Sarah Baldi

2020 QEST William Parker Scholar - Bookbinding

After achieving a BA and MA degree in Ancient and Modern Culture and Philology in Naples, Sarah began her career working as a freelance editor and proof-reader for various independent publishers in Italy and Germany. She discovered her true vocation and passion for bookbinding in Berlin where she started to work as printer and bookbinder. It was in 2015 that Sarah decided to pursue her vocation for bookbinding and she attended numerous masterclasses in Italy and Europe with renowned bookbinders including Cristina Balbiano d’Aramengo, Luigi Castiglioni, Annette Friedrich. Also, in London she worked in commercial binderies in addition to being a self-employed bookbinder and box maker. More recently, Sarah gained a huge amount of experience working at George Bayntun, one of the oldest and most prestigious binderies and antiquarian bookshops in the UK. 

Sarah’s QEST Scholarship will fund her specialist training with five bookbinding masters in the UK and Europe. She will improve and perfect her techniques of fine binding, book conservation, edge gilding and finishing, enabling her to study and research different technical approaches and renowned traditions. She believes this will allow her to reinvigorate the bookbinding and book conservation sector in the UK with new ideas and experimentations, and to sustain this craft, passing her skills and knowledge to future generations.

For me bookbinding is not just a job but it is a passion, a true vocation, a way of life. The book and its manipulation are a medium to express myself and also the history itself. I always start from a complex study of old and traditional techniques to be able to exceed and innovate them in a constant research of new experimentations and ideas.