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Making Their Mark Lecture Series: Lecture 1

Tools of the Trade, with Brien Beidler

Missed the Lecture? No problem, you can access a recording of the lecture.

Brien is a toolmaker and bookbinder. In his work, he draws inspiration from the tooled decorations found on leather bindings of the 17th and 18th centuries. For Brien, books from this period are a harmonious combination of beauty and approachability, much of which is a result of the quirky tool designs as much as the creative (and often hurried manner) in which they were used.

Rather than making historic replicas, Brien engraves his own finishing tools which he in turn uses to decorate the covers of his bindings. He also cuts custom finishing tools for other binders.

In his presentation, Brien will be talking about his finishing tool making experiences over the last few years. Beginning with the inspiration he garners from historic exemplars, Brien will walk through the process he currently uses to cut, file, and hand-engrave useful and (hopefully) beautiful tools, as well as how he incorporates the designs into his binding work.

American Bookbinders Museum

The American Bookbinders Museum is the only museum of its kind in North America, celebrating and exploring the history, tools and stories of bookbinders and bookbinding, from its earliest forms through the changes and innovations of the industrial revolution.

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