Monday, December 31, 2007
Bookbinding as a Trade
I don't think this happens very much anymore - where somebody learns bookbinding as an apprentice to a bookbinder, learns everything there is to know about the trade, then eventually takes over the business and continues working as a master bookbinder for the rest of his life... The New York Times just published this article about Mr. Schnerb, a real old fashion tradesman making a living as a bookbinder. This has to be rare. It seems to me that for most bookbinders today who are trying to make a living, that a career as a bookbinder is more like a career as an "artist" rather than a tradesperson. Mr. Schnerb is not being presented as a book artist or as anything else with a similarly vague title - and there are no artistic pretensions to bother about...he is a bookbinder! Plain an simple. Which, in my opinion, is absolutely fabulous! A real, honest-to-goodness bookbinder. Ah, nostalgia. Why don't we still do this apprentice and master process for the trade of bookbinding anymore? Maybe it happens somewhere...but certainly not anywhere that is accessible to me. Too bad.