνική δημιουργία.

Ημερομηνία σεμιναρίου: Κυριακή 15/4, 29/4, 6/5 και 27/5
Διάρκεια σεμιναρίου: 4 ώρες
Ώρα έναρξης: 12:00
Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 40 ευρώ (παρέχονται όλα τα υλικα και εργαλεία)

Για να δηλώσετε συμμετοχή:
1) Στείλετε mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
2) Καλέστε στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες)

ΣΗΜΕΙΩΣΗ – Υπάρχουν 3 θέσεις για Κυριακή 27 Μαίου.

– Ο αριθμός θέσεων είναι περιορισμένος: 8 θέσεις. Θα τηρηθεί σειρά προτεραιότητας.
– Σε περίπτωση ελλιπούς συμμετοχής ενδέχεται να υπάρξει ακύρωση του σεμιναρίου. Σε περίπτωση μεγάλου ενδιαφέροντος θα σχηματιστούν 2 τμήματα και το μάθημα θα επαναληφθεί. Και στις 2 περιπτώσεις θα υπάρξει σχετική ενημέρωση των ενδιαφερομένων.

– Παρακαλούνται οι ενδιαφερόμενοι για την έγκαιρη προσέλευση τους την ημέρα και ώρα του σεμιναρίου.
– Σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης ή αδυναμίας προσέλευσης παρακαλούνται να ενημερώσουν αρκετές μέρες πριν ή έστω το νωρίτερο δυνατόν.

Θα χαρούμε να σας υποδεχτούμε!

Βιογραφικό σημείωμα εισηγητή

Ο Κώστας Μπουντούρης γεννήθηκε στην Αθήνα το 1976 και είναι απόφοιτος του τμήματος Στατιστικής του Παν/μίου Πειραιώς.
Η αγάπη του για το χαρτί και την Καλλιτεχνική Βιβλιοδεσία τον οδήγησε το 2001 στο Εργαστήριο Βιβλιοδεσίας και Συντήρησης Αρχειακού υλικού της δασκάλας του Ευαγγελίας Μπίζα όπου, αρχικά ως εκπαιδευόμενος και στη συνέχεια ως βοηθός βιβλιοδέτη, διδάχτηκε την τέχνη της Βιβλιοδεσίας κι εργάστηκε ως το 2007.

Την περίοδο 2011-2012 εργάστηκε ως βιβλιοδέτης στο Καλλιτεχνικό Βιβλιοδετείο της Θεοδώρας Αργυροπούλου ενώ από το 2013 έως το 2015 εργάστηκε στην εταιρία Ψηφιακών Εφαρμογών Iconnet ως υπεύθυνος τμήματος Βιβλιοδεσίας-Εξωφύλλου και Δημιουργικού.

Έκτοτε, εργάζεται ως ελεύθερος επαγγελματίας – βιβλιοδέτης ενώ παράλληλα ασχολείται με την κατασκευή χειροποίητου χαρτιού έχοντας μαθητεύσει δίπλα στους Μαρία Μαλακού και Μαρίνο Βλέσσα (www.xeiropoiito-xarti.gr).

Έχει πραγματοποιήσει σεμινάρια Βιβλιοδεσίας και κατασκευής χειροποίητου χαρτιού σε Πολιτιστικά Ιδρύματα κι Εργαστήρια Τέχνης (ΠΙΟΠ, Μικρό Πολυτεχνείο, Το Σπίρτο, Εργαστήριο Ζωγραφικής Ρουμπίνας Σαρελάκου κ.α). Συνεργάζεται με τη ζωγράφο-χαράκτρια Ρουμπίνα Σαρελάκου σε ειδικές εφαρμογές παρουσίασης ζωγραφικών έργων, χαρακτικών και χειροποίητων κοσμημάτων (gallery
Zoumboulaki – 2017). Βιβλιοδετικές εφαρμογές και χειροποίητα χαρτιά κατασκευής
του έχουν εκτεθεί σε διάφορους χώρους και art shops (gallery ALMA, Ιn.key shop κ.α)

Techniton Politeia – Interview with Jin Hu


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Huhu Hu - The Monkey King 1Jin Hu or, as most people have come to know her, “Huhu Hu” is a bookbinder based in Quzhou, China. I have been watching her work continuously evolve and forming a distinct personality through the years, with impressive results. She has been self-taught to a great extent, something which I admire and speaks to me on a personal level, but also managed to learn a lot and improve next to renown binders. Last but not least her handcrafting extends beyond binding books into some quite interesting leather sculpting…
  For all the reasons mentioned above I believe she is definitely an artisan to keep an eye on and so invited her for a talk about her work, the experience she’s gained so far and her next steps.

