In this digital era, when we read the news, communicate and post photographs online, we sometimes find ourselves reminiscing of olden times when books, photograph albums and journals were tangible objects.  The disposable nature of digital photography and other material on the web has perhaps made us forget the value that once was attached to printed images and paper media.  There is a revival in handcrafted, artistic objects which are rare to find, and this is where La Eriza comes into play.  This is an artisan bookbinding workshop run by Óscar Sánchez Lozano. 

Born and raised in Madrid, Óscar graduated in History of Art at the Complutense University and then moved to London, where he attended the prestigious Slade Art School.  It was during his time at Slade that he became interested in the art of bookbinding.  During his 10 years in London, Óscar learned the trade at Book Works, a non-for profit organisation specialising in artists’ books, spoken word and printed matter.  He ended up working at the Wyvern Bindery, a top-quality workshop in central London specialising in bespoke bindings. Óscar found his vocation there, and when he returned to Madrid 10 years ago, he opened La Eriza. 

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His beautiful shop is named after the female sea urchins that decorate this unique space.  There is certainly something poetic about finding these beautiful creatures from the sea in land-locked Madrid. 

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Óscar offers professional bookbinding and restoration services for leather covers, as well as hand-stitched books in exclusive designs and unique personalised finishes for anything from wedding albums to doctoral thesis.  He can also produce vintage passport covers and other objects for period costume TV or theatre productions, as well as portfolios for artists and art galleries.

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Óscar's background as an art history graduate has successfully blended with his vocational craftmanship and La Eriza offers more than just bookbinding projects.  It also hosts cultural events and serves as an art gallery for local artists, and therefore it serves the local community, encouraging cultural exchange.  La Eriza is a dynamic place where you can discuss bookbinding, poetry, visual arts and contemporary trends and news in the world of humanities and social sciences.  All of this, surrounded by the serene beauty of the sea urchins.

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La Eriza does not have a website because Óscar prefers to interact directly with his customers and discuss every nuance of each project he undertakes.  Professional bookbinding is a time-consuming craft which requires patience and understanding between the commissioner and the artisan.

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La Eriza is a breath of fresh sea air in the centre of Madrid, and the place to consider commissioning a perfectly customised present for yourself or for anybody you truly appreciate. 

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C/Colón 15

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 10:00-14:00 / 17:00-20:00

You can follow La Eriza through Facebook

Thank you, La Eriza for your great work, originality and professionalism!

Across Madrid recommends this shop as an independent company, and there are no commissions whatsoever involved in our recommendation. We simply have been there and loved it!

© Almudena Cros, November 2015. Please note that this article may be quoted in editorial contexts only, with source and author.