I recently read, a book checked out from the San Antonio Calligraphy Guild Library, titled A Degree of Mastery written by Annie Tremmell Wilcox. After participating in a few bookbinding workshops, I was open and amazed at the story this book told of a journey through a book arts apprenticeship and a life long pursuit of mastery. As I am just becoming familiar with the tools and techniques, I found it an amazing experience to swim in the language of this skill set. It was like being dropped in the middle of a Latin American country after taking only one semester of Spanish. It all sounds familiar and beautiful but your not really grasping it all. Then before you know it you begin to understand and even contribute to the conversation. This is how I would describe my relationship to this book.-
For anyone who has spent time learning the skills associated with any craft, you will appreciate the homage Annie pays her instructor. Through the course of her story she tells a deeply personal and heartfelt account of her education as a bookbinder and the master who contributed to it.-
To assist me with my new learning, I sought out a simple entry level book on the subject of bookbinding. You know, one with easy to understand language, pretty pictures and vibrant colors. I'll get to the more technical ones later. What I need right now is something to help me understand the lingo, learn the very basic tools and encourage my budding interest, without overwhelming me. I found The Bookbinding Handbook: Simple Techniques and Step-by-Step Projects at my neighborhood mega-bookstore, and it does the job nicely.