Jin Hu started as a self taught bookbinder, practicing on her own for several years with Kaija Rantakari (Paperiaarre)helping her through the internet. During that time (2007-2013) she tried and practiced several techniques through online videos and articles as well as books on bookbinding.
  She learned various leather decoration techniques from Sol Rebora and then travelled abroad to attend seminars by Monique Lallier, Luigi Castiglioni, Susana Dominguez and Zigor Anguiano Calzada.
  From 2015 to 2017 she has also taken part in 5 exhibitions:
-Nobel Museum Bookbinding Exhibition featuring the novel by MoYan.
-5thWorld EBRU day
-’Open.Set’–design binding exhibition by American Academy of Bookbinding
-‘International Copetition Heroic Works 2017’—by DB UK
-Xtra small Miniatuurboekjes in Museum Meermanno

Many aspiring bookbinders do not have the precious opportunity to attend courses and learn from established craftsmen and institutions. That is usually for two reasons: absence of skilled binders or craft-academies within travel distance or the very high cost of participating in seminars abroad. Thus, in many cases they have to learn the craft on their own, through trial and error.
 Things have changed for the better in that aspect, with the rise of the internet and the abundance of educational material available through it. Still, it is nowhere near as efficient as the experience and knowledge provided first-hand by an experienced binder.
 You’ve been trying to learn bookbinding on your own for several years. Being self taught can be extremely demanding but at the same time very rewarding and offering a unique sense of accomplishment, hardly found elsewhere.
  Could you describe your personal experience on being self-taught: Did you go about a certain way in learning bookbinding, or was it more random? Did you set specific goals and then went on completing them or did you follow some other course? Which where the best and which the worst parts of being self-taught?

  At the very beginning self-learning was more of a random process. I would look into everything I could find: books, online tutorials , videos, and then I practiced a lot. Being a novice I knew little about the elements and functions of a binding’s structure. As I gained enough knowledge I managed to form a more complete understanding of what there is to learn. I made a detailed list writing down all the skills I needed to have or structures I wanted to master, f.e. such as bradel binding, clamshell box, marbling, byzantine binding, etc. I then made a schedule which I followed strictly.

 The best part of self-learning is that I am able to understand the process more comprehensively, my approach is not restricted in some fashion and that allows me to invent new methods. To give you an example: I have learnt at least 4 ways to cover the corners and I am now using one that I created by myself, which is easy to do and produces a very fine result.

Jin Hu – earlier work

 The worst part would be how painstaking it is as there is much more time spent in making mistakes. When it comes to the higher level of bookbinding, such as a full leather fine binding or French binding, one can never accomplish a really fine result simply by self-learning. That’s why I travelled abroad to learn from master binders.


Your bindings are full of personality and already exhibit a distinct identity, something which many artists and artisans (myself  included) strive to accomplish for a long time – if ever.
 Is this a result of conscious effort? How do you approach the creation of a design binding? Do you as an artisan rely on good planning and preparation or is your creative process guided more by instinct and chance?

Thank you so much for your encouragement! Although I believe I still need practice to improve my bindings, as I am not satisfied with all of them.
 I am very conscious regarding my approach and efforts when it comes to design bindings. For my early bindings I didn’t really make very detailed designs, sometimes I just drew a simple sketch. Back then I would refer to the process as ”randomness under certain control”. Recently however, I started to improve my design process: I do a very thorough planning before starting the binding, such as making sample boards or drawing the covers, editing the color combinations with a pc. This can take many hours up to days or even months.

Huhu Hu - Binding 5Minimalism, harmony, and inventive use of colors and textures – these are often present in your work, gracefully representing the Asian Culture’s core aesthetics.
Given the very long history of Chinese art and its distinct style how would you describe your culture’s influence on your work? Has it affected you and if so which of its elements appeal to you the most? Is their presence on your bindings on purpose -an homage to your culture- or is it more of a subconscious source of inspiration?

 I think that Chinese culture did not play a significant role in my bindings up till now. I designed the books according to some basic guidelines of graphic design. However I came to realize that Chinese Art has affected me in a more subconscious way. 
 I recently read a book series on Chinese Painting wrote by James Cahill, which totally changed my mind about Chinese art. Before reading these books I thought Chinese painting is similar with Ukiyoe art from Japan. Instead Chinese painting is a very abstract art, but one needs to learn its “language” to admire the paintings, otherwise you can only see mountains, hills ,rivers and rocks repeating themselves, you won’t be able to feel the emotions within the lines. That is one reason why Chinese painting is not as popular as Japanese painting, which is less abstract and more decorative. I realized this is an asset for me as a Chinese, so I am now making some trials in combining features found in Chinese painting with design binding.

  China is a world on its own and so we don’t often get the chance to talk with a bookbinder situated there… Can you please tell us a few things regarding the Chinese bookbinding scene:
What is the bookbinding community there like?

