Guild of Book Workers Newsletter 118













Hello, and welcome to summer! You readers will never know how close I came to never writing a ‘From The President’ column again; you see, in late May while on vacation in South Carolina, I was involved in a bad high-speed head-on collision on the highway with an out-of-control car. I am happy to say that I and my grown son were able to walk away with no broken bones, just massive bruises, bumps, cuts and such. Treated at the hospital and released the same day. Thanks to seat belts, air bags, and a big heavy Lincoln, I am alive to write this column. Thanks to my ‘guardian angel’ I’ll have to keep meeting those newsletter deadlines after all.

Speaking of guardian angels and the like, did you know that the book arts community has a number of patron saints looking after them? Regardless of any religious persuasion, I hope you will find the following of interest:

All bookbinders are looked after by Saint Peter Celestine, founder of the Benedictine Celestines and pretty much the official Patron Saint to Bookbinders. Celestine was born in Isernia, Abruzzi, Italy in 1215 as Pietro Angeleri. He was a deeply religious man, became a Benedictine at age 16, then lived in various hermitages for a number of years. When he became a priest in 1238 in Rome, he received permission from Pope Gregory IX to continue with his hermit lifestyle. He lived in a cave, didn’t drink wine, didn’t eat meat and did four penitence periods a year. Celestine loved the life of a hermit and spent his days in prayer, field works and the copying of sacred text.

As time progressed, Peter began building oratories and monasteries around Abruzzi, and is responsible for the building of the church of St. Mary of Collemaggio in L’Aquila, always living his pious hermits’ lifestyle. In 1294, at the age of 79, the twelve elector cardinals of the Catholic church proposed Peter for candidature and, almost against his wishes, he was elected 192nd pope, being crowned in the very church he had built with his Benedictine Celestine followers. Peter, taking the name Celestine V was ill suited for the role of pope, and so lousy at the job by his own admission that he became the first pope in history to voluntarily abdicate, asking pardon for his many mistakes. He resigned the papacy within five months of his election to try to return to his beloved hermit life.

Although he wished to retire to a monastery, where he hoped to remain in hiding, his successor Pope Boniface VIII, fearing a schism amongst avid Celestine followers, had him captured and kept Peter imprisoned at the castle of Fumone, near Ferentino. Since Peter loved the simple life of a hermit, it is believed that he was not particularly upset by his confinement. But, he was to remain at the castle in honorable confinement from the time of his resignation as pope in 1294 until his death on May 19, 1296.

In 1313, seventeen years after his death, Peter Celestine was canonized and he is widely admired for his simple, pious acts. But perhaps because of his love of the sacred texts he often copied, his patronage was assigned to bookbinders who celebrate his Feast Day on May 19 each year. Several Catholic churches here in the United States bear his name, one of which is located in Celestine, Indiana. Imagine an entire town named after the patron saint of bookbinders! The name Celestine has been chosen in various forms as a bindery name for several of our members, and yes, there is even a book (The Celestine Prophecy) bearing his name!

So, the next time something goes ‘just right’, remember, it just might be Saint Celestine, looking over your shoulder. Maybe he was looking over mine last month.

Karen L. Crisalli, President

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1998 Standards of Excellence Scholarship

The Guild of Book Workers will offer three scholarships to the 1998 Standards of Excellence Seminar in Greensboro, North Carolina. These scholarships consist of a waiver of registration fees and four nights lodging at The Hilton Greensboro. The scholarship pays for lodging only and does not include travel, meals, phone calls, movie rentals or any other room service. Applicants must have been a Guild member for two years. They must collect two letters of reference from either clients or instructors and make a brief statement as to why they wish to attend this year’s Standards. Recipients are responsible for their transportation to and from the Standards and must make their own reservations at the hotel. The scholarship committee consists of the chapter chairpersons, who review all the applications (with the applicants names concealed) and make three recommendations.

