Hello there, and sorry I’ve been so horrible about keeping in touch. …And me, with so much news to share! Late last January, I interviewed for the position of production manager at Taurus Bookbindery in San Francisco. I spent an entire day talking to Tim James, who has owned the bindery for 20 years. Some weeks later, he offered me the job, and I decided to close up shop in Chicago and head out to San Francisco. My first day here was March 8, over three months ago, and I’ve been learning a ton! We have had some really terrific work come into the shop, and I’ve been able to use some great labor- saving equipment, much of which is powered by an air compressor. And what may be to the chagrin of many reading this, I’ve come to really understand– perhaps, even love– the gluing machine. Amazing! Here is a photo of the bindery on a Saturday (which is why you don’t see anyone working). Several skylights offer good natural light, which is a nice plus.
All the binders I’ve met out here have been very kind, generous, and welcoming. Here’s a meeting of the Hand Bookbinders of California, in a lush setting under some beautiful trees in Palo Alto, about an hour by train south of San Francisco:
It seems there is a very vibrant printing and bookbinding scene here in San Francisco! I’m really excited about being here, and hope to keep learning as much as I can.
Before leaving Chicago, I was able to finish a binding for an Estonian bookbinding competition. It involved binding Lauldud Sõna/ The Word Was Sung, a set book centering on Veljo Tormis, an Estonian composer of modern choral music largely based on folk song structures. I tried some new things, including sprinkling leather dye through stencils on the leather after covering, and using stencils to sprinkle patterns on the edges. I used leather I got at the Guild Standards this past October, which was in San Francisco– the first time I ever set foot here, in fact.