 There isn’t currently a bookbinding community in China, most Chinese people view bookbinding as “book cover graphic design” or similar to industrial made books…

What kind of work do the professionals focus on?
The bookbinders mainly focus on Chinese thread binding.

Is the public familiar with bookbinding as a craft/art?
Not really, but people are slowly getting more and more familiar with western-style bindings. They can appreciate bookbinding as a craft but not art.

What kind of opportunities are there for someone interested in becoming a bookbinder?

 There are some craft schools which teach Chinese style binding, but if someone wants to be a well rounded bookbinder he/she has to go abroad as I did.
 In recent years there are few studios which provide simple western binding courses but not in a very professional way – at least in my opinion. So I believe workshops for bookbinding or stores selling bookbinding materials and tools will be popular in China in the near future.

Who would you say are your main customers? Have you followed some particular course to acquire your clientele or has it simply grown over time?

My main customers are book collectors of western-style bindings. Since they have some knowledge on bookbinding they are willing to order from me. Many people also find me through articles I write at an online column, where I try to introduce the aspects of bookbinding to the public.

  Apart from bookbinding you make some amazing leather sculptures, for example scarabs and that extremely cute Minotaur. I must admit I’d hardly ever notice the black scarab isn’t real just by looking at the photo you’ve sent me – it’s so lifelike!
Has this been an old fascination or is it something you’ve discovered recently?

I know that some artists make bugs out of metal but I haven’t seen anyone making leather beetles so far, so it is basically an invention of my own. Each part of the bug is build separately and then put together. I’ve spent a great amount of time developing it and I still need to make many more leather bugs to improve the whole process.

What is the story behind the Minotaur? 

  The Minotaur is a collaboration with my husband and it is also a test product for our new leather sculpture brand named “HG Art”. While the leather bugs are made with thin vegetable-tanned leather which can be shaped easily the Minotaur was build with thick and hard leather which required very accurate shaping, just like when making clothes but in a more complicated way. We also designed the Minotaur with movable hands and legs.

And finally, what other ideas do you have in store when it comes to this kind of leathercrafting?

Apart from leather bugs we are now in the process of making an owl and a whale. We plan to design more sculptures this year, not only  animals but imaginary species as well – such as those found in ancient Chinese fairy tales.

Last but not least, would you like to share your future goals, both short and long term, regarding bookbinding?

In short term, I plan to finish some fine bindings in 2018, which involve trying new design styles and new methods of decoration. 
 In long term, I wish I could exhibit more of my bindings internationally. Also, to make books which are more like art pieces and not just craft work. I am also planning to develop more methods on leather decoration and dyeing and, hopefully, teach these in workshops around the world.

You can see more of Jin Hu’s work at her FB page.
If you enjoyed this interview there are more you can read at my blog section Techniton Politeia.


Σεμινάριο χειροποίητης βιβλιοδεσίας – ραφτή πανόδετη


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Το σεμινάριο αυτό αποτελεί εισαγωγή στην τέχνη της βιβλιοδεσίας με την τεχνική του καλύμματος (case binding – ραφτή πανόδετη βιβλιοδεσία). Με την ολοκλήρωση των μαθημάτων θα έχετε στα χέρια σας ένα δεμένο βιβλίο και τις γνώσεις για να δένετε βιβλία με απλά υλικά και εργαλεία.

Κόστος σεμιναρίου: 200 ευρώ (παρέχονται όλα τα υλικά και εργαλεία), τα οποία θα καταβληθούν σε δόσεις.
Για όσους έρθουν με κάποιον γνωστό/φίλο τους το κόστος γίνεται 150 ευρώ για τον καθένα.

Δήλωση συμμετοχών: έως 12 Φεβρουαρίου

Έναρξη μαθημάτων: 16/17 Φεβρουαρίου
Αριθμός μαθημάτων: 6-7
Διάρκεια μαθήματος: 3-4 ώρες (αναλόγως τον αριθμό συμμετεχόντων και το περιεχόμενο έκαστου μαθήματος).
Μέρες και ώρες: απόγευμα Παρασκευής ή Σαββάτου (κατά τις 5-6). Ακριβής ώρα και μέρα θα καθοριστεί κατόπιν συνεννόησις με τους ενδιαφερόμενους

Εάν θέλετε να συμμετάσχετε αφήστε ένα σχόλιο εδώ
ή στείλετε μου ένα mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com
ή καλέστε με στο 6936474123 (απογευματινές ώρες)

