Bookbinding workshop

Jitka Balazova

I got into the basics of bookbinding at school in Ostrava and Bohumín, where I got an apprenticeship certificate. However, I picked up most of the craft from my mentor Miroslav Janota. I worked for him after my apprenticeship and absorbed all the professional skills. I bought the bookbinding business from Mr. Janota when the workshop was in danger of closing when he left.

But I have not been a bookbinder all my professional life. After a while, I didn’t want to be locked in a small workshop all the time. I needed to go out into the world, I wanted to study and meet new people. So I moved away from the craft for a few years. I studied, learned the language abroad, worked in a luxury casino, in banking and at university. But I always said I would return to bookbinding. And I’m happy that I did 😊 Now I see real work behind me, making practical, pretty and most importantly tangible products. I still can’t get enough of this after years behind the computer and between money 😊

My goal is to provide quality bookbinding services, products and expert advice. I want to preserve the workshop with all its historic machinery and equipment and pass it on to my successor. Hopefully I will be able to raise it in one of my descendants 😊

Jitka Balážová

History of the workshop

I continue the more than thirty-year tradition founded in 1991 by bookbinders Miroslav Janota, Ladislav Nováček and Hana Ondřichová. The original three-member collective of founders gradually narrowed and since 1996 the bookbinding shop has been run only by Miroslav Janota. The emphasis on the quality of products and work, together with the friendliness towards customers, has meant that Janota's bookbinding shop has been continuously offering its services for the last twenty years, even at times when other bookbinders in Zlín are closing down their operations. Over the years, no more than six bookbinders and two apprentices have worked in the workshop at any one time.

p. Janota

In 2016, Miroslav Janota discontinued his bookbinding business for health reasons. Together with Iva Branna we decided to keep the last traditional bookbinding workshop in Zlín and we bought the workshop from Mr. Janota. After the sale of the bookbinding shop, Mr. Janota had planned to devote himself to the long-delayed artistic leather bindings, which he did not have enough time to do in the normal course of business. Unfortunately, a serious illness prevented him from fulfilling these plans and on 22 February 2018 Miroslav Janota passed away. Together with Iva Branna, we were bookbinders until the end of 2018, when Iva left the bookbinding business. Since the beginning of 2019, I have been running the bookbinding shop on my own. In January 2022 I was forced to move the workshop to nearby Otrokovice. The rent was already unaffordable at the original location and so after 30 years another big change came.

Jitka a Iva

I learned the bookbinding craft in Bohumín and then from 1993 to 1995 I worked and further developed my professional skills under the guidance of Miroslav Janota in a bookbinding shop in Zlín. In bookbinding I follow the working methods of my great working model. I put emphasis on quality craftsmanship, high quality of material and fulfilling the customer's wishes.

Jitka a pan Janota

Permanent companion

I have a new associate in the shop… His name is Bond. Jeff Bond.

After entering the workshop he will be happy to attend to you immediately 😀 But he is more of a greeter than a watchdog and the only thing to be afraid of is intense foot licking… 😀

Jeff Bond