Category Archives: Bookbinding

November 25th, 2011

TREASURE FOUND: Braille books


I couldn’t believe what I saw this morning in one of the streets of Amsterdam. I container full of old books in perfect conditions.

Curiosity made me come closer and explore them. Something inside of me said: “Amparo, you will never fully understand them, they are in Dutch”. But this was even worse, impossible to understand because they were written in Braille! The people that were bringing all the bags out told me: “Deze zijn oude muziek boeken voor blinden en de track afval zal om 15uur komen!” which means: “These are old songbooks for blind people and the garbage truck will come at 15h!” I perceived the potential of this opportunity and something inside of me said: “Run and take as many books as you can!” I made several trips to take as many as I could and bring them to the 4th floor with no lift. Good workout.

Eventually, I had the chance to talk to some of the employees of the organisation called Dedicon and I discovered it was a quite special place. They offer alternative reading materials for the blind and to the people with impaired vision, dyslexia or motor limitations. From information, newspapers, (school) books and magazines read aloud by professional readers. But also of digital texts suitable for software for reading aloud, or for software for people with dyslexia.

Due to recent cuts from Dutch government the grants for disabled people became fewer and Dedicon had to economize in their costs. So they are leaving this building after more than 50 years and there’s no space to keep the books from the library. The fact is that there’s people in need of reading those books and it’s really a pity that they were thrown away. How come they didn’t consider to donate them to another organisations? It’s unacceptable!

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the stuff I got. My design and artistic side wants to create something out of this…


Article in the dutch newspaper Het Parool (in Dutch):


Pictures of some of the books:







October 26th, 2011

My first storybook

DDW is a wonderful moment to get some inspiration and enjoy the wide variety of workshops offered. I luckily had the chance to attend one of the Etsy Labs called “Make your story” during my quick visit to Eindhoven.

It consisted in a 4 hour workshop with the aim of  creating your personal story from beginning till end. People could choose between bookbinding and then painting or the other way around. I chose painting and selecting my content first which will allow me to have a more contrasted and spontaneous result. The material used where all types of paper, magazines, markers, colour pencils, watercolours… Then, thanks to some instructions and Caro’s patiente, I learnt how to bookbind it. I chose the japanese binding: basic (A book) and kangxi (orange book). It had been a while since last time I was so concentrated handcrafting.

And I was not the only one loving it, all the participants were so excited. Thanks Etsy for helping me to discover one of my new passions!