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Traditional bound books now available at Pompallier Mission

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Visitors to Pompallier Mission, a Tohu Whenua in Russell cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, have a new souvenir option to take away with them.

Bookbinder Gill Carlsson is transforming the mock-up books used in live demonstrations of bookbinding that take place every day at Pompallier Mission into gift shop merchandise.

A bookbinder for over 15 years, Gill saw the opportunity when she saw a stack of the demonstration books ready to go.

"Guides at Pompallier Mission demonstrate the basics of exposed cord binding, which were used by the Marist Brothers when they produced just under 40,000 bound books between 1842 and 1847," she says.

"The guides show how sections of the book are stitched to cords running horizontally on the spine of the book. It’s these cords that hold the pages of the book together and give old books their distinctive ‘ridged spine’ look."

The demonstration books will be finely finished by Gill with all binding in place, and with a print illustrating historic printing fitted into the front and end piece of the book.

"The books won’t be bound in leather, though, but will be left exposed illustrating all the processes of production that went into making the book."

The books are the perfect souvenir according to the Manager of Pompallier Mission Scott Eliffe.

"As well as being hand crafted, they’re also a great reminder of what Pompallier Mission was all about in the days when Bishop Pompallier and the Marist Brothers were active here," he says.

"They have a high degree of authenticity, and are absolutely unique to this place."

Caption: Gill Carlsson with some of Pompallier Mission’s demonstration books - soon to be transformed into an authentic, unique souvenir.

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