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  1. Fort Point Arts Community Open Studios // October 17 – 19

    October 14, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    Come by the historic waterfront neighborhood of Fort Point for the 35th FPAC Open Studios. Stroll through the many warehouses that are home to painters, sculptors, ceramicists, jewelers, performance artists, printmakers, book artists, photographers and more. Herringbone Bindery will be participating along with Colin Urbina of Third Year Studio at 369 Congress Street on the 6th floor.

    I’ll be around to show off some of my work both completed and in progress. I will also have a selection of items for sale, all of which can be found in my Etsy shop.

    Ours is just one of the 14 buildings in the Fort Point neighborhood, as well as galleries and pop-up exhibit venues. All buildings are in easy walking distance of each other. However, there will be a free shuttle to help you get around the neighborhood.

    The event is free to the public with free parking available! You can’t beat that. For more details and directions check out the Fort Point Arts Community website.

  2. Bright Light City Gonna Set My Soul

    October 7, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    I’ll be embarking on a trip to the City of Lights for the Guild of Book Workers annual Standards of Excellence Seminar, which will take place at the Excalibur Hotel. I’m looking forward to the late night excitement, warm weather and chatting with all the wonderful book-y people attracted to this event. Plus all the leather (for bookbinding, of course) that I’ll be buying.

    Look forward to a post about the Seminar upon my return mid-October.


  3. New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers // Mini-Conference in Maine – Day Two

    October 5, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    9:00 – 12:00
    Morning Workshop Session
    The mini-conference offered two half-day workshops with calligrapher, Nancy Leavitt and papermaker, Katie MacGregor. The group of participants were divided into two groups. For the morning session, I attended Nancy’s workshop titled Pen, Paper and Paint.

    Nancy’s first attempt at calligraphy came by inspiration from a Seventeen article; clipping the tip off of a felt tip pen. To pursue the practice of calligraphy, Nancy studied with Peter Halliday in the 1980s. Even though the workshop lasted for only three hours, Nancy was able to pack years of knowledge into her instructions.

    At the start of the workshop, Nancy presented her creative process. When commissioned to calligraph the lyrics to six Beatles’ songs, Nancy took the project beyond the initial request and created an in-depth artist book to incorporate the historical and social events occurring at the release of each song. In the image below, Nancy shows us her charts and mock-ups developed during the creative process.

    MaineConferenceTour17-ErinFletcher MaineConferenceTour12-ErinFletcher

    After whipping up some egg glaire and adding water to the gouache one drop at a time, Nancy presented some tips on mixing paint, filling pen nibs, and painting. Each student received a special packet of paper varieties. One half of the packet included a selection of Katie MacGregor’s handmade paper ranging from 1 day old to 20 years old. Nancy loves to allow her paper to ‘age’ because it creates a more agreeable surface to work on.

    As we experimented with the paper varieties and pen nibs, Nancy came around to write each of our names on the paper of our choice. Towards the end of the workshop, Nancy gave a demonstration on turning a feather into a quill. Nancy shared her amazing collection of feather quills, which are carefully and lawfully collected. First, Nancy removed the membrane from the shaft by running it along a hot iron. Then she revealed her coveted penknife from her apron, a tool specifically for shaping the tip of a quill. Each student was presented with a keepsake quill, which we played with by filling the nib with gouache and writing on each of our paper samples.


    1:00 – 4:00
    Afternoon Workshop Session


    In the afternoon, my group headed over to Katie MacGregor’s studio for our second workshop session, A Hand Papermaker’s Perspective. Her studio is just steps from her home, set back in the woods and down a long gravel road. Katie invited us upstairs first, to share with us her creative process, how she logs her formulas and a collection of books created using her papers. Katie has also worked on a variety of custom paper orders for institutions and artists, including a three sheet order for the most vibrant and saturated red she could make.


    We headed downstairs for the actual labor. Katie first mixed up a bucket of fresh pulp and pigment, which she then added to the large vat. The smaller vat was given an addition of flax. Each student was given the opportunity to pull one small sheet and one large sheet. Katie gave a quick demonstration of the proper posture and techniques for shaking the mould, then the process of tipping the mould onto the felts in order to couch the sheets. After watching Katie, each student embraced the messy, wet process of papermaking.

