Estúdio Bulhufas. Handmade bookbinding and editorial design
Estúdio Bulhufas is a Lisbon (Portugal) based studio specialized in bookbinding, editorial design projects, handmade books and stationery. Run by Leticia Burkardt and Tiago Casanova, both graduated in architecture, all products and designs are influenced by their background.
Their unique handmade books are made from scratch using all kinds of manual techniques and sustainable materials.
We found them by chance, while we were looking for interesting makers to participate in Crafture. It was love at first sight. To underestand us you should take a look at their instagram account. We got in touch with them to introduce us and our idea. They said we are in! and now we are introducing them to you. We made them some questions, and you’ll see how special they are. Pay special attention to their advices, if you are a maker you will probably feel identified.. 🙂
Tell us something about you and how the studio was born.
– I’m Leticia, a Brazilian architect with almost 10 years of work experience. I had my first contact with bookbinding techniques during college, in a practical class, and absolutely fell in love with it. After I graduated, I continued searching for more bookbinding classes and perfected my technique during the years. It was something I loved to do, but always as a hobby, something that made me wake up early on weekends. I never thought I’d do this for a living. 3 years ago, I came across a master course in Lisbon about “typography and editorial design” at Belas-Artes faculty, applied, and left everything (family, friends, boyfriend, house, job) behind to learn about what I really loved: books. During the course, I was struggling with my finances and Tiago, my boyfriend and partner to be, asked me “why don’t you start your own business? If not now, when is it going to be? When you have a stable job and a comfortable life again?” And that’s how Estúdio Bulhufas was born. I found a place with an amazing light and started the business.
What’s the history behind your use of materials and your technique? How much time do you spend experimenting and creating?
– My technique is a mixture of all the teachers I’ve ever had. I learned bookbinding techniques with several amazing professionals and ended up developing my own way of doing things. I spend a lot of time experimenting and creating. Is hard to measure it in terms of hours, but in every single minute of the day I’m thinking about something different or better that I could do. About the materials, I like to use my own patterns for notebook covers, so I use paper a lot, instead of cloth like most bookbinders, sometimes even mixing both materials. I also try to have a more contemporary approach on the way books are made, not being too attached on a classic look and I think this makes my books very unique.
What’s the philosophy you try to apply to your work? What do you think that makes your pieces so unique?
– The philosophy behind all my products is “would I want to buy this? Is it something I’d love to have?” If the answer is “yes”, I’ll produce and go for it. I’m in love with every single notebook I’ve done so far. Sometimes is very hard to give them away! What I think makes them so unique is the effort behind each one. Also, all products and designs are influenced by my architecture background, either by the preference for geometric and spatial patterns or by the architecture and structure behind the construction of each book, always dedicating a profound attention to details.
You are a very talented maker, with a growing on-line community. We know that everything in that sentence is true and right, but that also takes a lot of time and hard work to achieve, so what’s your advice for those independent makers trying hard to create their objects and make a living from it?
– Persistency. Nothing comes for free and it takes a lot of effort, patience and dedication to build something truly good. Don’t let the lack of money, the bills, the rent, the bad clients turn you down, just persist. If it is something you’re truly committed, it will come out. And don’t pay much attention when your family askes you when will get a proper job.
What do you like about Crafture? Why did you decide to be part of its community of New makers?
– It is an amazing initiative! A platform that brings together talented people that makes wonderful objects with a community that appreciate well made goods is something new and extraordinary. Hou could I miss this opportunity?!
They are Extraordinary Makers and we are Makers lovers! We thank them very much for joining our community of New Makers.
Estúdio Bulhufas is in, are you?