Συνοπτικά τα στάδια που θα δουμε:
1) Ξύλωμα του βιβλίου και ενίσχυση των τυπογραφικών
2) Πριόνισμα των τυπογραφικών για το ράψιμο
3) Ράψιμο του βιβλίου σε τεζάκι
4) Ψαροκόλλημα ράχης
5) Στρογγύλεμα ράχης
6) Πέρασμα εσωφύλλων
7) Κατασκευή κεφαλαριού από ύφασμα
8) Ενίσχυση ράχης
9) Κατασκευή καλύμματος
10) Ντύσιμο καλύμματος με ύφασμα και διακοσμητικό χαρτί
11) Πέρασμα καλύμματος και ολοκλήρωση της βιβλιοδεσίας

Seminars of 2017


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It’s been a little over a year since the bindery has moved to a new location. Many things have changed, but most of all the capability to invite more people to my working space. You see, for the past 9 years or so the bindery has been located within a ghetto, in possibly the most decayed urban area of Athens. I actually also grew up there, and I love that neighborhood, but it was quite difficult working in such a place. And bookbinding is already somewhat “hermetic” as a trade by nature…

The new space has enabled me to openly invite people and also give seminars to more than one person at a time. On the same note I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Katerina Momitsa and hold a seminar on Ebru-Marbling, which proved to be a great success!

Holding these seminars has also been quite challenging. As participants we usually just go to a place and have a good time but there is a lot of preparation and organizing to be done in advance, which can overall amount to many days and often weeks for the few hours the seminar lasts.
It is all worth it though when you see people smilling and being excited while learning something new and being creative!

As 2017 is nearing its end I would like to thank Katerina and all those who attended the seminars for the wonderful and creative evenings at my bindery. Hopefully the future will bring even more chances to share what I do and love and also more such collaborations!
Wishing everyone merry christmas and a happy new year!


Art-Deco Sketchbook


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Have I mentioned how much I like Art-Deco?
   It’s really hard to define what Art-Deco is: the aesthetic which emerged from it had a very distinct personality, yet its origins and influences were numerous and quite different from one-another. As with most things, the bindings produced during its heyday were astounding pieces of craftsmanship and aesthetic.

  So, it goes without saying I was quite excited when asked to create a sketchbook with an Art-Deco inspired decoration as a gift for an artist.
There were also a number of restrictions/guidelines I had to take into consideration: the client’s budget, the time limit (it was to be a Christmas gift) and of course the sketchbook’s requirements regarding size, type of paper and desired function.

  After discussing with the client I proposed a combination of longstich and a hardback cover. That way the owner would have a sketchbook that can bend in a 360 arc and can lay completely flat when open, much like a regular sketchbook while also being quite durable, and that could be completed within the given deadline.

  The paper used, a 100% cotton paper from Hahnemuhle, is simply amazing. Velvety and strong with great texture. I saw a large map printed on it and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

 Another request was to avoid intense/bright colors. I chose a fine Italian leather of vivid dark red color (wine anyone?) as it works well with gold and underlines the splendour Art-Deco is characterised for.

There are many ways to create onlays – mine is a combination of things I’ve read/photos I’ve seen from other binders and trial&error, as I was never taught the technique.

(Here’s a close up, warts and all…!)

Now, there was the design…
  I am in no way an artist or a designer of any sort and I’m totally useless in drawing. I’m never short of ideas but I usually struggle when having to create a template for the reasons mentioned above. For what is more I consider Art-Deco hallowed ground: I know I cannot compete with the exquisite talents who created the designs for the era’s bindings, yet I had to do the style some justice.
  Taking into consideration the client’s requests I came up with two designs and went for the “safest” choice, the one I felt the most likely to look sound and pleasing. The result is what you see before you today.

Σεμινάρια Χειροτεχνίας – Origami, Βιβλιοδεσία, Ebru – Marbling


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Με μεγάλη χαρά σας προσκαλώ σε ένα κύκλο μονοήμερων και αυτοτελών σεμιναρίων χειροτεχνίας με κοινό γνώρισμα ένα επίτευγμα που καθόρισε την ιστορία του πολιτισμού: το χαρτί.
  Ελάτε να γνωρίσετε την τέχνη της Βιβλιοδεσίας, του Ebru και του Origami και να φτιάξετε ιδιαίτερα χειροτεχνήματα, για εσάς ή ως χριστουγεννιάτικο δώρο για τα αγαπημένα σας πρόσωπα!

Για το κόστος και τους όρους συμμετοχής ανατρέξτε στο τέλος του άρθρου.

Dimitri's Bookbinding Corner - Σεμινάρια 2


ORIGAMI – Κατερίνα Χριστοφορίδη
Το Origami είναι μια παραδοσιακή Ιαπωνική τέχνη διπλώματος χαρτιού, χωρίς τη χρήση ψαλιδιού ή κολλάζ, μέσω της οποίας δημιουργούνται διάφορα αντικείμενα. Για να φτιαχτούν αυτά χρησιμοποιούνται πολλά διαφορετικά κομμάτια χαρτιού, σε ποικιλία μεγεθών, χρωμάτων και υφών, τα οποία ξεκινούν από τετράγωνο σχήμα.

