The bookbinder’s secret library

Cambras bookbinder

Cambras at his workshop, with one of his bookbindings.

Josep Cambras, one of the most popular bookbinders from Barcelona, always welcomes me with a wide smile and a sarcastic look.
Smiles turn to laughter when we get down to our issues:
-But… you are not pasting the spine of my book with PVA glue, are you?!
-These restorers… over and over with their reversibility and other eccentricities!

Cambras is not only one of our best bookbinders, he’s such a character, and discussing with him about adhesives, about books, or even chatting over life, happens to be anything but boring.
But let’s come to the point: in addition to his personality we have his works, impeccable and beautiful. Mosaics, gildings, artist’s books, large scale ones, on cloth… colours and shapes combine precisely and elegantly in all his bindings.

conservation solution for paperback books

Set of paperback books, with matching cases for each one.

secret library

Fake library, which is in fact a hidden door, at cambras’ workshop.

A set of paperback books caught my attention: he has made a case  for each issue, matching size and colours, keeping its original binding as well as preserving its content. Touché! I find it an unbeatable conservation solution, and by all means, much more beautiful than the grey conservation housings.

But… where’s the secret library? A little bird told me about it and I can’t see it… Yes! There it is: in fact it is a fake library, a door made with discarded bindings. Hahaha… I love it! The real forbidden dream for a books conservator!

Thanks a lot Cambras for the visit and for being yourself.





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