Everyone in the Guild is eligible except for previous recipients please. Not that many have applied. This is your chance to come to the best event the Guild of Book Workers holds. The application is in this issue of the newsletter with the Standards of Excellence registration forms. The deadline for application is August 15, 1997, so start getting those references together. Send applications to the Scholarship Committee C/O Cris Clair Takacs, 112 Park Avenue, Chardon, OH 44024-1331. For more information call 440-286-9773 or e-mail:

Call for Donations

The entries for the Guild of Book Workers 1998 exhibit ‘Abecedaries’ were juried at the end of May and the letters with the results were sent. We are looking forward to a wonderful show that will travel to six venues through out the US during 1999. These include the Greensboro Public Library (opening in October in conjunction with the Standards meeting); Bienes Center for the Literary Arts at Broward County Library in Ft. Lauderdale, FL; The Newberry Library in Chicago; Ohio University Library, Athens; the Denver Pubic Library, and Denison Library at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

An exciting catalogue is in the works. As we have done in the past, we are asking our members and suppliers to donate funds to help underwrite the cost of producing this catalogue. While the design time and some materials are donated, it is a huge expense to print. Your help will be gratefully received and recognized. Thanks in advance for your support for this important publication. Please send your donation to Barbara Lazarus Metz, 1420 West Irving Park, Chicago, IL 60613


Supply Directory

The Guild of Book Workers Supply Directory is now on-line. Peter Verheyen has put the Supply Directory on the web at

Digital GBW Newsletter

Eric Alstrom has volunteered to compile the GBW Newsletters for the web. Inquires about the web version of the Newsletter can be sent to: Eric Alstrom at [Web Ed. note: Eric Alstrom's email address is now]

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The California Chapter met on May 24th at the home of Michelle Cloonan and Sidney Berger to view their large collection of decorated paper. On June 6th, members attended a Book Arts Fair at Dawson’s Book Shop held by the Alliance for Contemporary Book Arts (ACBA). On June 5th, Gloria Stuart, of Impreta Glorias Press, and Oscar nominee for "Titanic," spoke at a reception at Dawson’s. On July 7th they plan a trip to the James Copley Library in La Jolla, a private library collection of Fine Press books which includes books by Susanne Moore, Don Glaister, and the complete collection of Claire Van Vliet’s Janus Press. Eleanore Ramsey will give a two-day workshop August 15-16 at Katercraft Bookbinders on onlays and tooling.

The Potomac Chapter nominated officers at their April meeting for election on May 13. Unopposed were the following: President: Nancy Lev-Alexander; Secretary: John Bertonaschi; Treasurer: Atalanta Grant-Suttie. Choices for Program Chair: Mary Parke-Johnson or Co-Chairs: Erin Loftus and Jeanne Drewes. At the April meeting Linda Stiber and Elissa O’Laughlin gave a one-hour summary of their tape removal course. The Chapter is sponsoring a two-day workshop on Adhesive Binding by Peter Jermann on August 13-14 at Johns Hopkins University.

The New England Chapter held their Spring Meeting on May 9th in the Burns Library at Boston College. Sally Key, Instructor in Bookbinding at North Bennet Street School, discussed the construction of model historic bindings and Dr. Bernard Meaghan, Keeper of the Manuscripts at Trinity College, Dublin, talked about the materials used in the manufacture of the Book of Kells. Mark Esser gave a tour of the Burns Library conservation lab.

The New York Chapter visited Dobbin Mill on May 31st, starting with a Polish breakfast, followed by tours of Dobbin Mill/Dobbin Books, Carriage House Papers, and Peter Kruty Editions, all in Brooklyn. The chapter is calling for replacements for the Co-Chairs, Ursula Mitra and Solveig Schumann, who are ending their second two-year term. Volunteers! Volunteers!

The Rocky Mountain Chapter and the Colorado Calligraphers Guild are exhibiting jointly until July 3 in the Denver Public Library.

