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PhotoTO: Don Taylor Bookbinding

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In the age of virtual everything, Don Taylor uses his hands to keep books alive that were written hundreds of years ago. Torontoist visited Taylor’s studio on John Street, where he reinvigorates aging texts and creates stunning new bindings that are works of art in their own right.


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Taylor invites customers to bring their “sad, tired, broken treasures” for revitalization.
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Once a Passport stamper in Ottawa, this press is still in use in Taylor’s studio.
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Taylor’s not-so-new tools for imprinting leather book covers.
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Tools aligned on a heating element before use.
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While Taylor’s is an ancient art, his approach is anything but staid. Colourful materials await his whim.
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Finished.
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A close look at this 500-year-old binding reveals what has changed (exposed wood, rope) and what has not.
All photos by John Beebe.

Comments

  • Karen Whaley

    Holy hams, this is fascinating! The shot of the colourful new bookbinding was a real surprise.

  • ysdn

    very nice,
    bookbinding is incredibly self fulfilling.

  • leftist

    Thanks for this post. If everything was this cool, it’d be the most popular blog on the web.

  • Doggiez

    Torontoist: Thank you for posting this. I used to deal with Bookshelf Bindery in Ridgetown, Ontario, years ago (thankfully they’re still around), and have a tremendous amount of respect for those who bind the printed word and art.
    Ever heard of paper marbling? It’s a lost art that should be revisited (it was used a lot in books years ago). http://www.show.me.uk/site/make/Art-and-Design/STO953.html