Odette Drapeau on a lifetime of binding books in fish skin and other fabulous fabrics


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Odette Drapeau is a leader, educator and innovator in the practice of fine bookbinding. She founded her bookbinding workshop The Headband in Montreal in 1979.

For more than 50 years she has refined her work though the innovative use of materials including fish leathers, high-tech fibres and LED lights. Through her creative use of stunning textures and colours she has achieved a level of excellence that has been widely heralded, including, most recently by The Alcuin Society which bestowed its Robert R. Reid Award for lifetime achievement in the book arts in Canada upon her. Odette is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, and was head of the Association of Quebec Bookbinders between 1988-91. She has exhibited at solo and group shows more than fifty times at venues in Europe, Canada and the United States.

We talk here about her long, accomplished career, her thoughts about "the book," and her work philosophy.

498 episoder