The Midwest Chapter’s Annual Meeting took place May 22-23 at Jim Downey’s studio in Columbia, Missouri, with a tour of Jo Stealy’s papermaking facility and hands-on sessions on Turkish Paper Marbling by Jim Downey and Tunnel Bookmaking by Annie Tremmel Wilcox. Cris Clair Takacs stepped down as Midwest Chair after six years. She has been replaced by Co-Chairs Annie Tremmel Wilcox and Gabrielle Fox-Butler as of January 1. Annie Wilcox said, "Cris Takacs did so much for the Midwest Chapter during her enthusiastic tenure as Chair, it will take at least two people to replace her. I think Gabrielle Fox and I are up to the job." (N.B. Not one to sit idly by, Cris is now Programs Coordinator for the Midwest Chapter, as well as Scholarship Chairman for the national Guild.)

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Congratulations to Ursula Mitra and Nilo Mitra on the birth of their son, Amitav Matthias! Born Monday, April 20th at 2:44 a.m. 6 lbs 11 oz., 19 1/2 long.

Linda Blaser, book conservator at the Folger Shakespeare Library, entered her Da Vinci book (the Potomac Chapter’s project for the last couple of years) in a national needlework show held in March at Woodlawn Plantations in Alexandria, Va. Her beautifully embroidered covers took second place in "Amateur Adaptations" category. She was awarded a ribbon and a lifetime supply of crewel needles.

Rebecca ShaVer, Full Circle Bindery in Clayton, Missouri, exhibited eight bindings of Jabberwocky printed by eight printers from the St. Louis Letterpress Society for their show "Letterpress in St. Louis: 1898-1998, A Centennial Exhibition." It was on display at the Olin Library, Washington University in St. Louis until May 22. Her binding of French Platitudes on Art was exhibited until May 15 in the annual exhibition of the Embroiderers Guild of America in Cedar Rapids. The full-leather binding’s front panel was embroidered by a member of the E.G.A.

Sherelyn Ogden has published a new book: Preservation Planning: Guidelines for Writing a Long-Range Plan (Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 1997) She is now Director of Field Services at the Upper Midwest Conservation Association in Minneapolis.

John O’Regan completed the bookbinding program at North Bennet Street School in June 1997, worked at the Etherington Conservation Center in North Carolina until February 1998 and is now working as a conservation technician in the new conservation lab in the Harvard College Library in Cambridge, Mass.

Richard Shepherd and his wife Phoebe will be moving from San Jose, California on June 24 to their new home at 230 Golden Eagle Drive, Prescott, AZ 86303. New phone: 520-443-1013.

Roberta Pilette’s phone number was printed incorrectly under News of GBW Members in #117 of the GBW Newsletter. The correct phone number is: 212-930-0864

Peter Verheyen has accepted the position of Archival Product Development Manager/Conservator at Gaylord Bros. in Syracuse. Among his duties will be new archival product development, staffing the "Help Line," and marketing. If anyone has any ideas for new products or suggestions for improving existing products, please let him know. His e-mail address:; tel: 315-457-5070, ext 203; fax: 315-451-4760.

Jocelyn Bergen has accepted the position as Managing Editor of a new company, Octavo Corporation, that is archiving rare books onto CD. Octavo Corporation is a publisher of fine rare books, original manuscripts, and antiquarian printed materials via digital tools and formats. Through partnerships with libraries, museums, and individuals, Octavo actively supports the work of rare book librarians, curators, collectors, and conservators. Photographed at very high resolution, Octavo Editions are fine-tuned, and then released on CD as Adobe PDF files which can be viewed on and printed from many computing platforms. You can view each page and the binding on your computer screen, zoom in to magnify up to 800% in some cases, and copy and paste the searchable "live text" available for selected editions. For more information call 650-470-0150; e-mail:, or visit

Lucy Shropshire Crump 1912 - 1998
"Just before dawn on New Year’s Day Lucy Crump died, in Lexington, Kentucky, from complications from a rare blood disorder." Gabrielle Fox, Bookbinder, in Cincinnati, writes: "She used to need frequent blood transfusions, so that when you wanted to see her she would ask you to call a day ahead to see if the battery was still charged.

