THE REVIVAL OF BOOKS
A passion for thorough book restoration.
I’ve always had a special interest and sensitivity towards art and culture.
I wanted to study Architecture but since technical drawing was not my forte, I opted for the History of Art. It was during my degree that I discovered the importance of the conservation processes of cultural heritage and my love for books as works of art.
During my travels I have always liked discovering the art and culture of Spain and the rest of the world.
I studied at the School of Bookbinding Arts (ENART in Spanish) for three years to learn the profession of hand bookbinding. That is when I realised the need for books, as a cultural and artistic legacy, to be thoroughly restored. I also discovered an exciting profession where I learn every day and which I have practised ever since.
It was only natural for me to open my own workshop in 1986. Restoration gives a book life, it revives it as a transmitter of culture.
I passed a public exam as a bookbinder for the National Library, where I worked until 1990 and where I started specialising in restorative bookbinding. My interest in this field has pushed me to carry on with continuous training in schools in Paris, Madrid, Ascona, London, Lisbon, etc.
Since I always liked to share my knowledge and teach others, I included the School area to my workshop. This way, I can do something that’s always been close to my heart: teaching others about this magnificent profession so that it is never lost.
The assignments I received were increasingly more important, such as the Ancient Repository of the Pedagogical Museum of the Residencia de Estudiantes, the Bartolomé March Library, the International Institute, etc. In 2001 I managed to get sponsored by the Monastery of Yuso Library, in San Millán de la Cogolla, with which I still work currently.
I work at my workshop-school in Madrid, where I restore and bind books on request and teach group classes to students of all levels of knowledge and ages.
A lifetime of learning to restore books.
1974-1979 Bachelor’s in Geography and History majoring in History of Art Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
1980-1983 Bookbinding and restoration School of Bookbinding Arts (ENART in Spanish).
Course: restoration of wooden cover books. Centro del Bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland.
Course: making book clasps. Centro del Bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland.
Course: making boxes, cases and jackets for books. ARA, Paris, France.
Course: creating different types of headbands. ARA, Paris, France.
Course: Gilding page edges with gold leaf. Lisbon’s Espírito Santo Foundation, Portugal.
Course: restoring ancient documents with parchment supports. Centro del Bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland.
“By far the best proof is experience’”.
Vast experience of almost 30 years, during which I have restored works in public and private libraries from 1986 to now.
NATIONAL LIBRARY, MADRID. I worked as a Conservator and Bookbinder. I carried out different conservation and restoration jobs on ancient bookbindings.
BRITISH LIBRARY, LONDON. The National Library sent me to the British Library to work in the ancient bookbinding restoration department.
PEDAGOGICAL MUSEUM OF THE RESIDENCIA DE ESTUDIANTES-CSIC, MADRID. Restoring the ancient repository that was made up of 2000 volumes.
BARTOLOMÉ MARCH LIBRARY, MADRID. I restored 15 volumes per year, from the 12th to 18th centuries, including ‘Libro de la montería’ by Alfonso XI, which only has two copies, the one I restored and the other kept at the El Escorial Monastery Library.
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE IN MADRID. I restored 1000 volumes
BENJAMÍN JARNÉS LIBRARY OF THE RESIDENCIA DE ESTUDIANTES-CSIC, MADRID. I restored the repository of the library which was made up of 2000 volumes.
SAN ISIDORO COLLEGIATE CHURCH LIBRARY, LEÓN. I restored 8 codices from the 13th century.
MONASTERY OF YUSO LIBRARY, SAN MILLÁN DE LA COGOLLA, LA RIOJA. I restored 287 volumes.
LIBRARY OF THE ROYAL ARMY ACADEMY IN CÁDIZ. I restored the ancient repository of the of the library.
PRIVATE LIBRARIES. Several restoration and bookbinding projects in Spanish libraries.