a glimpse into my studio

a glimpse into the studio - paperiaarre.com

It was high time to take new studio photos after my father generously provided me with this fabulous shelving system last year. Quality of life went up, and I'm not kidding! The pegboard for my most used tools is such a time saver and organising some of the smaller materials in clear plastic containers makes things much easier to find.


a glimpse into the studio - paperiaarre.com

I also have large Ikea Alex drawers for papers, which are super handy for most things, but just a tiny bit too small for some sheets of paper, so end up with having to pile papers anyway. I used to store my linen fabric in the drawers as well, but just recently I went back to using baskets (of which you can catch a peak in the right corner above - and right there beside the baskets stands my new Dremel Workstation, also a treat from my engineer father) for the fabrics to free up space for more papers.


a glimpse into the studio - paperiaarre.com

As you can see, I like tools, a lot. And I'm so easy to influence... Sarah of Big Jump Press shared her Tool Magnet blog post on Twitter, and before even finishing reading the post, I had ordered myself a most magical ruler from London Centre for Book Arts.

great tools are a bookbinder's best friends - paperiaarre.com

It's 50 cm long, transparent and self-centering! If you're wondering what that means and if you need it, too, I'm not sure if you need it. But if you've ever struggled measuring things out evenly from a center point (like I do almost every time I mark holes for the covers of my Coptic bindings, and on many other occasions), or if you just get giddy hearing about a ruler feature called self-centering, go ahead and buy yourself one. With postage to Finland this ruler turned into a pretty expensive one, but I justified ordering instantly instead of pondering about it for a while by telling myself the more I'd get for my money's worth the sooner I got to use the rule.

transparent ruler with steel cutting edge - paperiaarre.com

So I saved telling about this feature in case you needed some more persuading: there's a steel cutting edge. Works like a charm.

transparent ruler with steel cutting edge - paperiaarre.com

Also, millimetre measurements along the whole width - great for marking the distance of holes from the spine edge of the cover boards. (And if you're wondering how I get the holes so neat - it's all because of that awesome Dremel Workstation.)

my most recent brush acquisitions - paperiaarre.com
Lots of brush experiments arose from finding this pin on Pinterest, linking to this blog post recommending a shaving brush for a bookbinder's glue brush. I loved the idea of having a glue brush that could stand on its own as I hate having excess glue on my brush from laying it down in the glue pot, albeit shallow, between different stages.
Sadly, my shaving brush was unable to charm me, not because it wasn't handy - it really was! - but because that damn thing sheds hair like crazy. Maybe I should've invested more money in a fancier one, but even with brushes meant for paint or glue, I've found a higher price does not guarantee any less shedding. So, for some years already, I've mostly used brushes with synthetic bristles. There's minimal shedding if any, and for my purposes the synthetic brushes seem to work even better than natural ones. The blue one above is my most recent tool acquisition, and I just love it. It's handmade in Italy by Fleur.
Just after getting disappointed by the shaving brush I ran into this silicone "brush" that's guaranteed not to shed anything. I'm very pleased with it as it makes coating larger surfaces with a thin layer of glue super quick. Turn-ins and other more detailed work still requires the use of an actual brush, but all in all this silicone brush saves a lot of time and glue, and it's really easy to clean (=just forget to clean it and pick off the dried glue).
Now onto something bigger and much less recent - I finally got round to making a tiny little video of my Louët vertical plough in use. My parents gave it to me as a birthday-Christmas-birthday present a few years ago, and having it delivered was somewhat nightmarish. Louët was great all the way through, but the retailer had just massive problems and the worst customer service, so it took months to resolve the issues we had and have the plough finally delivered. Once the plough was safely in my care I've used it with joy and ease. I don't recommend cutting twelve books, or 36 edges, in one day, as your delicate little hands will get sore from tightening the press screws, but for a more casual use this is pretty ideal. It takes up less space than a guillotine and gives better results than any handheld plough I've tried (though I'm sure you can get great results with those if you get to practice a bit more). Sharpening the knife is also much, much easier than getting a guillotine blade sharpened. So, vertical-plough-love, totally.


If there's one tool after making all these wonderful finds lately I'm actively yearning for, it's this marking ruler. What's your dream tool you seriously want to add to your collection? Here I'm making the assumption everyone has a tool collection of some sort. Quite revealing, I'm sure.


accumulator seriali - part 9

an old letterpress tray turned into a coffee table full of vintage treasures - paperiaarre.com

The first things I shared with you in this series of somewhat random accumulations and consciously gathered collections were the little vintage finds I store in a letterpress tray hanging on a wall on our hallway. That tray was once joined together with this one to form a larger table, but in our new home we no longer needed such a large table, so I split them up again, and added new hairpin legs as well as a smaller glass to this one to make a pretty coffee table. The glass just lays on top of the wooden tray with some clear sticky discs (that probably have an actual name...) keeping it from sliding around, so I can add new stuff and organise everything with ease. Definitely not a very child-proof solution, but it works for two calm adults just fine.

an old letterpress tray turned into a coffee table full of vintage treasures - paperiaarre.com

an old letterpress tray turned into a coffee table full of vintage treasures - paperiaarre.com

With this letterpress tray I'm not going to go through it compartment by compartment as it would result in a very buttonful list. But as you can see, there are still a few empty slots waiting for something special!

Most part of the buttons comes from my maternal grandmother's button collection, which included many buttons inherited from her mother and aunt Saima, so it's fair to say there are probably many buttons over a century old here. The bits of lace are also from my maternal side, some most likely handmade by my great grandmother and Saima. And at the top left corner there's this floral oval porcelain cabochon - maybe painted by Saima. Sometimes it feels there isn't a fine craft skill the ladies in my family line haven't tried or mastered...

My paternal side is once again in charge of the seemingly endless supply of old keys. Maybe we can, for the sake of having a better story, count that as a skill too.

Below I've picked out a few finds from this first third of my coffee table:

felt brooch by daskaninchen

This lovely little Fibonacci felt brooch is made by daskaninchen.

vintage lace and buttons - paperiaarre.com

Gorgeous white glass buttons with flowers and old broderie anglaise lace. I believe these are from the Saima era, i.e. counting three generations back from me.

vintage button finds from London - paperiaarre.com

These buttons, however, are my own personal finds acquired on my trips to London. I save all buttons I come across, but I'm quite picky about the ones I intentionally collect (=pay actual money for). Still, I've been known to buy a big lot of buttons just because I see a couple I feel are alone worth the price. One day I will find a way to repurpose (or redistribute) the plain plastic buttons I have jar after jar. Maybe Augusto Esquivel had the same problem I have...