Friday, May 28, 2010

Craftsmanship on Govenor's Island

It was a great event, the show will remain open to the public on the weekends through June.
I've included a link to the site , and the pictures came courtesy of Mindy Belhoff at Intima Press

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wrenching Times - finished

My first design binding since 2004, and my first one that is match ready!

Binding in black goatskin, unsupported french link with secondary sewing.
Inays of dyed goat, printed with half-tone images taken from the library of congress depicting iconic images from the american civil war.
Tooled lines in black across the exterior and interior of the book in the form of crucifixes.
Hand dyed and printed ends and doublures, again depicting intimate portraits of the the true, sometimes overlooked and personal cost of conflict.

The book is part of a larger exhibition on Governor's Island , in conjunction with LVMH and sponsored by the New York Times, and will be open to the public during the month of June.

Details to follow......

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Marquetry and bindings of Alain Taral-le deuxieme jour!!

So I was lucky enough to sit in on visits to the Metropolitan Museum, and the Morgan Library , with Alain Taral and Laurence Fayard.
Mindy Dubansky was gracious, considering the recent upheaval of rennovations to the conservation dept.,and totally engaged with the work.Mindy has worked at the Met for 27 years, and in so doing has an extensive knowledge of collections, history, and art. The meeting was informative, for me anyway, because I got to learn about "xylothek" for the first time,  or wooden libraries, an example of which can be found in germany, and which she was able to print out some information on the spot.
If you want to know is the homework.

wooden library

Alain also demonstrated his limp veneer bindings, where movement was obtained in the veneer, by cutting strips and laminating them side-by-side,at which point Mindy made the very clever point that in his strips, and hinges, Alain had managed to bring flexibility to material that does not naturally have any.
The staff were suitably impressed with his work, Jae Carey was particularly pleased in light of her recent studies over the years of the piano hinge

The photograph shows an animated Mindy talking of xylotheks!!

Next came a trip to the Morgan Library, where again I was lucky enough to tag along, any excuse really to see the fabulous facilities in the conservation dept., and also the Magna Carta in Mr.Morgan's library, complete with silk walls, and secret staircases!!!Maria Fredericks was able bring an historical context, by showing an example of a renaissance(perhaps Maria could offer some clarification on that later)illuminated book, that had a later metal binding, complete with metal hinges, that worked in a similar fashion.Interestingly, the book was attached by means of a metal rod laced through a hollow in a fabric covering at the spine.

Both visits brought a closer critical understanding of how the bindings work.The book is essentially sewn on tapes, no adhesive is used on the text-block, and the book is attached to the binding by means of suede flap, wrapped around the binding(not glued to the spine),and glued to the fly leaves of the endpaper.The suede is then able to be glued to the solid wood spine, leaving a hollow when the book is flexed.
Thankyou to all who were able to take part.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Marquetry and bindings of Alain Taral

It was my good fortune recently at the Grolier club in town, to meet among others the winner of the 2009 International Bookbinding competition, Alain Taral.It was my further good fortune to arrange a meeting at the bindery today through his student, artist and interpreter Laurence Fayard.After studying with Alain, she is learning more about bookbinding, and working on startin up on her own in 2011.
It was a great opportunity to see a completely different style and approach to binding, and its always nice to meet other binders anyway.
Alain started binding in Toulon in 1989.A client had asked for a binding using wood, and so began his career, perfecting his solid wood, and veneer bindings, complete with the most exquisite inlaying and marquetry.
Its all about the hinge...a kind of piano hinge built around metal rods, or pins.

He first produced a small box, with the first incarnation of the hinge...this he said was suitable for making boxes for documents that were not be touched.
The second incarnation is the hinge style he uses for design bindings, impressive still.
The third hinge , was truly a marvel...double hinged with 2 pins per joint,and butterfly clasps, giving the opening a kind double-jointed action.This example was reserved for special bindings for important conservation work.
We talked for 2 hrs at great length about all kinds of stuff !....the one thing that did stick out , was his statement that he had know idea why???leather became so popular and wooden bindings faded, and that it would seem counter-intuitive.
It would seem, the arc of bookbinding archaeology may be reversing, and some would say, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.

A link is included for his winning binding, and the show is open to the should all check it out.