The Secret Bindery is a passion project I started in 2012, creating beautifully crafted, hand-stitched hard cover journals.
Each journal is a labour of love, completely handmade, with old-fashioned stitching and fabric covers.
I inherited a love for bookbinding (and most of my bookbinding equipment) from my mother, who now runs The Montagu Bookshop as a retirement project. I pursued this passion at Stellenbosch University during the completion of my BA degree when we were given the opportunity to attend a holiday workshop on bookbinding, with one of South Africa’s bookbinding masters, Arthur Wadman. Mr. Wadman subsequently passed away from a long battle with lung cancer and I am grateful that I managed to learn all I did from him a mere three weeks before he passed away.
When I began this project I was full of enthusiasm (and naïvety!) and thought I could turn it into a thriving business. I completed several orders for happy customers but quickly realised that I would never see the light of day if I continued. Each book takes about 10 hours to complete, and that excludes time in the press. This was not a project to be outsourced to China or even a previously disadvantaged community in South Africa… it is deeply personal, therapeutic, and will remain a slow sideline hobby – perhaps until I retire, and set up a market stand of my own!
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Amy-Jean Hahndiek is a multi-disciplinary freelance creative currently based in Cape Town, South Africa.
With over 5 years’ experience in the creative industry, Amy-Jean relishes creative projects that require conceptual ingenuity and problem-solving, whether it be finely crafted branding, cutting-edge UI/UX, innovative book concepts or eye-catching illustration.Get in touch