Η τεχνική Origami χρειάζεται υπομονή, σχολαστικές και ακριβείς κινήσεις. Είναι όμως περισσότερα από ένα απλό δίπλωμα χαρτιού. Υπάρχει μαγεία στην  μετατροπή ενός επίπεδου τετράγωνου χαρτιού σε ένα τρισδιάστατο έργο τέχνης, δίνοντας παράλληλα ζωή σε ένα, κατά τ’άλλα στατικό αντικείμενο. Προκαλεί και εμπλουτίζει την φαντασία γεννώντας ιδέες, ενώ παράλληλα βελτιώνει τον συντονισμό χεριών-ματιών και δημιουργεί την αίσθηση ηρεμίας και χαλάρωσης.

Παρασκευή 10 Νοεμβρίου
Οι συμμετέχοντες μαθαίνουν τις βασικές αρχές του Origami διπλώνοντας ένα απλό σχέδιο. Έπειτα χρησιμοποιώντας τις βασικές τσακίσεις θα συνθέσουν τα τμήματα σε ένα αστέρι (modular origami).

Σάββατο 11 Νοεμβρίου
Οι συμμετέχοντες μαθαίνουν τις βασικές αρχές του Origami διπλώνοντας ένα απλό σχέδιο. Έπειτα χρησιμοποιώντας τις βασικές τσακίσεις θα συνθέσουν μια πεταλούδα και ένα καραβάκι τα οποία θα μετατρέψουν έπειτα σε κοσμήματα.

ΒΙΒΛΙΟΔΕΣΙΑ LONGSTITCH- Κουτσιπετσίδης Δημήτρης
Ποικιλόμορφη και εύκολη στην εκμάθηση, η τεχνική του longstitch αποτελεί  μια απλή αλλά ιδιαίτερα πρακτική και δημοφιλή μορφή βιβλιοδεσίας. Κατανοώντας κανείς τις βασικές αρχές της μπορεί έπειτα να πειραματιστεί και να την προσαρμόσει στις προτιμήσεις και την αισθητική του με αναρίθμητους τρόπους.

Παρασκευή 17 Νοεμβρίου
Οι συμμετέχοντες θα μάθουν πως φτιάχνεται ένα longstitch σημειωματάριο από δέρμα, το οποίο θα έχει εσωτερική τσέπη και θήκη για στυλό/μολύβι. Ανθεκτικό και εύχρηστο, αποτελεί την ιδανική λύση για όσους χρειάζονται ένα σημειωματάριο που μπορεί να τους συντροφεύει τόσο στο σπίτι όσο στις καθημερινές διαδρομές ή τα ταξίδια τους.

EBRU-MARBLING – Κατερίνα Μόμιτσα.
Το Ebru είναι μια παραδοσιακή τέχνη ζωγραφικής, γνωστή στην Τουρκία εδώ και αιώνες. Το σχέδιο γίνεται πάνω στο νερό και ύστερα αποτυπώνεται στο χαρτί. Καθώς δεν μπορούν ποτέ να βγουν δύο έργα ίδια, το αποτέλεσμα είναι κάθε φορά μοναδικό.

  Ιδιαίτερη, χαλαρωτική και έντονα δημιουργική, η τέχνη του ebru είναι κάτι το πρωτόγνωρο για όσους δεν έχουν ξαναέρθει σε επαφή μαζί της.
Παρασκευή 1 Δεκεμβρίου
Εισαγωγή στην τέχνη του ebru. Οι συμμετέχοντες θα δημιουργήσουν σχέδια στο νερό πειραματιζόμενοι με διάφορα μοτίβα που θα μεταφερθούν έπειτα σε χαρτί. Χρησιμοποιώντας την ίδια τεχνική θα φτιάξουν επίσης κάρτες και σελιδοδείκτες.

Σάββατο 2 Δεκεμβρίου
Μικρή εισαγωγή στην τέχνη του ebru. Στη συνέχεια οι συμμετέχοντες θα δουλέψουν με διάφορα αντικείμενα -όπως βραχιόλια, κουτιά, γούρια, χριστουγεννιάτικα στολίδια, κοσμήματα κτλ- για να δούνε πως εφαρμόζεται το ebru σε διάφορα υλικά ( ξύλο, κεραμικά, χαρτοπολτός και χαρτόνι κτλ).
Το πρώτο μάθημα θα δώσει την δυνατότητα στους ενδιαφερόμενους να εμβαθύνουν περισσότερο στη παραδοσιακή πλευρά του ebru και του marbling δημιουργώντας σχέδια σε μεγάλη επιφάνεια ενώ το δεύτερο εστιάζει περισσότερο στις διακοσμητικές εφαρμογές που προσφέρει όσον αφορά διάφορα καθημερινά αντικείμενα.