    As a treat, Bernie Vinzani added a special watermark to the larger sheets. Using vinyl lettering, Guild of Book Workers Maine 2014, was heated to the wire threads of the mould, a quicker alternative to the traditional technique for making watermarks.


    Once the last sheet was couched, Katie moved the paper into her hydraulic press, squeezing out the excess water. Then she carefully separated each sheet from the felts for the next stage in the drying process. As we finished the workshop, Katie’s close friends were preparing a wonderful spread of hors d’oeuvres and libations. Katie and Nancy also put together a selection of items for sale and I delightfully walked away with eleven new sheets of handmade paper, two of which I’ve already sewn into two soon to be fine bindings.


    7:00 – 9:00
    Evening Presentation
    Wild blueberries are native to parts of Maine and Canada. As an added treat for the mini-conference participants, Nancy and Katie prepared a wonderfully home-cooked meal of Blueberry Chicken over Rice. After our meal, Nancy’s husband, Blueberry Specialist David Yarborough gave a thorough presentation on the history of the blueberry plant and its involvement in Maine’s agriculture industry.

    That ends the festivities of the mini-conference. As the first event of this scope I’ve put together, I think it was a success from the point of view of the CCLC, conference participants and workshop instructors.

  4. Conservation Conversations // About Spaces

    October 2, 2014 by Jeanne Goodman

    In the first Conservation Conversations, way back in January, Anna brought up the idea of working in a “studio” or “lab”. There is another running joke that is very true about conservators always ending up in the basement. It’s not because the PTB* don’t like us, but when designing conservation spaces, there are a myriad of factors to account for some of which are proper ventilation, water sources, and public access. It all begins with what actual physical space is available. In some cases, a conservation department is added on later in the institution’s history, which can limit the spaces available properly suited for a conservation lab. Hence, basement dwellings. Or the attic. Or that closet that used to belong to facilities.

    Whatever the case may be, re-purposing a space to our needs (as we sometimes do with tools) is not an unusual situation to be in and if we are really lucky, and been really good and the stars are aligned just right, we could also be in on the planning for a brand new space.

    The following are images of studios, labs, and binderies I have had the pleasure to visit along with some solutions and customizations for how spaces can be re-purposed for conservation.

    conservation lab in a historical building

    Believe it or not, this lab is actually located in the basement level of the building, which sits on a hill overlooking a cemetery. This side of the building includes windows that are historical to the structure. Due to this fact and that the windows are original, renovation plans to update the conservation lab had to include them in the designs. Most conservators would give their non-dominant arm for a window (don’t even ask me what we do for more than one window). However, windows are difficult for us in two ways: 1) they can mess with the stability of your inner environment such as temperature and relative humidity. Drastic changes in temperature and weather on the outside are buffered better by insulated walls rather then floor to ceiling windows. And 2) sunlight coming through must be filtered for UV to protect objects that might be staying in the lab while they are worked on. The Solution: modern windows with UV filtering glass were built on the inside of the historical ones allowing for better insulation. A building inside a building.

    private bench for rent in a shared bindery space

    This is a bindery studio located on the 6th floor of a Warehouse Building, that also houses other artists and small businesses. The bindery shares the floor with a photography studio. There are four work benches that are rented by the month and renters pay for their own special supplies. Large equipment like board shears and book presses are shared as well as the overhead for utilities and basic book materials such as bookboard, lining material, text block paper and adhesives.

    example of a university conservation lab

    This lab was added to a brand new space built on University grounds, which enabled the head conservator to have input on many specifications for the space as it was being built. The building is on one level and is shared with classroom spaces and offices. Modifications for this lab were better insulation and HVAC systems to control the environment as much as possible. Due to public access of the building, the lab also has a top of the line security system.

    private artist studio used as a bindery

    This bindery is located in a more traditional building of Artist Studios. Artists rent studio space by the square footage and bring in there own equipment and supplies. This collective also has a shared gallery space on the first floor where artists can have there own shows and work collaboratively with one another.

    paper lab lunder2lunder3

    This lab is located in a Museum and was built in a way that the public could observe conservators as they work. The paper conservation lab is shown here and two of the walls are clear so visitors can walk around the entire lab.

    example of a conservation lab used for teaching

    And last, this space is part of a Conservation School. Here, students learn about treatments and work on individual projects. The school also hosts workshops on conservation, which is when this picture was taken. Three pairs of tables are spaced evenly in the center of the room, each with recessed light boxes. Overhead fume hoods on movable, retractable necks from the ceiling are spaced through the center of the room so they can be adjusted over any workstation including over the large washing sink. Two rooms bookend this larger space, one used for photo conservation and the other dedicated exclusively to book projects. The school also hosts workshops on conservation, which is when this picture was taken.

