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Posts Tagged ‘american academy of bookbinding’

  1. October // Bookbinder of the Month: Tini Miura

    October 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    LaCreationBlue-TiniMiura

    La Création (from the Old Testament) is a two volume set and was bound two ways by Tini Miura in 1983. The book itself was published in Paris in 1928 and includes illustrations by François-Louis Schmied. The first book is bound in dark blue morocco. The explosive design was created by using a large collection of colored onlays and platinum tooling. The central design of concentric circles symbolizes the calmness amongst darkness and chaos. Click on the image below to see a detailed image of the design.

    LaCreationBlue5-TiniMiura

    The doublures are a pale blue morocco with cool-colored onlays and platinum tooling. The fly leaf is one of her recognizable oleaugraphs (more on that in the interview below).

    LaCreationRed-TiniMiura

    The second binding in La Création is equally expressive, but designed in a warmer palette eluding to the birth of life. This binding contains the suite of illustrations by F.L. Schmied in black and white and is bound in a wine colored morocco. An impressive collection of onlays create the pictorial design along with another explosive central design similar to the first binding. Small tooled shapes are speckled across the background and emphasized with gold and red foils.

    LaCreationRed3-TiniMiura

    The doublures are created in a similar fashion to the other binding using pink morocco and onlays in rose. The tooling is completed with gold foil.

    I think it can be tricky to create a cohesive and attractive design when adding multiple layers of color and tooled elements. Your interpretations of La Création are an example of when this design strategy is successful. When you are building designs this complex, where do you begin? Can you walk through your process for laying out your designs in leather?
    I saw the image in my mind and understood this was from the old testament: In the beginning………The word created the vibrations which are spreading throughout our universe.

    1. I begin with the idea sketch, indicate colors, shapes etc.
    2. make a scale to scale drawing, indicate numbers of lines and curves from the set of the gilding tools
    3. transfer this design onto a long fiber Japanese paper
    4. attach this Japanese paper
    5. begin the tracing using my warm tools through the paper
    6. remove the paper, begin deepen the impressions
    7. moisten parts of the leather, using a warm gilding tool “ crushing” the deep leather grain to a solid line by gradually increasing the temperature and pressure. ( to have an uninterrupted gold line all grain has to be “ crushed “ to a level where no hight differences exist.)
    8. onlay: thinly pared leather is wetted, placed over the shape it is meant for, tapped down by using a soft brush as not to tear or stretch the shape, using a warm gilding tool follow the lines, remove the leather, let dry between board, when dry, cut desired shape holding a penknife at an 45 degree angle. Roughen the form on the original leather on the book with dull side of binders knife for a better hold. Paste out the onlay, wet the roughened shape, paste onlay. down. Press under a thin Japanese paper with fingers or flat hand, pick up excess paste, trace outlines, let dry under weight.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Tini Miura became a household name during my time at the North Bennet Street School. Our instructor, Jeff Altepeter, was taught by her while at the American Academy of Bookbinding and so her techniques would emerge into demonstrations every once in a while. For the interview this month, I’m going to be mainly focusing on bindings from her book A Master’s Bibliophile Bindings: Tini Miura 1980 – 1990. This book was my first exposure to her work and when I first fell for her expressive and colorful designs. Tini has had a long and prolific career as a binder and teacher, so I hope you enjoy her responses on those experiences.

    Check out the interview after the jump and make sure you come back during the month of October for even more enlightening responses regarding a selection of Tini’s work. You can get email reminders by subscribing to the blog, just click here.

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  2. May // Bookbinder of the Month: Monique Lallier

    May 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    DrawingsOfCaravaggio-MoniqueLallier

    This stunning binding was created by Monique Lallier almost ten years ago. Yet the design appears so fresh and relevant to the experimentations happening with contemporary design bindings. When you land on Monique’s website, this is the binding you are greeted with and it will, no doubt, cause you to click through every single page of the gallery. The Drawings of Caravaggio by Ally Jones was bound in full scarlet leather in the French technique. The boards have been cut to reveal the red suede fly leaves through a collection of wires that have been embedded into the thickness of the board. Straddled around the top edge of the cut-out is an onlay of snakeskin. 

    The book is housed in a box covered in black silk with matching red and snakeskin onlays.