"The story I’ve been told by others in the community is that Lucy’s only son died in a tragic boxing accident while in the armed services. Victor and Carolyn Hammer, her neighbors, were producing small editions of letterpress books and, partly out of need for help and partly to take Lucy’s mind off things, they got her involved in helping bind their books. She did some edition work, but her real joy was restoration. This interest extended into the community where she was instrumental in promoting the restoration of old Lexington and she helped form the Blue Grass Trust for Historic Preservation.

"Outside of some initial guidance from Victor Hammer, Lucy was nearly entirely self-taught. She spoke of sending away for anything she could find on bookbinding and then reading late into the evening in an attempt to decipher what was described, and then dreaming about it all night! At some point, Hope Weil traveled to Lexington to give a workshop, but Lucy said she spent most of the time making tea and sandwiches! She always asked about the Guild of Book Workers (she was a member from 1962 to 1969). In her papers I found a copy of an article she had written about Peter Franck for a GBW publication in late 1964 or early 1965 (GBW Journal, Vol. III, No. 1 Fall 1964). It begins with a quote:

‘What glistens is born for the moment,
The genuine will be the heritage of the future.’
- Goethe

"This quotation was on the first page of a monograph by Franck, The Lost Link in the Technique of Bookbinding. It also reflects Lucy’s feelings about her interests and work. ‘Anyone doing restoration work would learn something every day. Each job is different. ...You have to do it honestly, with integrity, with humility.’ Lexington Herald, November 12, 1978.

"In 1991, she decided it was time to give it up. She donated her bindery to Transylvania University, the oldest medical university west of the Alleghenies, which was less than a block from her home. Lucy, her nieces, and many friends made financial donations in memory of Lucy’s sister, Elizabeth Shropshire Addams, especially to the Medical Collection in Special Collections at Transylvania University

"Part of this project was to hire a binder-in-residence and in September 1993 I began commuting several days each week to Lexington from Cincinnati. The position was funded for two years, at which time it was decided that the remaining donations would be better spent by sending out individual pieces for restoration.

"Lucy never meddled, but she kept an eye on things and let you know if she wasn’t pleased! She was straightforward and accomplished a great deal as a result. Lexington will miss her. The bookbinders who knew her will miss the accomplished binder who once described her skill as ‘hard physical work, period. It’s tedious, time consuming, tiring ...but it’s fascinating."

Ann Thornton 1941 - 1998
Guild member Ann Thornton, 57, a skilled binder for over thirty years, died Sunday, June 7, 1998 after a brief bout with cancer. Following her years at a commercial bindery in the Los Angeles area, where she worked her way up from novice to manager, she established The Binding Place in Los Olivos, where she accepted work from a wide geographical area. When the building housing her shop burned down abour 1995, she moved her operation to the modified garage of friends in Solvang but continued producing the excellent work for which she was known. These friends accepted the responsibility of hospice care for her and were at her side when she died. She will be missed. - Charles Schermerhorn, Lompoc

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[Web Ed. Note: Illustrations are not availabe on the web version of the newsletter.]

"P-Circ" Box / Tyvek Temporary Storage Enclosure
Eric Alstrom, Collections Conservator, Ohio University

The "P-Circ" box was created to answer a direct need at Ohio University. When the OhioLINK system, a network of state and private university and college libraries in Ohio, was created, its ultimate goal was to allow the library patron to request items at other Ohio academic libraries and receive these books within two to three days.

Many of these books which were requested were titles held only at Ohio University and of these the majority seemed to be in various stages of disrepair. Rather than delay sending these materials by several days so the repairs could be made, the Preservation Department decided instead to box those materials which, except for a loose cover or torn spine, would otherwise circulate. Of course, requests for books which were too brittle to be handled or were in other ways in very poor condition were rejected and not sent through the OhioLINK (or Interlibrary Loan) system.

