La Libreria and the National University of Singapore Museum [UPDATED]

My love for the book arts is no secret. I made my first artist’s book in 2002 – a case bound journal – and I’ve been hooked ever since. In graduate school, I dove into the history of the book arts and, in New York City, took classes in bookbinding and letterpress at The Center for Book Arts.

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The other afternoon, I visited La Libreria, a workshop space which promotes artists’ books and the book arts in Singapore. Opened in 2004 by book artist Eriko Hirashima, this bookshop and workspace sells limited edition artists’ books and book-like formats and conducts occasional bookbinding classes. Ms. Hirashima holds and MA in Book Arts from Camberwell College of Arts and has taught at Nanyang Technological University.

We chatted about the relative unknownness of the book arts in Singapore, La Libreria‘s current exhibition, “Bookmarks VIII: Escaping the Library System,” and the study of traditional crafts.

Ms. Hirashima also told me that is it nearly impossible to find bookmaking supplies in Singapore. She imports most of her papers, adhesives, needles, and threads from the UK and Japan. “I once saw a bone folder in Art Friend,” she said. “But they don’t always have them in stock.”

Read an excellent interview with Ms. Hirashima here. And connect with La Libreria on Facebook.

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La Libreria is located on the third floor of the National University of Singapore Museum. This quiet museum is a must-visit. I loved one of the museum’s current exhibits, “Camping and Tramping Through the Colonial Archive: The Museum in Malaya,” a veritable cabinet of curiosities.

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My conversation with Ms. Hirashima has me thinking: how many of you would be interested in an informal bookbinding class? I’d likely familiarize you with basic materials (paper, cloth, board, and adhesives), techniques (folding, sewing, gluing), and the history of bookbinding.

Leave a comment on this post, Tweet me, or email me with your name, availability, and phone number (optional). If there are enough of you interested, I’ll figure out how to make this happen. Please subscribe to my mailing list to learn about upcoming classes and related events.

(Additional credits: Photograph provided by La Libreria; tape strip clip art via Pugly Pixel; Photoshop brushes via Pugly Pixel.)

3 responses

  1. I took a course a couple of years ago but my case binding technique is still atrocious. :( I’d love to do a crafty workshop and play with binding techniques again.

  2. Sounds like fun! I’ve never done anything like that before but I think it sounds great =). Hope you get enough response to make it happen!