If you have ever been in our shop on Turl Street, you might have noticed that we are rather enthusiastic about our products. In the last week or so, I have heard my colleagues saying "Sir, of course your study needs a hand-crafted model of the Duomo. Every study does." "Feel that gorgeous leather, isn't it as soft as butter?" "This fountain pen is an absolute joy to write with - it almost floats across the page." Yesterday I myself had an animated and thoroughly enjoyable 15 minute argument with a customer about the relative merits of two minutely differing shades of brown ink. He may have won, but I stand by Saddle Brown unto the death.
Not a word of what we say is disingenuous, and neither are we mad. The reason we get so evangelical about the things we sell is is because we know how much love and care goes into making every single one. Last week, some of the Scriptum staff went to visit our favourite suppliers, Bomo Art, and saw their workshop in Budapest where some of our journals, folders, and music manuscript books are made. This is how the journals start out, as piles of leather and paper:
Then the component parts are accurately cut to size using some truly excellent traditional equipment - including an old standing press and a hundred-year-old Viennese guillotine!
When the boards, leather and paper are ready, the pages are bound into the cover by hand. Every single journal has its spine finished by stretching the leather over a complex little set up involving a wooden vice, lots of string, and most importantly, a truly expert pair of hands to ensure the bumps on the binding of the spine are neat and even:
Finally, the journal is complete. All that remains is choosing from all the beautiful different colours and papers for the ones that we think you'll like best!
You can understand how actually seeing all this care and attention devoted to each individual item makes us feel very proud of our products, and want to shout about just how fantastic they are. We will have some lovely new designs arriving from Bomo Art before Christmas, so keep your eyes out for them on our website. And next time you come into the shop, you'll forgive us if you hear us earnestly telling a fresh-faced new university student that that a handmade journal is absolutely a better thing to spend your student loan on than groceries... because we really believe it.
P.S. While we were in Budapest, we found some exciting new products from some new suppliers who, like Bomo Art, are real craftsmen who care about every tiny detail. Their products are handmade, immense fun, and something completely different from anything else we stock... Curious? Keep an eye out for the next Scriptum newsletter (sign up on our homepage) for details.