We are very proud to open our interviews and articles on Paperandco with this interview of a young and talented bookbinder: Carlos Sanchez Alamo.
Beside his love for his work, he is also a vintage pen addict ! So..do not pronounce some “magic words” such as Leboeuf,Parker or Waterman when you are with him otherwise you are going to talk with him for hours !
His website is there: Carlos Sanchez Alamo
Paperandco proposes a large range of bookbinding services so..do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you also to Helen for her help (translation).
How did you become a bookbinder?
My father is a bookbinder. He has a workshop of semi-industrial binding in Madrid. I have always been in contact with the world of binding. However, I was never attracted by my father’s work until 1997 when my father took me along to see an exhibition of “binding of art” in Madrid, “Raros there preciosos”. There I discovered that I could combine art and binding in the same work.
What kind of studies did you undertake?
From 1997 I started to become more and more interested in the work of my father, and at the same time I started to take a course in binding of art at a private school in Madrid. My professor, Anna Ruiz-Larrea – a very well known bookbinder in Spain – encouraged me to go to the Estienne school, in Paris, one of the best schools of binding in Europe. I obtained my diploma in 2001, then I worked in the workshops of François Brindeau and of Florent Rousseau, and subsequently I settled as a artist-bookbinder in 2002.
In 2007 I opened my own artist’s workshop with Charity on the Loire with Els.
Unfortunately it is true. It is a little known trade and one which does not sufficiently interest the media. However there exists in France a very important tradition of contemporary artists’ books.
What is the greatest
difficulty that you have encountered and why?
Perhaps the fact of being able to combine in my work the technical requirements of binding with the artistic and personal side. Each book to be connected is a difficulty and one does not cease learning.
Among your bindings, which are those which you regard as being your “chiefs of works” and why?
Chiefs of work… I do not consider that I can make chiefs of work, as a craftsman I try to make each work the best possible one. And as an artist, art is an adventure; for the artist his works are always a search and perfection is never reached. It is true that there are bindings which I prefer over others but chiefs of works is a “great word”. For example the bindings on the books Seven, Nioque of before spring, death is my trade, the last page, Histoire of the eye, Idéogrammes in China, these are bindings that I like very much because they are original and do not betray the contents of the book.
With regard to my work, the binding of art, as long as there are beautiful books and amateurs to make them connect, I think that there will always be a future. Of course, bookbinders will have to adapt, evolve and progress to include and understand the customers well.