    These examples represent only a small number of conservation spaces that are out there, but you start to get the picture. If there is a kind of space not represented or if you know of a particularly interesting solution to a space re-purposing conundrum, I would love to hear about it! Please post in the comments below.

    *PTB=Powers That Be. These can be a board of trustees, company president, or someone just known as Your Boss.

    **All pictures used here with permissions of the owners of the spaces. If you would like to know where any individual picture was taken, please email with the request.


  5. Swell Things No. 16

    September 30, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    1. After reading an article about the difficulty in conversing with strangers on the train, my husband referred me to The Stranger Project 2014. Over the course of one year, the gentleman running this project, will connect with one stranger per day. Sitting down to discuss their lives and get to know them. The profiles are completed by a portrait.
    2. Motion Silhouette is a beautifully bound and interactive children’s book that utilizes the shadow cast on opposite sides of a center pop-up to create the narration on either side of the page. On one page a silhouette pop-up of a tree casts a tree-like shadow for a flock of birds, while on the other side becomes a massive lightning bolt over a city. Click here to watch a video of the book in action.
    3. Any Arrested Development fan will remember the Living Classics Pageant scene when George and Buster recreate Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. Little did I know that this was referencing Pageant of the Masters, which occurs every year in Laguna Beach, California. You can read more about it in this New York Times article here.
    4. The Future Library is an expansive project just introduced this year by creator Katie Paterson, a young Scottish artist. A forest of 1,000 trees was planted outside of Oslo in Norway; these trees will become the paper to publish the works of 100 authors picked once a year over the course of 100 years. 2014 marks year one and Margaret Atwood is the first author to participate. The work she writes will not be published until 2114, the year The Future Library will be released. I’m intrigued by this project, yet disappointed to know I’ll never get the chance to read this work by Margaret Atwood. Read more about the project here.
    5. Samantha Bittman is the textile artist I would have wished to be, if I had become a textile artist. Her black and white woven pieces are a maze for the eye, stringing your vision from left to right then back again. Just stunning work!


    6. Miniature Calendar has been churning out stunning miniature scenes since 2011. Each image is listed daily and uses everyday objects mixed with miniature figurines to add a bit of color and whimsy to your life.
    7. The Houghton Library at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts houses a collection of 20 miniature books written and bound by Charlotte Brontë and her brother Branwell. The two siblings, 13 and 12 respectively, created fantasy worlds called Angria and Glass Town. The books measure less than 1 inches by 2 inches and include minute script of wild tales and adventures.
    8. Anna Valdez is a magnificent painter who incorporates so much life and color into her work. Enjoy!
    9. Ever wanted to unleash the power of a Bookbook. IKEA’s recent ad campaign for their new 2015 catalog is brilliant. A geeky looking spokesman sitting in front of a whitish wall talks about the book as if it were a handheld device. Which it kind of is!
    10. Enjoy this elaborate paper animation: The Collagist, from artist Amy Lockhart.


  6. New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers // Mini-Conference in Maine – Day One

    September 23, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    What began as a simple workshop idea between myself and papermaker Katie MacGregor, turned into a weekend long mini-conference event. Over the past year, part of the NEGBW team (myself, Todd Pattison and Lauren Telepak) along with Katie MacGregor, Nancy Leavitt and Alan Furth put together the plans for a mini-conference at the Cobscook Community Learning Center in the small northeastern town of Trescott, Maine.

    To our wonderment, we had an almost full attendance and participants traveled as far as Florida and California. The conference was held from September 12th – 14th. I’m going to write about this event in two separate posts; beginning with the events on day one.

    1:00 – 2:30
    Tour at University of Maine, Machias
    My day began in Boston, driving northbound toward Machias, Maine. The town of Machias is small and charming. The town had a wonderful shop called The French Cellar selling local cheeses, wines and other delicious items. I also made a stop at the local art supplies shop/framers/gallery. It was there that I picked up a beautiful piece of pottery crafted by a local artist. But the real reason to stop in Machias was for the first event of the conference.