    If I remember correctly you told me that this is one of the first bindings you completed and that it is still your favorite. I love this binding as well for many reasons: the use of bright colors, contrasting textures from the goatskin, suede flyleaves and snakeskin onlay and the inclusion of a window cut-out of the cover. This window element is peppered throughout your portfolio. What does this element bring to your designs and why do you keep coming back to it?
    This binding was done in 2005. I had done the “window element” before to give space for an agate in 1985, so I suppose it evolved to an opening that was not totally filled-in like The Fables of Aesop where I have wires imbedded in the thickness of the front board and you see, through the opening to the lion stamped on the leather fly leave, or this Caravaggio, also with wires imbedded in the thickness of the boards. It was done in an advanced class for AAB (American Academy of Bookbinding) and I wanted to show the students how to line the thickness of the boards with black leather in this case.

    I suppose I keep coming back to it because I like the effect of “seeing through”, like in Les Sonnets (shown below) where the boards, the covering leather and the leather doublures are all cut out. In this case, it was to illustrate how Les Sonnets have an impression on you. (More images on this binding later!)

    LesSonnets4-MoniqueLallier

    Monique’s work is awe-inspiring. Not only do I find her bindings to be so, but also her involvement in the bookbinding community.  Our community and the craft of bookbinding thrives when talented and dedicated people like Monique become teachers. Between my first and second year at North Bennet Street School, I jumped at the opportunity to take a week-long private workshop with Monique at her home in North Carolina, where I absorbed everything she had to offer (no doubt an infinitesimal amount to the vast knowledge she holds).

    I’m really honored that Monique agreed to be interviewed for my blog, which she has complimented me about several times. So without furthering gushing, please enjoy the interview after the jump. Stay updated with posts by signing up for an email subscription. Since Monique has an ample collection of work, each week I’ll be showcasing multiple bindings including a few newly bound and unseen works!

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  3. March // Bookbinder of the Month: Lang Ingalls

    March 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    LaCouleurDuVent-Lang Ingalls

    At this point I think it’s safe to say that I have found the recent ARA-Canada exhibition La Couleur du Vent to be filled with many beautiful and inspiring bindings. This particular binding was created by Lang Ingalls and is the fourth binding from the exhibition to be featured on the blog (the other three: Sonya Sheats, Coleen Curry and Karen Hanmer).

    So in case you missed those three posts I highly recommend you check them out after reading this one, but first let me summarize the exhibit. This international design binding exhibition was put together by ARA-Canada in partnership with École Estienne in Paris. The exhibition started in 2013 in Paris before traveling to Quebec then Montreal (which ended on February 28th). The show will continue to travel during this year, showing in Trois-Rivières from March to April. La Couleur du Vent is a collection of poems by Gilles Vigneault, illustrated and designed by Nastassja Imiolek under the artistic direction of Cécile Côté.

    Let’s get back to Lang’s binding. The set text is bound in the French technique using sea foam blue goatskin. On the front cover are inlays of python and lizard. A series of irregular shapes are tooled blind and span across the full length of the binding with the title also tooled blind on the spine. What I love most about this binding (besides the superb color choices) is the bold inclusion of the spine. Lang so wonderfully highlights the material and uses the natural elements of the leather to create an even more compelling design.

    This binding is stunning. The design you’ve created really celebrates the natural qualities of the materials. Can you talk about your concept behind the design?
    I bought the python and lizard used for the inlays in Paris years ago, but really love the texture and color of them — I tend to make monochromatic color choices in my books, this one is an example of that.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I chose to interview Lang for a few different reasons. Her work has been and continues to display thoughtful experimentation and courage with her materials. Her designs continue to engage and perplex me. She’s also just a wonderful person to be around. Lang is part of a handful of people I look forward to seeing once a year at the Guild of Book Workers Standard of Excellence Conference. Lastly, Lang’s educational experiences have greatly differed from my own. Since graduating from North Bennet Street School and having the opportunity to study with various guest instructors I’ve come to value the importance of creating what Lang describes as a ‘tool box’: gathering techniques on structures and decoration from binders with various talents and backgrounds.

    After the jump is my interview with Lang, it discusses heavily her varied educational experiences. Every Sunday this month I will feature some more of Lang’s bindings, so don’t forget to email subscribe and receive reminders when posts go live. You won’t want to miss out!

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  4. December // Bookbinder of the Month: Karen Hanmer

    December 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    booksspeakplain1-karenhanmer

    The Midwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers recently revealed the exhibitors for a traveling exhibition called Plainly Spoken, which celebrates Books Will Speak Plain, a comprehensive survey of historical bindings by Julia Miller. Amongst the highly skilled and wide variety of bindings is a cutaway model by Karen Hanmer

    Karen bound her copy of Books Will Speak Plain as a traditional fine binding, sewn on flattened cords with laced-in boards. Partially covered in a beautiful light blue goatskin, otherwise hidden elements of the structure stay visible in this cutaway model. Tooling is done in blind and 23kt. gold foil to emphasize the location of sewing supports and lacing-on in addition to turn-ins, fills, sanding of the boards and formation of corners. The use of tooling as both an aesthetic treatment and as visual aid is just brilliant!

