Who is Mr. Chizhov?

I’m definitely not a Jack of one trade. Am I a bookbinder? Not really. I love bookbinding. For almost a year, I’ve been teaching bookbinding basics workshops in Moscow. However, it’s been a few years now since I made my living binding books. Programmer? Wrong again. I never became a true programmer. Other jobs I had (and have) include journalist, editor and translator. For almost five years, I was a CEO and one of the owners of a board game publishing and distribution company.

It looks like I have quite a diverse experience – which I hope will help me make iBookBinding even more informative and fun.

What attracts me in bookbinding? Primarily, I love to read about book history. How did medieval bookbinding actually work? When did they start to use not only paste, but also animal glue? What is the difference between the Gothic and Carolingian bindings? How did books evolve from the early Nag-Hammadi-like Coptic codices to the modern pieces of art? Yeah! I love those things!

At the same time, I love teaching. And it is not only the old dusty and rusty sort of stuff that I love to teach, but also the fun and easy things, like the modern colorful and cheerful Coptic binding. To make sure I teach my students the most up-to-date techniques, this July I went to study at the American Academy of Bookbinding. My stay there gave me many ideas I hope to share with the iBookBinding community (I’ll showcase some of the results next week).

I suppose I’d better show some things I have bound over the years. Most of them are case bindings: fake raised bands, cords that have no real purpose, and the like. (I have experimented with French bindings before, but my longest experience with it was during my study at the AAB this July.)

I have made most of these books between 2006 and 2008. My return to bookbinding happened in October’14. I was asked to run a bookbinding workshop for photographers interested in creating photobooks. Almost every weekend since that moment has been occupied with one class or another, with small breaks during the holidays and summer months only.

I intend the new iBookBidning.com to be not only about Coptic or Japanese bindings. I plan to write about fine bindings and to share with you my own tutorials (even videos). Hopefully, together we will all become better bookbinders.

I’ll continue with the top 10 lists, of course =)

In conclusion, I would like to introduce one more author who plans to write regularly for iBookBinding. Pavel Voronin is not a bookbinder, but he loves art and history and he is a sophisticated person. He already started writing a text code-named ‘The earliest history of bookbinding: obscure books from exotic places’, sketching the history of the oldest codices and their bindings. Unfortunately, many of them did not survive the ravages of time, some perishing as recently as the late 19th or even the early 20th century.

Meanwhile, we would be happy to see examples of your own work here in comments (links to your blogs would be OK =)).


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