IMG_2939IMG_2972Jamie Kamph’s book Tricks of the Trade: Confessions of a bookbinder was reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement of 6 November 2015. Above are shown two of her designs for her book. I rather prefer the second one, but the first one would probably look better on the shelf, spine out. Neither of these bindings is of course used on the Oak Knoll Press edition which may be accessed from the Storehouse website. The jacket and the cover of the paperback feature a picture of Ms Kamph’s studio.

As the review by Nancy Campbell says Ms Kamph “elaborates on the techniques in classic ‘how to’ books such as Bernard Middleton’s The Restoration of Leather Bindings (1972) and Douglas Cockerell’s Bookbinding, and the Care of Books, first published in 1901. . . From rare first editions to formidable family Bibles, the books bound in Kamph’s Storehouse Bindery serve as case studies, providing insight into the construction of headbands, shoulders, spines and the ways in which these and other elements can be combined harmoniously.” Several examples of her bindings can be found on the website including one, Spontaneous Combustion by John Rathbone Oliver, mentioned in the review in which the corner of the endpaper has been singed and a drawing of a lit match inserted.

It all looks like a very gratifying way to spend your life; but I suppose most commissions are repairs to already existing books. Still it all requires judgement, balance, long training, a steady hand and lots of patience.

The bindery is located in Lambertville, New Jersey.