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Posts Tagged ‘hand bookbinders of california’

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

    December 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

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    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!

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    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. 

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

    July 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

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    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.

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    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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