Λίγα λόγια για τους καλεσμένους δασκάλους:

Η Κατερίνα Μόμιτσα είναι μια ελληνίδα σχεδιάστρια και δημιουργός που ζει και εργάζεται στην Αθήνα. Η δουλειά της είναι υπό το brand Káte και σχετίζεται με τις τεχνικές του ebru και marbling.
  Η πρώτη της επαφή με το ebru, καθώς και οι σπουδές της, ήταν στην Κωνσταντινούπολη, όπου το ερωτεύτηκε. Χρειάστηκε μια μόνο σταγόνα, το χρώμα να αγγίξει την επιφάνεια του νερού και μαγεύτηκε από αυτή τη σπάνια τέχνη. Από τότε παρακολούθησε διάφορα σεμινάρια από πολλούς masters του ebru . Επίσης πήρε μέρος σε διάφορες εκθέσεις.
   Το εργαστήριο της βρίσκεται στην Αθήνα. Εκεί εφαρμόζει και πειραματίζεται με τις τεχνικές του ebru και marbling σε διάφορα υλικά όπως χαρτί, ξύλο, κεραμικά, ύφασμα, κεριά, πέτρες κ.λ.π. Χρησιμοποιεί αυτές τις τεχνικές και σε συνδυασμό με το προσωπικό της στυλ δημιουργεί σημειωματάρια, ημερολόγια, κοσμήματα, αξεσουάρ και διακοσμητικά αντικείμενα.
   Η Κατερίνα επίσης οργανώνει σεμινάρια, με σκοπό να ενθαρρύνει κι άλλους ανθρώπους να μπουν στον μαγικό κόσμο του ebru.


Η Κατερίνα Χριστοφορίδη είναι αρχιτέκτων μηχανικός. Με το Origami ασχολείται από την παιδική της ηλικία, αλλά τα τελευταία χρόνια τελειοποιεί την τεχνική, μελετώντας πολύπλοκες μορφές.
  Χρησιμοποιώντας τις βασικές τεχνικές του origami και τη φαντασία της, ασκεί την τέχνη αυτή φτιάχνοντας, τελικά, μοναδικά κομμάτια. Αντικείμενα της έχουν φιλοξενηθεί κατά καιρούς στα πωλητήρια των μουσείων Μπενάκη, Γουλανδρή Φυσικής Ιστορίας, Λαϊκής Τέχνης, Κέντρο Πολιτισμού Ίδρυμα Σταύρος Νιάρχος και σε διάφορες εκθέσεις.


Εάν ενδιαφέρεστε να πάρετε μέρος καλέστε στο 6936474123 (ώρες απογεύματος) ή στείλετε ένα mail στο koutsipetsidis@gmail.com αναφέροντας το σεμινάριο για το οποίο ενδιαφέρεστε (αντικείμενο και συγκεκριμένη μέρα/ες), τον αριθμό ενδιαφερομένων (εάν δηλώνετε και για κάποιον άλλον) και ένα τηλέφωνο για επιβεβαίωση και περαιτέρω επικοινωνία.

Το κόστος συμμετοχής για κάθε μέρα σεμιναρίου είναι 30 ευρώ. Περιλαμβάνονται όλα τα υλικά και εργαλεία.

– Σε περίπτωση συμμετοχής και στις 2 ημέρες του ίδιου αντικειμένου το κόστος μειώνεται στα 50 ευρώ από 60.
– Σε περίπτωση που έρθετε μαζί με κάποιο φίλο ή συγγενή σας τότε το ημερήσιο κόστος συμμετοχής μειώνεται στα 25 ευρώ από 30 για τον καθένα.

– Ο αριθμός θέσεων σε κάθε ημέρα σεμιναρίου (ανεξαρτήτως αντικειμένου) είναι περιορισμένος: 7 θέσεις. Θα τηρηθεί σειρά προτεραιότητας.
– Σε περίπτωση ελλιπούς συμμετοχής ενδέχεται να υπάρξει ακύρωση μαθήματος. Σε περίπτωση μεγάλου ενδιαφέροντος θα σχηματιστούν 2 τμήματα και το μάθημα θα επαναληφθεί. Και στις 2 περιπτώσεις θα υπάρξει σχετική ενημέρωση των ενδιαφερομένων.
– Στο Origami και Ebru-Marbling τα μαθήματα είναι αυτοτελή: δεν απαιτείται η παρακολούθηση του πρώτης μέρας για την συμμετοχή στη δεύτερη.

