My Favourite Tool: Bob Cresswell’s paste bowl

Although I am not a paper conservator or bookbinder, I have many friends who are in that field. Over the years I have made many specialist tools custom built for individuals who had a specific job in mind.

My favourite of all those tools is the paste bowl.  This started out as a request for a simple wooden bowl without any varnish or polish that might contaminate the paste.

I decided to use Welsh sycamore as it is a very stable wood unlikely to contaminate the paste. I made it rectangular in form to give it stability on the table, and added a groove to hold a brush or other tool.

Over the years as more people saw the bowl and asked me for modifications to suit their needs, the design morphed into what you see in the photo.  I have now made dozens of these bowls and they can be found in prestigious museums and foundations all over the world.



Bob Cresswell is a Registered Hypnotherapist in private practice specializing in Work Related Stress. He also produces self-hypnosis recordings for relaxation and meditation. His hobby is wood-turning and wood-carving. In this field he has specialized in producing bespoke tools for paper conservators and bookbinders.

Have you got your own favourite tool? Then tell us and the rest of The Gathering’s followers all about it! Just drop us a line with either a finished piece or your preliminary idea, plus a photo or two, and we’ll be happy to share the love.

3 thoughts on “My Favourite Tool: Bob Cresswell’s paste bowl

  1. Ooh! The original request was from me! I feel ever so slightly famous. Also: curses, I was going to submit my original one as my favourite tool.


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