iBB Podcast #3.1 – Eliane Gomes / Nautilus Boekbinderij. What Is Book Restoration? 3×4-Meter Studio Tour

Our podcast’s guest is Eliane Gomes, a Brazilian/Dutch book restorer and bookbinder, owner of the Nautilus Boekbinderij in Haarlem, Netherlands. I already had several collaborations with her and posted a studio tour on iBookBinding.com.

This is the first part of the video we recorded last week. We discuss how Eliane became a book restorer after a long corporate career and how her work is organized now. We talk about the differences between book repair, restoration, and conservation. And then Eliane shows around her small but very efficient studio!

See the timestamps below if you want to skip to some particular part of our talk.

The second part of this episode is dedicated to Q&A and will be uploaded in a couple of days.

Our next guest is Rita Udina, a paper & book conservator. From 1999 she runs a private conservation lab based in Barcelona (Spain). Rita organizes conservation workshops at her studio as well as in other countries and enjoys very much sharing conservation topics, either teaching, attending conferences, or through her blog (in Catalan, Spanish, and English).

You can ask Rita questions either by posting a comment below, by writing to us through any of our social accounts, or via email.



Listen to this episode on:

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Follow Eliane’s projects:
Website: http://www.nautilus-boekbinderij.nl/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nautilus_books_and_projects/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NautilusBoekbinderij2015/


01:55 – Eliane’s path to bookbinding
05:02 – Choosing between conservation and restoration
06:31 – Genesis of conservation as a profession after the 1966 flood in Florence
08:08 – Having a “restoration buddy”/mentor
08:40 – Importance of knowing your limits
10:03 – Book repair is not book restoration
10:29 – One of Eliane’s restoration exam’s projects
11:09 – Using reversible materials
12:59 – Eliane’s clientele and the regional distribution
15:18 – What are the boring and routine parts of being a book restorer?
16:33 – Preparing a report and having a plan
18:38 – Fixing a mistake
19:02 – Importance of not underevaluating your work
19:26 – Keeping spreadsheets for calculating your prices
22:29 – Including all expenses into the final price of your work
25:29 – Recording and photographing your projects

Workshop Tour

30:38 – Workshop Tour
30:48 – 3×4-meter atelier
32:00 – Skylight
32:13 – Drawers and cabinets
33:17 – Boxes and stuff under the workbench
34:25 – Having everything within arm’s reach in a small studio
35:18 – Swivel jointed finishing stand by Geert van Daal
36:04 – Using a whiteboard for thoughts and drawings
36:19 – Humidity control, sterilization, and fire safety

Some of the Projects

37:28 – 16th-century book with doodles and cut-out decorated initials in restoration
39:05 – Company archive / several volumes of corporate scrapbooks
40:02 – Punching cradle from iBookBinding and its place on the wall
41:31 – Large format Dutch limp binding – cash register book

Additional Links

1966 Flood of Florence conservation measures: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1966_flood_of_the_Arno#Conservation_measures
Swivel jointed finishing stand: http://geertvandaal.nl/images/VerguldklemFolderdef.pdf

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