– Τα σεμινάρια έχουν διάρκεια 3 ώρες κατά μέσο όρο. Αναλόγως των αριθμό των συμμετεχόντων και την ροή του σεμιναρίου μπορεί να διαρκέσουν λιγότερο ή περισσότερο.
– Η ώρα προσέλευσης είναι στις 17:30 και η έναρξη του σεμιναρίου είναι το αργότερο στις 18:00.
– Παρακαλούνται οι ενδιαφερόμενοι για την έγκαιρη προσέλευση τους την ημέρα και ώρα του σεμιναρίου.
– Σε περίπτωση ακύρωσης ή αδυναμίας προσέλευσης παρακαλούνται να ενημερώσουν αρκετές μέρες πριν ή έστω το νωρίτερο δυνατόν.

Θα χαρούμε να σας υποδεχτούμε και να περάσουμε δημιουργικά και ευχάριστα τις μέρες αυτές μαζί σας!


Techniton Politeia – Interview with Samuel Feinstein Part 2


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Welcome to Part 2 of our interview with Samuel Feinstein.
You can read Part 1 here.

Which would you say are the projects/bindings that have intrigued you the most and why? This applies to commissions you’ve received but can also be extended to the work of other fellow binders that caught your interest.

  I’ll share two of my favorite commissioned pieces and a quick binding that I did on the side:
  Into This World, a poem by Natalie Goldberg, illustrated by Clare Dunne and printed by Sialia Rieke, is a binding that was able to be somewhat emotional. I wanted to capture the femininity of the poem & illustrations in the design, as well as the strength of spirit necessary it takes to become one with the world, dying with grace: “let us die/ gracefully/ into this world”.  I also wanted to convey the sovereignty of nature over our lives, and that it will be here when we are gone, beautiful as ever.  The waxing and waning moon is at once an expression of nature itself interacting (drawing the waves up) within the world, a physical representation of the constant change in the world, as well as a metaphor for the progression of the human life.  It is also meant to strike a chord with the overall tone of femininity. The death explored in this poem is not about the pain that often comes before death, but rather a celebration of the transformation of the body and the spirit in its continuation of being a part of this world, in a different form: “…let us […] not hold on/not even to the/ moon/ tipped as it will/ be tonight/ and beckoning/ wildly in the sea”.

  My binding on Paul Needham’s “Twelve Centuries of Bookbindings” was a fun and somewhat technical binding because it allowed me to make a statement about the history of bookbinding. Often the history of bookbinding is more correctly the history of book decoration and -even more correctly- it is most often the history of gold-tooled bookbindings. The time period covered in those twelve centuries was 400-1600, so there’s not too much time in there for gold tooled bindings, however, they constituted more plates than blind tooled bindings. So with the binding I let the gold do what it normally does—draw attention away from blind tooling in a very stark way.
   I don’t really have any opportunity to address politics in my work. With the kind of work that I do, it just doesn’t come up. And with the political realm being as divisive as it is, I imagine it could put people off. I’ll do my best to make this paragraph as non-controversial as I can. I chose to do a binding on a book written by Bernie Sanders. He’s not a new politician, and none of the policies that he supports and is pushing for are new ideas. This book follows his campaign trail and puts forth the ideals he ran on: income equality, health care for all, higher education as a human right, racial justice, environmental justice, criminal justice reform, immigration reform, getting money out of politics, truth, love, compassion, and solidarity, among many others–and their implementation. All of these are pressing issues in society and need to be addressed in a moral manner, not limiting the rights of people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (the stated goal of the country I live in).
   I chose to do a utilitarian binding on this: no gold, nothing flashy, a simple arts-and-crafts design tooled in blind, with an off-cut piece of leather, done quickly but with elegance. The endpapers are plain, they don’t need to be fancy. “A Future to Believe In” was Bernie’s campaign message, and “The Struggle Continues” is the progressive answer to any election, any vote, or any compromise, win or lose–the struggle continues.

   There are a number of bookbinders, current and past, who I look up to, but none moreso than the Spanish bookbinder Emilio Brugalla. His work ranges from historical to contemporary, always tooled magnificently and the ability to work in any style fairly seamlessly reflects what I attempt to do in my work. He said, “El corazón del libro nunca deja de latir.” I’m not a spiritual person by any stretch of the imagination, but there is something living and beautiful within a book that the right binding can be resonate with that causes an intangible sense of wonder, and truly the heart of the book never stops beating.

Your bindings are excellently tooled, a fact I’ve seen mentioned within the bookbinding community. You also offer finishing services and teach courses on tooling and gold-finishing. Given your focus on the specific aspect of the craft, what would you consider the hardest part in mastering tooling and why? 

  The only claim I make is that I am a competent finisher. Because I am not a master, my speculation is that the hardest part in mastering finishing is achieving a level of mastery with all styles of finishing and sustain that for quite some time. This also includes 1. Having the range of tools and type needed for this, and, more difficult, 2. Having the work coming through your shop to sustain your finishing practice week by week. Since I spend a decent amount of time forwarding, that’s time away from the finishing stove, and teaching, while still finishing, is more instruction than actual finishing.  I hope one day to become a master, but it’ll take a lot more time.

