Bookin’ in Brooklyn

When my hubby pitched the idea of going to New York for New Year’s, I was psyched. However, I didn’t have any interest in going to Times Square – that’s for people much more tolerant (and younger) than me.

My plans were much more specific – Brooklyn, baby. I wanted to get bookcloth at Talas and cross something off my Book Arts Bucket List – visit the Brooklyn Art Library, home of The Sketchbook Project.

With my hubby off at a business meeting, I headed out to Brooklyn on a rainy Tuesday.

It was really icky outside and I was so happy when I arrived and saw the sign outside their door – part of me was worried that I wasn’t going in the right direction.

Talas sign

I headed up the stairs to the shop and I’m telling you, I am so in love with their entry door:

Talas front door

Must protect the bookcloth…

The last time I was in Talas was a few years ago. I took a bunch of pictures back then, but all of them got lost in a computer crash. Well, I definitely made up for the lost images – I took pictures of everything and felt like such a dork doing it. But a happy dork.

So you walk in the front door and bam! Awesome yellow wall.

Sign inside Talas

FYI – The dude in that newspaper article is the one that helped me out.

Back to the tour. After entering, you can check out a cool collection of bookbinding tools and materials:

Bookbinding tools and ephemera

And then you’re totally in a huge, expansive space full of, well, everything. It’s hard to know what to look at first.

Bookbinding tools at Talas

Hand tools

Extra Hand Clamps at Talas

Rolls of bookcloth at Talas

Rolls of bookcloth

Leather skins at Talas


Rolls of headbands at Talas

Rolls of headbands

Stingray skins at Talas

Stingray skins

At this point, all I’m thinking is, “I’ll have one of that…and that…and that…”

And then I remembered that whole How much money do I have? thing. Boo.

After drooling over all of the merchandise, I spent some time checking out Talas’ impressive collection of cabinets.

Wood storage cabinet at Talas

Metal storage cabinet at Talas

Flat files at Talas

Flat files at Talas

And then I came across this, which made me happy because I have the same exact wire roll holder in my studio. It’s awesome.

Wire roll holder with bookcloth at Talas

The time finally came for me to make some decisions. I started with bookcloth. I bought a yard each of two Iris bookcloths (total workhorses).

Iris bookcloth

I also got a yard of an Asahi bookcloth I have wanted forever – this gold crackle is so lovely.

Asahi bookcloth

And the last bookcloth was a textured grey linen. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this one.

Asahi bookcloth

Then I got a book off my wish list – A Hand Bookbinder’s Guide to Making Photo Albums by Richard Horton.

A Hand Bookbinder's Guide to Making Photo Albums by Richard Horton

My last purchase was an impulse buy, but totally worth it. I got a Casselli spatula.

Casselli spatula

The goal was to replace a lost microspatula with a pointy end. I loved that thing and had been mourning its loss for a while.

When I got home, I discovered that the spatula was super-bendy. I had no idea. This makes it so much better.

Casselli spatula

And check out how thin it is:

Casselli spatula

This thing is so getting used.

I left Talas feeling super-happy and worked my way towards the Brooklyn Art Library. I was heartbroken when I arrived to find this:

Sign at the Brooklyn Art Library

Their website had no mention of it being closed on this day – I checked it several times before my trip. There would be no crossing off things on my Book Arts Bucket List today. Poop.

Oh well. The trip was still totally worth it. I can’t wait to play with my new goodies!

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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