Books, Cornwall, stationery

An evening with The Travelling Bookbinder

Last week I popped along to No. 56 in Penzance for the launch of an exciting new book: Bound by Rachel Hazell, aka The Travelling Bookbinder.

No. 56, Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall

No. 56, Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall

No. 56, Chapel Street, Penzance, Cornwall

Released today, Bound is a stunning book featuring 15 different bookbinding projects, suitable for all experience levels, including beginners.

Bound by Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

Writer, bookbinder and teacher, Rachel Hazell, was on hand to talk about all things paper and sign a few advance copies. Fun fact: while I prefer the STABILO Sensor myself, Rachel’s signature pen was the .38mm Muji gel pen.

Bound by Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

Emma: Is this the first book that you’ve published?

Rachel: I’ve been making books for 20 years but this is my first published book. It was amazing to get an email from the Senior Commissioning Editor saying ‘would you be interested in writing a book?’ I think, I suppose, because I do online classes it wasn’t too difficult to translate those instructions, but this book is an all-new selection of bindings.

Emma: Is it something that started as a hobby and became more?

Rachel: No, it’s always been my job. I studied English Literature at Edinburgh University and realised that what I was holding in my hands was as important as what I was reading. I had the opportunity to do a weekend workshop and came away from that realizing that I was going to be a book binder for the rest of my life. That was 20 years ago.

Bound by Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

Emma: Binding your own books – is that writing your own stories and binding them?

Rachel: Everything. The content is as important.

Emma: I’m a sucker for a sexy book and a nice cover. Do you ever, or would you ever, use an e-reader?

Rachel: No, no no. I’m the one with the heavy suitcase full of books.

Emma: Me too.

Bound by Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

Emma: I saw that you’ve got a course starting next week. It looks really cool.

Rachel: PaperLove starts on Monday. It’s five weeks of paperyness. Everything from origami to book art to mail art to calligraphy/mark making, comms…

Emma: So it’s not just about the paper itself, it’s about what you can do with the paper.

Rachel: And you don’t need to buy special materials, except for the board for one of the projects. It’s amazing how much paper you have around. One of the first projects is to see how much paper you’ve got in the house. Most people do it within two metres of where they are.

Emma: Are most of them beginners?

Rachel: All sorts. And all around the world as well. It’s really nice to have all the community that comes together, sharing their passion.

Bound by Rachel Hazell, The Travelling Bookbinder

As a life-long bookworm and stationery addict, I think this book, and course, would make for fun future projects.

Have you ever tried bookbinding?

Buy Bound on Amazon

Disclaimer: I wasn’t asked to pop along to the event or interview Rachel. I went along simply because I’m a paper geek – and a massive fan.

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