    Also located in Machias, is the University of Maine, which enrolls about 1,000 students coming from all around New England for their undergraduate studies. An average of fifty students participate in the Book Arts Program per year. Bernie Vinzani, Director of the Book Arts Studio, lead a tour of their facility. The tour began with a trip to the gallery, displaying works by both students, local artists and historical documents.


    We then moved into the other various rooms of the Book Arts Studio, which included the bindery, print shop and a multi-purpose room. Bernie explained that the students are involved in a single project each year in which they must work together. Each student receives a particular job and they learn the process of creating a book, printing a book, assembling a book and then selling a book. The components of their most recent project was laid out for us, along with a wall display of past projects.


    As a treat, a solo exhibition of Katie MacGregor’s pulp paintings and other artworks were installed early. This part of the tour was quite thrilling for me. I’ve only known the papermaking side of Katie and was intrigued by her creative side.

    MaineConferenceTour3-ErinFletcher MaineConferenceTour4-ErinFletcher


    Moon Travel – Katie MacGregor

    5:00 – 8:30
    Presentations and Evening Reception
    The conference participants reconvened at the Cobscook Community Learning Center for the evening festivities. The CCLC hosted most of the activities for the weekend and even had a lodge onsite where many of the participants slept. The lodge was newly built and our group are one of the first to occupy it. I chose a quad for economic reasons and was delighted by the four bunk beds I ended up having to myself. Each room has its own private bathroom complete with shower. 

    Starting off the evening, was a presentation from CCLC Executive Director, Alan Furth, who introduce us all to the Center by giving a brief overview of its history and mission. The Center formed in 1999 as a group of community members from the Passamquoddy Tribe, the Euro-American community, and a community of Canadians from New Brunswick wanted to improve life in this rural region. Paying particular attention to the education models of many Danish folk schools, they developed a center aimed at empowering high school students and to strengthen their community.

    The following presentation was giving by local printer and book artist, Walter Tisdale. Walter filled three tables with wonderful examples of his own work, the work of his friends and some collaborative projects. Walter began his training at the University of Wisconsin in Madison studying book arts with Walter Hamady. Although typography is his real passion, as is collaborating with writers and artists for enriching content; Walter also plays around with book forms. Walter’s aversion for glue forces him to develop innovative non-adhesive structures. Making dummies is his forte. And so he shared some of these models with us.

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    Last, but certainly not least was a presentation by the imitable bookbinder Gray Parrot (also a local to Maine). With an early interest in 18th century bindings, Gray began to build his collection until the habit became to expensive therefore pushing his interests onto pulp and science fiction novels. Gray was an Enlgish Literature major at Harvard before he embarked on studying bookbinding with Arno Werner in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1971. Gray studied with Arno for less than a year before going to Ascona to learn finishing techniques.

    MaineConferenceTour8-ErinFletcher MaineConferenceTour10-ErinFletcher

    In 1973, he opened his own bindery and worked on his first edition project just a year later. To date he’s worked with some very talented printers and respectable presses such as Leonard Baskin, Barry Moser, Pennyroyal Press and Gehanna Press. In addition to his presentation, Gray brought an abundant collection of his own bindings. All of which, he let us handle and gawk at. His hand skills are superb and his tooling immaculate. Gray pays attention to every little detail and leaves no space bare without purpose. I discovered a tooled line on the top lip of a leather covered tray on a clamshell box!


    After those three exciting presentations we were eager for dinner, which was served up by a local catering business run by two sisters. Once we took our last bites of decadent chocolate cake, chatter soon arose about the possibility of seeing the Northern lights. We took a short walk out to an open field and patiently waited until a blanket of stars. Sadly, we never saw any sign of the Northern lights and headed back to the lodge to rest after our first day of the conference. (Although some of us were lucky to see a few good shooting stars!)

  7. My Hand // Boxes for Laura Davidson

    September 19, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson

    A while back, I had the chance to interview the artist Laura Davidson as a part of my Book Artist of the Month series. Since then, Laura and I have stayed in contact with each other, which has given me the opportunity to view some of her works in their various stages. Most recently Laura completed a set of prints illustrating various bridges across the country. These six bridges were chosen due to their close proximity to the many spaces Laura views as home. The act of crossing these bridges, Laura is filled with the anticipation of almost being home, therefore, the set of prints are aptly titled Almost Home.


