L'Atelier du Relieur
a touch of gold
L’Atelier du Relieur has been in the bookbinding, cardboarding, goldplating, and restoration business since 2009, extending its services to private and professional customers alike.
Bookbinding, already considered an art form in Roman times, requires an ancestral know-how that is still intact today and that the skilled team of craftsmen at L’Atelier du Relieur works on making last.
At only 15, Benjamin Carrat discovered he had a particular interest for creating books and for the materials involved in this process. He graduated in 2008 from the Eracom, a Lausanne-based school that trains bookbinding apprentices from all over Swiss Romandie, and acquired his workshop soon after. As he wishes to safeguard literary works and their heritage, his main objective is to preserve his pieces in optimal conditions. “We also make safekeeping boxes that are crucial to protect books from insects, dust, etc.”
Bookbinding techniques have not evolved since the 19th century, and require the same tools as before, even though every bookbinder has his production secrets. “French bookbinding is the first technique that evolved into Bradel binding when appropriate raw materials became out-of-stock. The difference between the two techniques is that French binding is made and assembled directly on the “body” (the pages), when Bradel binding happens in two steps, working on the body on the one hand and the cover on the other, which are assembled afterwards.”
“Traditionally, bookbinders are also goldplaters, who print titles in gold on the cover. Goldplating is rather simple: you assemble the words on backwards, letter by letter, and use a composter that heats them at 120°C. After that, you apply the composter on the cover with gold”.
The fibers from the materials used need particular attention and care. “They must be perfectly parallel to the back of the book so that it opens easily and doesn’t tear”.
All the raw materials used in the workshop, be it paper, cardboard, glue, canvas or parchment, are sourced locally in Switzerland. “The Made In Switzerland label is very important to us”. Sometimes, Benjamin chooses more atypical materials, but always does so with care and quality in mind.
Made in Clamart. Passionate about art history, Mathilde thrives in creative environments, with a special affinity for the worlds of textile and object design. She puts her pen at the service of the valorization of crafts and materials, in order to bring to the attention of the general public the meaning and the work of artisans and designers from all around the world.
Philippe Terrier Hermann is born in 1970 in France. After studying photography at La Cambre in Brussels and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he created his first work, “intercontinental 1996-2000”, at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.
On the occasion of the opening of our atelier, Made in Town proposes, for the first time in Paris, the exhibition When in Rome, do as Romans do. The project, initially developed in 2009 by fashion designer Pascal Gautrand during his residency at the Villa Médicis, takes as its pretext a men's shirt in order to display the richness of artisanship and the inherent multiplicity of local fabrication incarnated by made-to-measure tailoring.
In order to promote the know-how and characteristics of the tapestry from Aubusson, the county town of the French region of Creuse, Made in Town conducted a series of three documentary videos at the request of the International City of the Tapestry and Woven art, in partnership with l’Institut français de la mode and with the support of the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès.