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Tucson, Arizona, United States
I work as Panther Peak Bindery and am a bookbinder, conservator and instructor working outside Tucson, Arizona for individual and institutional clients across the country. I am a two term President of the Guild of Book Workers, was a Fulbright Scholar, taught at North Bennet Street School for over nine years and was the fastest in my middle school class at running up and down a flight of stairs (really!).

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Trofast is Swedish for happiness!

I started binding at home just after I graduated from North Bennet Street School in 1992 and moved back to Seattle for a job at the University of Washington.  Twenty years ago today!

I started off with my bench, Kutrimmer, Kwikprint, combination press, and small book press crammed into my bedroom where I began to work through the curriculum from NBSS.  I wanted to do it all again just be sure I understood what I had been taught.  It was an incredibly helpful and productive time.

But I also began to get calls for book repair which was both a good way to continue to learn and grow but it also gave me the financial means to buy more tools and equipment.

One problem was that I needed a way to store all the pieces and parts of books I was working on.  Working in such a small space (the next year I moved to another apartment in that building which gave me a whole bedroom to use as a bindery!  What luxury!) made that an important issue.  Having no place to put things aside, or even much storage space at all, my only choice was to be very careful.

When I would pick up new eyeglasses I was drool a bit over the trays that the glasses and paperwork were stored in. The problem was that they were too small for books.

One day I was wandering around IKEA and I heard choirs singing and rays of sun pouring through windows.  Then I turned the corner to see why and saw these:



They are called Trofast and are a toy storage system.  You know, to store toys in!  They were the perfect size for books.  Not every book, of course, but 96.23% of books.  Maybe a bit more.

When I get a job I put the name of the client outside the box using blue tape.  I think it has to be blue tape, I tried brown and they caught fire.  (If you don't know that's a joke you probably should be reading something else.)  Then I put the book and the paperwork for the  project inside.  Then it gets slid into the rack.  There is a top to keep dust out, which is very helpful working in the desert.


When I'm working on that book the box comes out onto the bench and when I take it apart I put the pieces inside (sometimes inside an envelope if they're very small).  I've found how necessary that is, because sometimes clients will come into the bindery and not realize that little piece of book is extremely important and suddenly it gets brushed onto the floor, or pushed aside, or other bad things.

Fortunately I've never lost significant parts of book, but this makes it much easier to keep that  up.  They come in several colors and depths, but I've stuck with white because I'm boring.  Or traditional.  Well, boring.

I have a second rack for books I've finished and are waiting to be sent off or picked up.

Like all good things it makes life simpler and better.






1 comment:

  1. Genius. Should have gone with the white instead of the pine, but this is so awesome to keep projects sorted (and stacked!). Thanks.

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