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson

    Laura presented me with the opportunity to build an edition of boxes to house the prints from her Almost Home series. I was quite elated. I’ve really enjoyed Laura’s work and was excited to be working with her. Laura knew she wanted a clamshell box, something sleek and clean. I’m came by her studio and we discussed material options and how the prints would fit in the box.

    After everything was settled and the materials were ordered, I began working on the small edition of 8 clamshell boxes. Clamshell boxes are pretty straight forward, but with Laura’s boxes I would be adding a few custom elements. First, the base of the interior tray would include some padding. The prints themselves had no discernible thickness, but Laura wanted the box to be at least ½” thick.  So the outward appearance of the box was the right height for Laura and the interior height of the tray was right for the prints.

    Once the binders board was cut and the trays were assembled, it was time to cover them. Laura chose silver Canapetta cloth for its durability and textural qualities. The color also complimented the prints and the industrial feel of bridges. To streamline the process I used a small paint roller and paint tray filled with PVA.


    The second custom element came as the material used on the lining of the trays. Laura provided me with 8 sheets of hand-drawn decorative paper. Using a combination of ink and markers, Laura’s custom lining paper pulled imagery from the prints and grabbed colors from the boxes and brown wrapper. Below is an image of one of the finished boxes showcasing the lining.


    Finally, it was time to make the cases, which were also covered in silver Canapetta cloth. Before covering, however, I had to create a label well on the front cover board and the spine piece. Each of these wells would be filled with a printed label that Laura had provided me. I also used a paint roller to streamline the process of making the cases.


    The hand-printed label on the front cover is an ‘A’ both acting as the support beams of the bridge and the first letter to the title of the series. The label on the spine came from extra prints from the series. Laura artistically cut down the print to isolate some compelling and inciting imagery.

    It was quite a joy to create these boxes and to work for an artist as talented as Laura!


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


  8. Free Shipping at Herringbone Bindery Etsy – Celebrate National Read a Book Day

    September 5, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    Just in time for the school year, grab yourself a new journal or notepad. Celebrate the book this weekend for National Read a Book Day at my Herringbone Bindery Etsy shop and receive free shipping on all orders of $10 or more. Just enter code: READABOOK10 at checkout. Have a wonderful and book-worthy weekend.

  9. Swell Things No. 15

    August 31, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    1. This is just a wonderful animation from Lucrece Andreae. It puts a bit of humor into flash dating.
    2. #5DaysOfPreservation is a project by Kevin Driedger, who invited any institution or individual to post images over a 5 day period depicting preservation. Thus creating a catalog of images for a deeper understanding of the variety of processes and skills involved.
    3. Rachel Niffeneger is an extremely talented artist and one that I’m proud to have met during our undergraduate studies at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. Some of her most recent work can be seen here. Although her figures are gruesomely painted, Rachel’s use of pastel and bright colors creates a wonderful juxtaposition.
    4. Massive yet delicate paper sculptures by Peter Gentenaar.
    5. Amalgamated is a collection of vases designed and constructed by Studio Markunpoika. Each vase is comprised of several pencils glued together at each facet and then shaped using a lathe revealing the inner structure of each pencil and different points creating unique patterns.


    6. Book artist Jen Bervin found inspiration in the imitable Anni Albers. In Draft Notation, Jen recreates weaving patterns through the use of a typewriter, which is commonly done by weavers and documented in Anni Albers’ On Weaving.
    7. Breakbot’s music video for Baby I’m Yours featuring Irfane, is a watercolor animation. Each frame is hand-painted one by one. I’m continuously amazed at the lengths people will go to create a unique music video.
    8. So I’ve mentioned this video before, but it’s just too cool. Metal band Throne created an animated music video for their song Tharsis Sleeps. Each frame was machine-embroidered and are up for sale through their website. This video was made possible through a successful Kickstarter campaign.
    9. The MTA Zine Residency organized a group of participants to ride the F train for hours, creating content for a zine that would be printed and published and later put up for sale. The organizers of the residency are a librarian and an archivist working at Barnard College library, which holds the largest collection of zines in an academic library.
    10. Until a few months ago, Lilli Carré, existed in my mind as a talented graphic novelist. I’ve recently discovered that her talents expand into a variety of other mediums such as ceramics, film and illustration (outside the book format). You can check out her work here.


