book binding workshop

5

The Book of Warmth

This book was made in the hottest of days throughout the year and I do hope it bears some of that warmth within itself. With golden floral borders and vines with poppy seed pods, I wanted to resemble and glowing field of various flowers. The ornamentation is made solely with 24k gold leaf and like the journal before, it’s filled with fine, cream colored Clairefontaine paper for all those with a love for pens and ink.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/531254106/book-of-warmth-a-sturdy-handmade-leather

10

In 2007, the small town of Urueña, Spain decided to become a Villa del Libro, or a town of books. This is what it looks like.

Imagine a small medieval town behind a high wall. A castle stands on one end, and all around are vineyards and fields of wheat. Imagine that within the walls the entire town is devoted to reading and writing. Imagine that the entire town is, in essence, one magical bookstore.

One of many European wonders, this fairytale for bibliophiles exists in Spain. The place is called Urueña, and it is only a two hour drive northwest from Madrid. The town sits within a medieval wall, surrounded by vast plains, in the region of Castilla y León. In recent years, it has transformed itself into a Villa del Libro, a village that celebrates books.

Fewer than 200 people live in Urueña, according to the 2014 census. But these few villagers run 12 different bookstores, meaning that there’s one bookstore for every sixteen or so people. Some are general interest shops; others specialize in old and rare books. One focuses on the region of Castilla y León, another on children’s books. A shop called El 7 Bookshop specializes in books about bullfighting. Another concentrates its collection on books about wine, and this one is called The Cellar.

In addition to the bookstores, Urueña is home to an institute of ancient calligraphy that offers classes in the old writing techniques found in medieval handwritten tomes. Similarly, the Artisan Book Binding Workshop of Urueña holds seminars on how to physically create and unite the spines, covers, and pages that make up books

is website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website

NewsHistoryPeoplePlacesFacebookPinterestTwitterNewsletter

This Small Village In Spain Is Home To More Books Than People

By John on January 12, 2016

In 2007, the small town of Urueña, Spain decided to become a Villa del Libro, or a town of books. This is what it looks like.

One of the old medieval gates leading out of Urueña, Spain’s Villa del Libro. Image Source: Flickr

Imagine a small medieval town behind a high wall. A castle stands on one end, and all around are vineyards and fields of wheat. Imagine that within the walls the entire town is devoted to reading and writing. Imagine that the entire town is, in essence, one magical bookstore.

One of many European wonders, this fairytale for bibliophiles exists in Spain. The place is called Urueña, and it is only a two hour drive northwest from Madrid. The town sits within a medieval wall, surrounded by vast plains, in the region of Castilla y León. In recent years, it has transformed itself into a Villa del Libro, a village that celebrates books.

Fewer than 200 people live in Urueña, according to the 2014 census. But these few villagers run 12 different bookstores, meaning that there’s one bookstore for every sixteen or so people. Some are general interest shops; others specialize in old and rare books. One focuses on the region of Castilla y León, another on children’s books. A shop called El 7 Bookshop specializes in books about bullfighting. Another concentrates its collection on books about wine, and this one is called The Cellar.

In addition to the bookstores, Urueña is home to an institute of ancient calligraphy that offers classes in the old writing techniques found in medieval handwritten tomes. Similarly, the Artisan Book Binding Workshop of Urueña holds seminars on how to physically create and unite the spines, covers, and pages that make up books.

One of the twelve bookstores in the small town of Urueña, Spain. Image Source: Flickr

Urueña also boasts five well-run museums. Naturally, there’s the Museum of the Book and Writing and the Story Museum. But there is also the Ethnographic Museum, run by a local scholar of regional folklore, Joaquín Díaz, that’s set in a 18th century mansion. The nearby Museum of Music houses ancient and valuable instruments from across Europe and around the world. Finally, the e-LEA Centre hosts exhibits and lectures on literature and writing. While already a center of learning and history, Urueña made a conscious decision to become a Villa del Libro in 2007. It joined the International Organization of Book Towns and modeled its re-branding after cities like Hay-on-Wye in Wales or Brevedoort in the Netherlands where tens of thousands of tourists come every year for literary festivals or simply to look through the second-hand shops. So far Urueña is the only internationally recognized “book town” in Spain. At present, Urueña attracts 40,000 bibliophiles to its narrow medieval streets every year. They cross the vast plains of Castilla to search through old tomes; listen to lectures on writing and take classes in calligraphy, and of course to talk to one another about the pleasures found in books.

5

Stalwart Journal of August 14th 2017

Another day, another journal. I hope you had the chance to see the making of this journal in my previous post. If you haven’t, here’s the link to the video.

These last few works have been the closest to my long time vision of what a truly robust book should look and feel like. It is indeed more than anything a work of craft rather than artistry. However it is complete in its sense that it has to fulfill a purpose to endure and to bring comfort.

The covers of this little journal are rather thick, made with two layers of millboard. The end bands are sewn on double hemp cords and recently I’ve started putting twisted cord inside the leather fold above and behind the endbands. That provides a bit more sturdiness but I also like how it compliments the overall look.

If you have the desire this journal to be yours, you can get it from here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/518549614/stalwart-journal-of-august-14th-2017-a

Made a small journal for myself. I haven’t really done anything for personal use for quite some time. I felt I needed to try writing in something new so I can explore any potential inconveniences also I tried some things that were a bit experimental.

It’s bound in sprinkled goatskin with a bit of gilding and small red lamb leather onlays.

Two more of the same size are in the works.