Summer afternoons in medieval bookbinding workshop

In the month of June, just when the quarantine restrictions have been relaxed in Lithuania and we could enjoy the work in our studio again, together with senior book conservator Sigitas Tamulis, we have organized a small-scale workshop on medieval book structure. It was mostly dedicated for the prospective young conservators and beginners with the goal to give them an introduction to the most common features of medieval, Gothic and Renaissance bindings. The understanding of such structural features is crucial when conservators are choosing the most appropriate treatments of the damaged historical documents.

A thick and tiny book model we’ve chosen was based on a girdle book (NYPL girdle book, in particular). However, due to the limited time and material resources, we only did an open structural model without full covering which requires more time, study and skills.  

Sigitas Tamulis is a talented conservator and bookbinder working on historical book reconstructions. Among other interests, he did several full girdle book reconstructions.

We were very happy to have him as a teacher in our five-session workshop, while the studio became a lovely mess, full of paper, wood, tools and noise.

Moments lovely captured by Liuda Drižytė.

Day 1: sewing the text-block >>

Day 2: making wooden boards >>

Day 3: Lacing the boards and making endbands >>

Day 4: fixing the cords and working the clasp area >>

Day 5: attaching the clasp >>