What does a book mean to you?
A book has the power to take you beyond real life; it becomes your faithful companion. It is something fragile though, and when I bind a book, I feel I am protecting it and that I get to know it intimately. I don't always get the chance to read the books I bind, but at times I seek inspiration in them.
Where do craftsmanship and art meet?
The mission of the craftsman is to achieve excellence; art goes beyond that. The way I see it is that an artist has to be a craftsman, but a craftsman is not always an artist. I think of myself as a skilled craftsman who can artistically execute his own creation; it is a dual process.
© Alfonso Gómez
What techniques does bookbinding require?
There are quite a few techniques that need to be mastered including gilding, etching, embossing and inlaying. For classic books I devise the covers following the style of the year of publication; for modern or art books I am more inspired by the content of the book itself.
How do you remain so dedicated to your craft after 30 years?
I am in love with my work; I learned it from my father and it is my life and passion. It requires a great deal of patience and devotion, there are no holidays and working days are long. The more it takes you to bind a book, the more attached you grow to it.