iBB Podcast #1. Ben Elbel from Elbel Libro. Part 1 – Path to Bookbinding and Workshop Tour

This is the first part of our talk with Ben Elbel from Elbel Libro bindery and Bookbinding Out of the Box project. We discuss Ben’s path to becoming a bookbinder, and then he shows around his studio in Haarlem, Netherlands.

Check below to find the table of contents with timestamps and listen until the end to find out the rules of our new giveaway!

You can either listen to the podcast on Soundcloud or watch it on YouTube.

In the second part of this podcast, we will talk about Ben’s project and will answer several questions that we received from our community.

Our next guest is Todd Davis from the Middlesex Bindery in Massachusetts, United States. You can post your questions to Todd in the comments below.
The next Instagram live stream will be dedicated to making a basic sewing frame with only the simplest tools and materials. Tune in this Tuesday, 28th of April 2020!

Join us on:
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/iBookBinding/
Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/iBookBinding/
Discord — https://discord.gg/cxMw7x5

Follow Ben’s projects:
Elbel Libro – https://www.elbel-libro.com/
Bookbinding Out of the Box – https://bookbindingoutofthebox.com/



00:35 – How to pronounce Ben Elbel’s name properly
02:10 – Our first meeting in 2015
04:18 – Ben’s Path to bookbinding
07:03 – Father’s suggestion to study bookbinding and a year at Centro del bel libro Ascona


13:33 – Looking for an apprenticeship
14:56 – Apprenticeship in Germany at Die Buchmanufaktur
15:38 – Learning to make things fast
16:03 – Usage of PVA
18:09 – Moving to London
19:20 – German traveling apprentices
22:20 – On taking apprentices at Elbel Libro
23:48 – Starting a career in bookbinding with or without education
26:00 – On the importance of learning French binding

Workshop tour

29:02 – Workshop tour at Elbel Libro
31:03 – Showroom / Visitor area
35:00 – Ground floor / Workroom / Storage
36:33 – Leather splitting machine in action
40:40 – Storage corner: leather, cloth, cardboard, etc.
44:34 – All the sorts of cardboard Ben has in his studio
45:50 – Superior board: Presspahn and Green Millboard by Conservation By Design (see the links below)
48:05 – Workbench
49:26 – Different heights of mine and Ben’s workbenches

Things from Ben Elbel’s Shop

Presspahn: https://bookbindingoutofthebox.com/collections/products/products/presspan
Own tutorials: https://bookbindingoutofthebox.com/collections/bookbinding-tutorials
Crisscross binding book: https://bookbindingoutofthebox.com/collections/books-from-others/products/book-crisscross-binding-anne-goy
Edgard Claes’s piano hinge binding: https://bookbindingoutofthebox.com/collections/books-from-others/products/book-neue-bucheinbandtechnik-scharnierband-in-pergament-edgard-claes

Other Mentions and Links

Ben’s first teacher at the city archive in Strasbourg: Bernard Santoni
Centro del bel libro Ascona – https://www.cbl-ascona.ch/en/programm/
Regular teachers Ben studied from in Ascona: Edwin Heim (bookbinding), Henrik Roerig (conservation)
Guest teachers Ben had in Ascona: Hedi Kyle, Cor Aerssens
American Academy of Bookbinding – https://www.bookbindingacademy.org/
Die Buchmanufaktur, at the time in Göttingen (Germany), now in Wädenswil (Switzerland)
Shepherds Bookbinders in London, UK – http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/
Book Works in London, UK – https://www.bookworks.org.uk/studio/
Boekkunstbeurs – https://boekkunstbeurs.nl/opening-en/
Green Millboard by Conservation By Design:

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