The problem was to create a sturdy box which could withstand traveling via an independent courier service, and was not too complex for the library patron (so it would be returned in the same box), and was simple enough to complete in a timely manner (i.e. in the same day it was brought to the Conservation Lab). The result was the "P-Circ" (which stands for Patron Initiated Circulation, the name for OhioLINK’s interlibrary loan system) box. It is basically two pieces of heavy-weight tyvek glued together with a stiffener and then velcroed together for easy fastening. When ever possible, we reuse these boxes. Some of the more popular sizes (such as for trade-paperbacks) have circulated almost a dozen times and still are holding together. The other use for these boxes are for high-demand items in a reserve room setting, which cannot be removed for repair but need some sort of protective enclosure.

I would not recommend these boxes be used in an open stacks area. The box is not designed to stand independently on a shelf. However, for transport or in a controlled stacks area (e.g. a reserve room), the time factor and durability makes these boxes attractive.




• bone folder

• 4-ply or blue-grey board

• straight edge/ruler

• heavy weight tyvek

• board shear (or mat knife)

• velcro coins

• glue brush


1. Cut barrier board to Height by Width of book.

2. Cut two pieces of tyvek. One is the Height of barrier board by 2-1/2 times the Width + 2 times the Thickness. The second is the Width of barrier board by 2-1/2 times the Height + 2 times the Thickness.

3. Glue tyvek to either side of barrier board. Let dry. Crease tyvek along edges of barrier board.

4.Trim corners off of tyvek as illustrated.

5.Insert book, fold over tyvek and attach velcro fasteners so that they fasten down the ends. When reusing the box for books with a different Thickness, attach new velcro fasteners where necessary.

Cased Microclimates: An Alternative to the Clamshell Box
Christopher McAfee

Microclimates are a good and inexpensive way to protect books. They are not, however, the nicest looking boxes. Here is a simple way to improve the appearance of microclimates.

1. Make a case to fit the box just as you would for a flat-spine textblock.

2. Case the box in.

3. Nip the cased box lightly overnight between brass edged boards.

The total time I expend on these boxes, including ordering and constructing the microclimates, is less than 30 minutes per book. This method has been useful to me for two reasons. First, as a library conservator I believe that the better cared for a book looks, the better care the book will receive. Because the cased microclimate looks nicer than the plain microclimate, the book looks better cared for. Second, sometimes a client will want a box to protect a book but they can’t afford a clamshell box and they want something nicer than a microclimate on their shelves. This method offers the client a less expensive but still good looking box.

Joanne Sonnichsen

Fixor is a form of glaire used in gold tooling. The best commercial Fixor comes from the bookbinding-supply establishment, Relma, in Paris, in concentrated form. Because it is light sensitive, it comes in an opaque bottle. It should be stored away from light and heat.

Dilute the Fixor in the proportion 4 parts Fixor to 5 parts distilled water (12 drops of Fixor plus 15 drops of water will last for four or five average titles). If you put the preparation into a glass bottle (with cap), cover the bottle with masking tape to keep out the light. Also, keep the solution out of the light when you are not actually using it - an apron pocket is convenient while you are working.

With a small brush, paint the solution on the bottom of your blind-tooled lines. The leather should be dry. Wait 5 minutes. Then with a barely damp brush, repaint the solution on the blind-tooled lines.. Wait an hour. From this point you may proceed with your gold tooling immediately, or wait hours, days or weeks. While you are waiting for the glaire to dry, and if you don't tool with gold right away, cover the work to avoid dust.

The address for Relma is: 3, rue des Poitevins, 75006 Paris, France. Tel: 01 43 25 40 52; Fax: 01 43 26 52 94.

Rounding Upside Down
Pamela Barrios

Here is a technique for shaping a spine on a very large book. I used it to round a book which was 13 inches tall, 9 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches thick. The first inch of the book had been mended, guarded, and resewn. The rest of the book was solidly sewn, and evenly rounded, but moved quite a bit when the glue was removed from the spine. My problem was to integrate the newly-mended gatherings with the original rounding.

By placing the book on its side in a four-wing nut press (figure 1), I could begin the rounding process, tightening the press enough to hold the top and bottom fairly straight. By turning the book on its spine in the press, I created a very controlled system for rocking the spine (figure 2) into its original round. When the spine was evenly rounded, I tightened the wing nuts near the spine and turned the press over for lining, as shown in figure 3.

