There is something about books. We can't let go of them, despite digital revolutions they still proliferate. My handbag always carries one - it is still easier to access than any digital file and nicer in my hands. Books are to be filled with bus-pass bookmarks and closed neatly on my lap should a better conversation come along. I am clearly hooked on books.
Nicki Drummond also loves books. Her books are almost sculptures. Nicki's books are heavy, beautiful things and she is more interested in the way they look and feel than what they contain. Nicki's workshop is full of lovely materials in the process of becoming books; it is a world of newly stretched leather and empty pages.
Nicki fell in love with the trade of book binding after visiting The Government Printers during her prevocational course at Croydon TAFE.
"There were all these old tradesmen and they had obviously been binding books for 30 or 40 years
"It was like stepping into a museum, all the old tools, and I thought, this is where I want to do my apprenticeship."
The trade of hand book binding is a dying art. Soon after Nicki finished her apprenticeship, the government book bindery in Adelaide closed. Nicki and her partner gathered their life savings and went along to the closing down auction to purchase some of the tools of the trade. She now keeps the art of hand book binding alive in her workshop, tucked out the back of their surf and tackle shop in the seaside town of Edithburgh.
Nicki and I spent a fascinating afternoon figuring out how to demonstrate and film this complex process. You can visit the Whadyaknow? Project page on ABC Open to see the long version of our video which gives an insight into the steps involved.