The art of traditional bookbinding

PUBLISHED: 10:16 15 July 2016 | UPDATED: 10:30 15 July 2016




Discover the art of traditional bookbinding with the wonderfully named Black Cat Bindery near Castle Cary

Bookbinding Bookbinding

There’s something rather magical about the return of many of the old crafts that seemed so destined for distinction but for a band of committed craftspeople who kept it alive. And now their hard work has paid off as we return in our droves to properly created handmade items to be loved for generations.

And among them is bookbinding. Rosy Gray from Black Cat Bindery has been bookbinding for 30 years. She and her small dedicated team create individual handmade books and boxes designed to be a treasured keepsake.

The small team uses traditional hand binding equipment, some of which dates back to the Victorian era, so the end result is classically authentic.

“After leaving Bournemouth College of Art I was offered a job at a bindery in London,” says Rosy. “A year or so later I decided to study the subject so applied to the London College of Printing. On completion of the course myself and two friends set up the Wyvern Bindery in Clerkenwell, London, where we produced portfolios for photographers and film props and worked for the many law firms within the area. After 15 years in London I decided to move back to the West Country and set up The Black Cat Bindery.

Bookbinding Bookbinding

“We produce small limited edition runs of letter press printed books, photograph albums and presentation books, as well as boxes and storage solutions for photographers and artists.”

The team undertakes a wide variety of work from photograph albums for occasions including weddings, christenings, birthdays and other special memories, to the binding of limited edition print runs of up to 100. It also produces presentation print boxes, keepsake boxes and CD/ DVD folios, as well as visitors books, guest books and journals. Restoration of older books is also undertaken and the team will restore the book, giving it lasting strength, whilst maintaining its original appearance.

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