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Book Conservator, NEDCC

The Northeast Document Conservation Center is seeking applicants for a full-time Book Conservator position. In addition to treatment of a wide range of bound materials, responsibilities include examination and documentation of materials. Other duties include evaluation of treatment needs of incoming objects, on-site examination of materials to be treated and organization of large projects.

Candidates should have a minimum of four years of book conservation experience or the equivalent. Good writing, verbal and interpersonal skills are essential. Completion of a formal training program, experience in a library setting and knowledge of production methods would all be helpful. Salary is competitive, commensurate with experience and skills. Benefits are excellent. NEDCC is an equal opportunity employer. Send a letter of interest, resume and names of three references to:

Deborah Wender,
Director of Book Conservation
NEDCC, 100 Brickstone Square,
Andover, MA 01810-1494

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Exhibiting and Exhibits

Where to exhibit? Is there funding out there to exhibit? Where are the exhibits, both on-line and off? This is a cursory list of the vast world of "cyberart".

The Art Deadlines List ( is a list, updated monthly, of juried competitions, calls for entries/proposals/papers, contests, job, internships, scholarships, residencies, fellowships, casting calls, auditions, tryouts, grants, festivals, funding, financial aid, and other opportunities for artists, art educators, and art students of all ages. This web page is a sample of what can be paid to receive by email or post. There are listings for all kinds of art here, lots of poetry and dance, but also craft fairs, art exhibits for all media, including a call for small works in New York state, and another for an exhibition of the Monotype Guild of New England members show. There is also a lengthy list of art resources links.

The Craft Fair Guide ( ~paulec/CRAFTLST.HTML) is a searchable database of craft fairs throughout the country. It is divided regionally, then by month and gives the name of the producer with address, dates of the fair and booth fees. There is also space for comments on the show.

ArtNetWeb ( was one of the most extensive sites visited. There is a slide registry where images of work are displayed on-line, plus many, many links to virtual exhibits, art institutions and organizations. The links on this site are varied, bringing together links from museums and other professional arts organizations to personal home pages. The subjects range from literature, on-line exhibits, to pages devoted to individual artists or writers. All the arts are included from painting to installations, to sound, to literature.

There is a project called PORT which links virtual exhibitions with real gallery space. Cameras are placed in the gallery so that the shows can be viewed on-line. This was done in collaboration with MIT. Some installations have sound and will need a plug-in, in order to hear them. The Projects section shows independent and collaborative projects created just for the Internet. This is a place where artists can experiment with the Web as exhibit space and/or medium.

The Art Museum Network ( has links to museums plus a searchable calendar. You can enter a term to find exhibits that are showing your field of interest or find out what a particular museum is showing while you will be in town.

Artnet (, The Artworld Network has links to galleries, art museums, auctions, art fairs, art services and specific types of art, such as ancient or tribal, each with a link to member galleries’ websites. Plus there are links to individual artists sites. Another feature is ArtNet Magazine with feature articles, book reviews and current museum exhibits listings.

ArtPlanet, The Internet Fine Art Directory ( lists with links to the individual member sites artists, auction houses, galleries, libraries, museums, exhibitions, publishers and other fine art services. There is a search engine or the site can be searched by medium, style, category or country. I tried searching for bookbinding and came up with the Craft & Design gallery in London. There was the name, address, phone number, plus images of the work and a biography of the artist.

Okay, so they probably won’t have money for much longer but the National Endowment for the Arts does have a web site and it is a good starting point when looking for grant information ( The site includes a copyright primer, a link to order their own, usually free publications, a gateway to grants information for non profit institutions, and a monthly journal, Arts.Community. The National Endowment for the Humanities ( also has an informative website. It gives their grant information, what they fund, deadlines, and how to apply.

