Charlene Matthews Bindery

Best Bookbinder, April 2007
Using materials as unusual as Victorian ceiling tile, kangaroo leather, and a fish-eye lens, the one-woman show that is Charlene Matthews Bindery outfits books in a cramped shop sandwiched between a Mexican restaurant and a florist. A blur of red hair in an electric blue studio, Matthews flits among her 19th-century binding tools, which include a huge press, a paper-cutting guillotine, and “job backers” (steel leviathans that grip and cut). In her restoration work, she cloaks hardboard covers in vintage silk, ribbon, and leather finished so finely, they look translucent.