Paul Vogel, A Bookbinder With A Workshop In An Unlikely Location

The chance to see a master bookbinder at work is an amazing experience. It's even more amazing when an artist's talents are so impressive that a company creates a workshop for them to use whenever they're in town and feel so inclined. This was the case for Paul Vogel at The Plaza Hotel in New York City, as described in this article published by Architectural Digest.

"Renowned bookbinder Paul Vogel works entirely by hand using the finest archival-quality materials and century-old equipment of bone, steel, and wood, to help craft the perfect gifts for bibliophiles and collectors alike.

One look at Paul Vogel’s handiwork and that old maxim about not judging a book by its cover seems ever so unreasonable. Few finer volumes exist than those crafted by this master bookbinder, who uses centuries-old techniques to sheathe tomes in luxurious materials and embellish those second skins by hand.

The process is impressively painstaking, as anyone can observe in Vogel's atelier inside publisher Assouline’s New York City flagship in The Plaza Hotel. 

This is my little world,” says the Hamptons-based artisan of his urban outpost, located on the mezzanine of the legendary Plaza hotel.

Hung above a row of seemingly medieval tools are rolls of vibrant cloth and calfskin, which Vogel employs individually or in striking combinations.

And he doesn’t just bind books—he also makes passport covers, archival boxes, and desk accessories, among other offerings. Detailing ranges from scrimshaw medallions to raised lettering to gold tooling. 

Start to finish, a single commission can take him weeks—considerably longer if, as one client did, you want your yacht outfitted with 1,000 volumes bound in matching leather. For Vogel, after more than 30 years on the job, no request is too custom."

 

(Via Architectural Digest)

Jenni Bick

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