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Award Mention: Lang Ingalls

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International Miniature Bookbinding Competition 2017

Stitching Handboekbinden (the Dutch Handbookbinding Foundation) & Museum Meermanno the Hague, the Netherlands

The Island. Geert Mak. Illustrations by Max Kisman.
            (The Hague, Netherlands: Stitchting Handboekbinden, 2016.)
            Edition of 700 for the International Miniature Bookbinding Competition 2016/2017.
            Translation by Liz Waters.
            54 x 75 x 13mm
 Bound reliure à cru in red goatskin, in miniature. Design elements include leather endbands and black Strathmore pastedowns and flyleaves. Untitled & unsigned. Bound in 2017.

The design is developed from the stories of all the different people moving to The Island of Amsterdam: a progression on the verso that marches toward a cluster on the recto.

Lang Ingalls
Post Office Box 2090, Crested Butte, CO, 81224, USA

*I attended the opening of the exhibition 'Xtra Small' at the Meermanno Museum — or Museum of the Book — on the first of October, 2017. There was an awards ceremony prior to the opening of the exhibition in a separate library room where the walls were made of shelved books. I was awarded first prize, a delight and surprise, as no one in the room knew the winners except the organizers (and myself, but they had asked me to stay quiet on this). 'Xtra Small' is the exhibition of all 155 bindings from the competition.

Submissions arrived for this competiton from around the world. Each binder was required to follow the Bondy norm (a technical maximum), the resulting books being no larger than 76.2mm in any one measurement. The variety submitted was truly spectacular, with variants in structure, technique and concept — and all on the same textblock. To add to this display, the Meermanno filled three adjacents rooms with miniature and micro-mininature bindings from their permanent collection. The whole was a breath-taking experience for me.

I note that one of the finest parts of the entire undertaking was a sense of cooperation amongst different groups. The Stitching Handboekbinden, the hand bookbinders of the Netherlands group, partnered with the Meermanno Museum and its staff, as well as with the publisher De Buitenkant to bring this enterprise to realization. The binders could opt (at registration) to donate their submission, which would become part of the permanent collection at the Meermanno; 80% of the submissions agreed to do this. I met the publisher, the author of the textblock and the staff of the museum and many from the bookbinding group — everyone simply celebrates “small things” in the Netherlands, and a palpable sense of cooperation brings it all together, including from the binders.