  10. Conservation Conversations // An Additional Form of Documentation

    August 26, 2014 by Lauren Schott

    No one likes to think about all the little things (or, heaven forbid!, big things) that can go wrong as we work on our conservation projects. We are trained professionals. Our hands are steady. Our minds are sharp. And yet, as we work, any number of things could go wrong. A hand may slip as we lift adhered materials; a fragment may fall to the floor and crumble into a thousand irretrievable pieces. It’s sometimes intimidating to think about, but we all know in the back of our minds the myriad things that could go wrong.

    This, of course, is why we take the preliminary photos so often considered as “simply routine.” With them, we preserve a record of what the book once was. Imperfect though they may be, photographic evidence is better than no evidence at all. But what if a photograph doesn’t show just what we were hoping?

    I recently had the opportunity to fulfill the role of the William Reese Fellow at Rare Book School in Charlottesville, VA. The fellowship provided a week of class for a week of service to RBS. In my case, specifically, I acted as an on-site conservator for some of their most in-need collections. The class I took was Jan Storm Van Leeuwen’s “Introduction to the History of Bookbinding,” which coincidentally was the same class attended by Erin Fletcher, the proprietor of this blog. The conservation projects were wide and varied, as RBS’s large collection is intended for teaching students of the book with countless focuses and interests.

    One of the books I was presented with was a first edition of Joel Barlow’s The Columbiad—A Poem. Of course, RBS valued this copy not only for its edition, but for its binding. The binding was original; in full calf, decorated in gold and blind tooling, it was an exquisite example of early American deluxe binding.

    The upper board was entirely detached, and the bottom was in imminent danger of becoming so. The tight back spine was cracked and suffered redrot, and it was evident that a leather reback was necessary to preserve the book’s utility to the school. The danger of this treatment, of course, is that, should anything go wrong with lifting the spine, its beautiful panel tooling might be lost.

    I photographed the book before commencing work, documenting individual tools as well as the overall patterns in which they were used, and then I began.

    First, of course, was consolidating with redrot cocktail, a combination of SC6000 and Klucel G. This in and of itself revealed a new element to the book. With the darkened leather characteristic of redrot cocktail, blind tooling was revealed on the spine where originally it had appeared as an empty intermediary panel. I re-photographed the spine to document this tool, but it was difficult to make out even with a naked eye, let alone through the lens of my camera.


    I then realized I could make use of one of the techniques taught to me in Van Leeuwen’s class. This is something Van Leeuwen made use of frequently in his time as Keeper of the Book at the Dutch Royal Library in the Hague, and which I now hope to employ more regularly in my documentation. In short, he took rubbings of the decorative covers of the library’s books.

    Van Leeuwen uses an artist’s soft graphite pencil and a light wove paper he commissioned specially for the practice. He lays the paper over the area to be documented, plants one hand firmly to keep the assembly in place, and begins his work. Holding the pencil at a nearly 45 degree angle, he rubs gently horizontally, vertically, and to every angle. He changes the angle of the pencil as he works to capture the specific aspects he wishes to be revealed in the tooling, sometimes circling the pencil, sometimes pressing harder or softer. Varied depths and lacework lines reveal themselves in great detail as he works, rendering a copy in shades of black and white of the book’s decoration. Van Leeuwen takes care to note the book being documented, to what portions of the book each image belongs, as well as the date and the taker of the rubbing to provide a good record for researchers.


    It was with great excitement that I was able to use this technique in a real-life situation so shortly after having learned it. I experimented with various tissues intended for repair. Their soft texture and flexibility offered a good medium for capturing the imagery of the tooling that the camera would not. It took several trials to find a suitable paper that would provide the suppleness to sink into the tooling, yet not tear with the use of the graphite pencil, but once the proper paper was found and the rubbing taken, the image of the tool was revealed in greater detail even than could be seen simply by the eye. A satisfying result indeed!


    Having taken the rubbing, I faced the spine with solvent set tissue, lifted it in one solid piece, performed the reback, readhered it, and once again removed the tissue. In all, the added precautions of taking the rubbing were not strictly necessary, but it was a reassuring way to expiate the danger of losing this piece of early American tooling in its entirety.