Once again, I headed down to the Artisan quarter in Bath, Walcott street, this time to interview designer-weaver Katherine Fraser at her shop. It's so great so see these talented crafts people create right there in front of you. The antique looms looked amazing
It was lovely to head to Frome the other week, where I met up with Mary Kilvert, who moved there from London. Mary is an illustrator who has now designed her own product range and set up a cute shop in Frome. She was also selling at the Bath Christmas Market this year. Here is the BathLife spread:
There seems to be a huge rise in designer-makers and crafters at the moment, with shoppers preferring hand-made items. Long let it continue!
Here are the first two articles which have been published for BathLife magazine, as part of an ongoing series I'm doing for them about trades, crafts and workers in Bath. Sometimes centuries old techniques are used (such as the George Bayntun interview below) and sometimes more contemporary processes are applied (such as Speckled Wood and their etching machine above).
Thank you Catherine Authers (Editor at BathLife) - these stories are proving to be fun to photograph and also really interesting to research. Thank you Alessandro Ruocco too for photo assisting on the Bayntun shoot. The series will be published in every other issue of BathLife, so keep an eye open for it!
It was such a delight to photograph at the George Bayntun Book bindery in Manvers, St, Bath this week. Walking into the store is like walking into a museum. The shop at the front and the bindery in the back haven't changed since the business moved into the building in the 30's. Some of the talented professionals working in the bindery have been honing their skills for a long time, some for more than twenty years.
Part of the process involves "forwarding" which is essentially preparing the books for binding, sewing the pages onto linen cords, preparing leather, paper and other materials used in the process, and gilding with gold to protect the pages from moisture and dust and headbands are sewn with silk thread
Tools are heated in the "finishing" process in order to letter or decorate the book in gilt or blind. This bindery has thousands of tools and zinc & brass blocks. The clock which can be found in the bindery is the old "clocking in" timer which historically, the staff used to clock-in their work hours.
The current owner of the business, Edward Bayntun-Coward told me a great anecdote about why the bindery is painted green - his grandfather had bought some green paint in bulk which was going cheap from the local mental hospital because apparently the colour was disturbing the patients!
The manager Jeremy Peters, and all the staff were super sweet and gave a lot of their time to show me around and explain many of the processes. Thank you to all of you for making me feel so welcome. It was a real honour to have shot there.