    booksspeakplain2-karenhanmerbooksspeakplain4-karenhanmer

    Although the book may appear to be incomplete, it includes all the necessary details that make a book a fine binding. The headbands are hand sewn using silk thread and the head edge is sponged with acrylic inks and sprinkled with gold leaf. The inside continues with the cutaway theme showing off the leather hinge, marbled paper endpapers, fills and corners. 

    booksspeakplain5-karenhanmer

    How did you approach this cutaway binding? Did you study Mark Esser’s models at the University of Iowa?
    I’ve made a lot of partially-finished models. They’re useful for teaching and help me remember process. But cutaways are something different since they appear unfinished and fully complete at the same time. Peter Verheyen has loaned me his springback cutaways several times, and I used them for reference when making my first cutaways. I’d admired Mark Esser’s two cutaway fine bindings in the University of Iowa’s online collection for a long time and was able to spend time with them on two trips to Iowa City this spring.

    I was able to use my design binding on Books Will Speak Plain twice this fall: for both an online exhibit of cutaways, and in a traveling set book exhibition. For the latter I added tooling to reference the binding process: the sewing supports and lacing, the turn-ins and fills, and the board-shaping.

    – – – – 

    The online exhibit that Karen mentioned above, is an annual themed exhibit held by the Book Arts Web called Bind-O-Rama. For 2013, the theme was historical cutaway models. The online exhibit can be viewed here

    Although I don’t know Karen very well (yet), she’s been incredibly sweet and supportive of my work. I first met Karen at her bindery in Glenview, Illinois. My friend, Anna, and I were in town for an exhibition at the Chicago Public Library; where both Karen and I had bindings on display. Since then I’ve kept in touch with Karen, leaning on her from time to time when I needed help. 

    I’ve had two opportunities to watch her work, which is quite fun. Once when she came to North Bennet Street School to teach us the flag book structure and most recently during the Standards of Excellence 2013 conference in Washington, DC. I hope to have more opportunities like this in the future. 

    After the jump is a wonderfully thoughtful interview with Karen, where she shares her experiences with bookbinding, teaching and marketing. Come back each Sunday during the month of December for more in-depth posts on Karen’s work in the field of bookbinding and artist books. 

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  5. July // Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    lacouleurduvent-coleencurry

    Coleen Curry was amongst the talented bookbinders who participated in the ARA-Canada exhibit La Couleur du Vent, an international design binding exhibition starting in Paris before traveling to Quebec in September 2013 and then Montreal in November 2013. La Couleur du Vent is a collection of poems by Gilles Vigneault, illustrated and designed by Nastassja Imiolek under the artistic direction of Cécile Côté. If it sounds familiar, I posted about this exhibition during last month’s interview with Sonya Sheats

    Coleen bound this copy of La Couleur du Vent as a ‘Montage sur onglets’ style so the prints would not get lost in the gutter. The term ‘Montage sur onglets’ refers to the signatures being sewn on stubs to release them from the confines of the gutter and offering a less restricted opening. Sewn on cords with laced-in boards, the book is bound in red water buffalo with chartreuse water buffalo edge to edge doublures. Exotic leather inlays of varying depths decorate the front and back covers. Title tooled with gold foil. The flyleaves are decorated papers made by Coleen. 

    A brief explanation about the design from Coleen:
    The colors match the prints in the book.  I took some of the shapes from the prints and altered them to create a feeling of blowing in the wind and to create movement.

    lacouleurduvent2-coleencurry lacouleurduvent3-coleencurry

    Coleen’s work has been on my radar ever since I came across her binding of Toni Morrison’s A Mercy at the Chicago Public Library’s exhibition One Book, Many Interpretations in 2011. I attended the opening reception not only because I love design bindings, but to see my own binding of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. This was the first time I had a binding on exhibit and I was quite honored to be on display with so many other talented binders.

    A Mercy by Toni Morrison bound by Coleen Curry

    A Mercy by Toni Morrison bound by Coleen Curry

    Coleen’s work masterfully mixes traditional leathers with some non-traditional textures such as exotic leathers, agate, and horsetail (to name a few). But I am more attracted to Coleen’s brilliant use of color; either by adding pops of color, subtle hints or just out-right all-over bold color palettes. 

    Read the interview after the jump and come back each Sunday in the month of July to view more gems from Coleen’s portfolio.

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  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher and I live in Boston working as a Bookbinder.  This blog is an extension of Herringbone Bindery where I can share my inspirations with you.
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