City council chief specialist makes handcrafted books in medieval style

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Kiliya resident Yevhen Hostynskyi, who works as a chief specialist of the city council, has discovered an unusual hobby: making books in medieval style by hand.

The Tradition of Handmade Books

Tradition of creating handmade books began in ancient times when people started to record their thoughts and knowledge. Book-making became especially important in the Middle Ages. The creation of more convenient book formats and the invention of printing gave impetus to the development of science in general. Books made in the Middle Ages are among the most beautiful and valuable in the history of mankind.

Books in the Middle Ages were written on parchment, a material made of woolen or goatskin that was expensive and time-consuming to produce. The parchment was thin but strong, and could last for decades. Preparing parchment involved complex processes such as soaking the hide in various solutions and using sands. After that, texts and illustrations were added. Fortunately, paper replaced parchment, sparing people the difficult process of preparing parchment.

The Art of Book-Making

Yevhen’s process of making a book starts with the choice of materials. Although he uses ordinary paper, he applies aging techniques to create the effect of an old book. He then decorates the spine of the book using a technique used in the Middle Ages to give it a curly look. The cover is made of wood and covered with leather (artificial leather for now). Yevhen plans to make patterns using embossing to decorate the book with metal elements. He also adds a bookmark made of a strip of fabric, which is securely attached inside the spine and has a cut in the form of a swallow’s tail, adding charm to the book.

Yevhen emphasizes that every book he makes has its energy and soul. His handmade books are a reflection of the past, but they also bring something new to the present. His handmade books are a celebration of the past and a reminder of the importance of preserving traditions and crafts in present.