Before leaving for Venice, I read about Cartavenezia, a paper shop that specializes in handmade cotton paper creations. I say creations because many of the items are casted, three-dimensional pieces like bowls. And not soup bowl size - gigantic bowls of pure white cotton.
Upon entering Cartavenezia, I was instructed to put on white gloves before handling any of the pieces. I was happy to comply, because the paper was so pristine.
I chatted with the owner for some time, giving him my business card and talking about the seed paper that we make at my business. He was interested in the fact that we use only post-consumer material which yields a paper with an off-white color, different from the pure cotton white of his products.
Alas, when I asked if I could take a few photos, he pointed to the "NO PHOTOGRAPHS" sign. So instead, I'm sharing photos of the handbound book that I bought, starting with the incredible wrapping done by the owner.
It was so fun to unwrap the package that I actually waited a week to open it. I wanted to be able to take my time and delight in the textures of the wrapping and the book within. When the wrapper was removed, here's what I saw:
Pure cotton sheets bound with pure cotton, hand-knotted twine. Heavy, beautiful.
More shots of the book.
It's a substantial book when laid flat, and ever larger when fanned open.
I have the book on my desk at work, opened and displayed like a book with the binding facing forward so visitors can see the hand-knotting work. I'm so glad that I got to visit Cartavenezia and that I brought this book home to remember the trip by.