Sunday, March 7, 2010

Don't Breathe...

So on Thursday I got to work with the leather that will be half-binding my awesome little book that I'm working on in the conservation lab at work.  Here's what I learned:

1.  Your leather paring knife has to be uber-sharp.  I'm not kidding.  You have to strop the thing after every cut or you will get NOWHERE. 

2.  Paring leather results in little leather fuzzies flying everywhere.  They are particularly sticky little fuzzies.  They will stick all over your hands, your clothes, and your workspace, and anywhere else they happen to land.  I advise wearing a color similar to that of your leather if you plan on paring. 

3.  Do not breathe too close to the fuzzies.  The Boss Lady told me that if you work with leather on a regular basis or you're doing an edition binding in leather, you should wear a mask to avoid breathing them in too much and ending up with Bookbinder's Lung.  My mind immediately went to Zoolander.  *coff, coff*

4.  Paring leather is a lot of fun and very satisfying when you finally get it right. 

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Name is Carrie, and I'm a Book Addict...

I don't know how it started.

I don't know if it was because my parents encouraged my brother and me to read as children and it just stuck.

I don't know if it was because I ended up being an English major.

I don't know if it was because I studied the Middle Ages and fell in love with the beauty of that era's manuscripts, illuminated or plain.

But somehow, I became addicted to books.

I like a lot of things.  I love crafting and art.  The act of creating or fixing something is extremely fulfilling to me.  I like old stuff.  History and the material leavings of it are fascinating to me.  I like music, and singing is one of my great joys in life.  But I always keep coming back to books.  Reading them, organizing them, browsing through them, just looking at them.  So somewhere along the line I decided that if I must have a job (and I must) it should involve books, and it should involve old ones. 

An archives job and half of a library science degree later, I'm realizing that I don't just want to work with books, I want to fix them.  It's the dextrous element that is otherwise missing.  I've been lucky enough to start working part-time with some very fun conservators, and I'm hoping to expand that into a career.  In the meantime, I'm going to try and keep track of some of the most interesting things I learn here on this blog.  We'll see how well I keep up with it...