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.


Anonymous said...

I was quite startled this morning when a friend in Alaska emailed me that photo of us all at the MMA! (You can run but you can't hide.) You clearly have a wide following, Gavin.
Thanks for setting it up and look forward to seeing your civil war book on the island.

Paper Dragon Books said...

ha...alaska eh?yes, i have followers in malaysia!!!
great to meet you henry, stop by the bindery.