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Stella Patri

I have just learned of the death of Stella Patri on March 31. A year or
more ago, when listmembers were naming people who had inspired them to
become bookbinders, I wrote that Stella was my inspiration.

Here is the obituary from the Los Angeles Times:

Stella Nicole Patri, who became a leader in the art of bookbinding and
manuscript restoration after taking an interest in the field at an age when
most people are approaching retirement, has died. She was 104.

Patri died March 31 at the home of her son, architect Remo Patri, in
Sonoma, Calif.

In an uncommon life, the Montreal-born Patri survived the San Francisco
earthquake of 1906, became a journeyman welder on liberty ships during
Worle War II, and, at the end of the war, worked for the American Red Cross
helping service personnel find family members.

But it was while working in a San Francisco bookstore, when she was well
into her 60s, that she became interested in bookbinding and manuscript

Patri studied the craft and, in 1962, traveled to Rome to study document
restoration. She continued her studies in Paris, where she focused on fancy
book finishing, and in London, where she honed her techniques.

After rhe Arno River flooded Florence, Italy, in 1966, damaging countless
document of historical significance, Patri was among the volunteers who
helped salvage the priceless ancient manuscripts which had been buried in mud.

Always curious and thirsty for knowledge, Patri returned to night school
when she was in her 70s and took chemistry classes to understand advances
in papermaking. Her  clients included the San Francisco Public Library and
the University of California Center Library. She was also a founder of the
Hand Bookbinders of California.  ...

Betty Storz   storz@mcn.org
Mendocino, CA
Book repair and restoration

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