• Shop Talk,  travel

    Mission to Melrose

    We went to LA today to do some research on book binding for a client of Toby’s. He has a job where he needs 100 booklets bound with leather. It’s kind of a tough assignment because the booklets are 12×18 and goat skin doesn’t even come that big. It makes me sad that a poor goat would even have to give it’s whole coat for some silly book that is probably going to get thrown away. It’s for a real estate development and the inside pages will mostly be renderings of something that isn’t even built yet. Hardly a coffee table book to be treasured for a lifetime.

    The client has ridiculous amounts of money and he has his heart set on leather. If anybody knows anything about book binding and maybe some way I could find some pleather that looks like chocolate brown goat skin, that would be super cool. Right now, I’m kinda stuck between the cheap venders who want me to cover cardboard with fabric and the high end book binders who are purists who match their hand marbled inner pages with the outer leather that is hand tooled with chiseling based on something out of history. Each book will be made one at a time. It seems a shame to put so much work into something that is purely just hype. But the client gets what the client wants.

    Anyway, this research did allow for a fun trip to LA for me. I love LA. Toby hates LA. I saw it as an opportunity to maybe browse some shops on Melrose and a fancy lunch out. Toby saw it as two hours of steering-wheel-pounding-traffic, parking tickets and an opportunity for his expensive camera to get stolen. We have drastically different opinions of LA.

    Thankfully after the steering-wheel-pounding-traffic, I found us a great parking spot and we did have lunch at a really cool outdoor cafe that reminded me of Paris. We had sandwiches that didn’t look like sandwiches at all. They were open faced and had delicious things like pesto sauce and sun dried tomatoes on buffalo mozzarella cheese. Toby had roast beef with caper mayonnaise and scallions on top. Toby thought they were really stupid and silly. I think he even used the word, “namby pamby”. I thought they were divine.

    Just a side note: The book bindery we went to today was housed in an old mortuary. At first I thought it was a church. It was the most interesting building with old old tiles on the floor and arches that reminded me of a Spanish Mission. There was a giant 30 foot table in the middle of the central room and fancy old chairs with red velvet cushions seated around it. The man who helped us told us that actually the chairs were very cheaply made and they came from the set of the movie, “Gone with the Wind.”

    Only in LA…