  For those starting out, finishing is not an easily won skill. It is among the most difficult aspects of creating a fine binding. Instruction is one aspect of learning finishing, the other is understanding how each impression needs to feel to be successful — that second part I am either not skilled enough with words to describe, or it is a conversation that needs to happen between the leather and the tool in your hand, incapable of being expressed by words. You will make mistakes. You will “waste” gold, or, more correctly, it will take more gold than you feel comfortable using to develop your hand skills. You will likely ruin a binding or two so that you have to re-do it, even if you have been fastidiously practicing on plaquettes. These are all part of the learning process and should not be interpreted as failures, but as necessary steps to being able to tool a binding well.

Is there a specific philosophy behind the way you run your bookbinding classes? How do you approach tool-finishing as a teaching subject?

   I take a very systematic approach to teaching finishing. Make sure that you align yourself squarely to the edge of your bench. Make sure you tool your lines perpendicular to your bench’s edge, and rotate the book you are tooling on rather than pivoting your body. Heat the tool, cool it, polish it, tool. These are a few of the things that I repeat over and over during the course of my workshops. My intro classes start with straight lines. I’ll demonstrate the process, have the students try their hand at is, and then demonstrate again, have the students practice, and demonstrate again so that the students can see the process again and focus on a new aspect of the process or notice something that they were doing wrong. It’s rigorous and intense.

The workshops that I teach are often five-day workshops, though I’ll teach two-day workshops as well. We use high quality materials, as these give the best results with unpracticed hands, and it’s easier to know what the issues are when the materials are reliable. Within every class there is a range of previous finishing experience, and not everyone learns at the same rate, so I address this by giving each student as much one-on-one time as I can. This allows those with more experience to move forward and be challenged and those with no experience learn enough to go off on their own. As I mention above, finishing is among the most difficult aspects of fine bookbinding and, for me, the more people that are doing it, and doing it well, the better.
I’m in the process of making the first of what I hope will be a number of instructional videos on finishing, since access to that kind of information is somewhat limited. The first will be the core of what my five-day class is, blind tooling and gold tooling with synthetic glaire and gold leaf. If that goes well, I will move on to cover some of the other aspects of finishing that could benefit from instruction: titling, tooling with egg-glaire, tooled-edge onlays, to name a few.

  As artisans we have to deal with misconceptions about our craft on a regular basis. People for example are often used to seeing intricate decorations on bindings, most notably in films and series, which makes it difficult to explain the level of skill and experience required to produce such a result.
  What can you tell us on the subject of misinformation regarding bookbinding? How -if at all- has it affected you so far and what can a craftsman do to tackle it effectively?

  As bookbinders, one of our most important roles is to teach others about bookbinding, whether they be clients, prospective clients, someone you happen to bump into and start a conversation with. In the past, one way to address this was to print out a list of each and every step to let people know what the steps were and how many of them there are (I’m referring to the “The bookbinders case unfolded” broadside that lists all of the steps in bookbinding, dated between 1669 and 1695). I’ve had instances where the desired date of completion was ten days or so, and that answer is always, “It would be especially rare that you would find any hand bookbinder with that short of a promised turn around. Most binders you will find will have projects they are already working on, and a more realistic baseline for turnaround starts around six weeks to three months.” Now, that’s not true across the board, depending on work flow, the speed that a binder works at, or if it’s a job you can slip in between other jobs. It’s always best to over budget time and get a binding to someone earlier than you estimated than to miss a deadline.
  People will always have misconceptions about things they’re ignorant of, just like in every other facet of life. If they simply do not know that a fine binding will take a few months at the earliest, it is good to let them know how long a binding takes, keeping in mind the projects that need to be completed before starting a new one. There’s no positive result from being elitist, condescending, or dismissive, regardless of how much time goes into building up our hand skills. An authentic and genuine conversation, along with showing examples of work, goes a long way.

  Last but not least: can you share a small piece of bookbinding wisdom that you’ve unlocked through personal experience?
  The bit of wisdom I’ll share here is a branch off of something that I heard often as a student: do the kind of work that you want to do. If you take in a bible repair project, then people will know you do that as part of your work. This applies to everything: repair, restoration, conservation, editions, fine bindings, design bindings, and so on. What I have learned is this: If someone doesn’t know that you exist, they cannot commission a binding from you. It’s a simple enough thought, but for me it has been the thing that keeps work coming to my bench. As a previously very shy person, it was a small hurdle to overcome, but it’s part of the process of being a bookbinder. Put in the hours you need to produce salable work and then make sure the people who seek out that work know you and your work.

You can read more interviews with craftspeople here.