Questions, comments, suggestions:

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Explorations & Transformations, a Show of Fine Bindings & Artist’s Books by Laura Wait. Regis University; Dayton Memorial Library, Denver. February 20-May 3, 1998.
Reviewed by Cole Swensen

One thing alone marred the perfection of this show - it was too small; it left one wanting to see more and more and more. On the other hand, it was this very smallness that gave the presentation a jewel - like quality and a sense of meticulous attention, which invited a similar attention on the part of the viewer.

The show included fifteen books, arranged as a coherent whole in a single large glass case. Functioning as base and cap for the exhibition were two large artist’s books, both titled Open Road, bound in an accordion structure that when opened for display stretched almost fifteen feet apiece. With volume 1 at the top and volume 2 on the bottom shelf of the case, the entire show was framed by a theme of exploration and forward motion. The "texts" of both books are vivid sketches made on a road trip to California, and they convey the airy atmosphere of travels without agenda, capturing the feel of a rapidly moving point of view, in which something new is always just coming into sight.

These pieces established the tension between the intimacy implied by a book (it is something that you can ‘curl up’ with; something that will tell you a story) and the public nature of visual art on display. This tension fueled a strong and pleasurable dynamic that extended to several other pieces in the show, such as the book Postcard (1995), which plays with our expectations of where and why postcards show up in our lives - here again, an intimate form is turned anonymous, public, and again, information is subordinated to visual delight. The xeroxed technique also offers a contrast as the postcards themselves are old, dripping with nostalgia that is made tongue-in-cheek by the incongruous technology and furthered by the written messages, which Wait has reproduced in reverse on the other side of the page.

Graphics also rule over message in the four marvelous books that make up the Soul Garden series. The text of each volume is purely visual, for - as in Postcard - when words do appear, it is their graphic rather than their referential quality that matters and that links most strongly with the rest of the work. All four books simply emanate garden - the pages are saturated with delicately graduated tones - green predominating - in compositions that incorporate representational elements into abstract and highly suggestive environments. The theme of garden design dominates, and Wait has made good use of the contrast between the geometric basis of much landscape architecture and the fluidity of plant forms themselves. This contrast extends to the bindings and the covers, whose imagery foreshadows that inside.

In all of Wait’s artist’s books, the creative act seems to begin in the very center, on the pages, and radiate outward - text block, binding and cover are not separate, but form a unified whole, a single gesture, and as such comprise a site of fusion for the several registers of verbal, visual, sculptural, etc. Her book The Holy Trinity and the Four Evangelists offers an exceptional example of this fusion. The piece is dominated by a single feeling - that of Medieval reverence in a very broad sense - which Wait conveys through a wordless text of symbols and numerals that extend to the binding, which is done with wooden covers inset with a copper cross and sewn onto leather supports, which are secured by copper rivets. It is not a book to be ‘read’, but to be held, admired, felt in the hands and with the eye.

Not all of the books in the show are artist’s books; there are several pieces much more traditional in their format, such as a series of Robert Louis Stevenson Child’s Garden of Verses. There are four copies in all, all from the Tuscany Alley Press edition, 1978, but Wait has interpreted each to accentuate a different aspect of this work. Two copies incorporate elements from her own Soul Garden series, creating a nice link between these disparate elements of the show. The serial quality itself is an echo of both the Soul Garden and the Open Road books and raises the questions that all serial composition raises in terms of identity and difference, and the possibility and the position of the unique.

A copy of Aesop’s Fables printed by the Golden Cockerell Press, 1995, adds another traditional touch, and as in all Wait’s work, her fine detail is exceptional. The top, for instance, finished with a graphite finish, is then scored in a subtle diamond/diagonal pattern. The cover design is based on woodcuts that illustrate the text, bringing the content to the surface. Following a similar impulse, Wait has used Leonardo Da Vinci’s solar observations as the basis for the cover design of Da Vinci’s Fables, Snail’s Pace Press, 1996.

This show was the first held in this space, and it dramatically displayed what can be done with very little room. It also functioned as an implicit suggestion that libraries are for books in the broadest sense of the word - not only for books as repositories of extractable information, but also for books as objects of art, for books that celebrate the history and the traditions of book culture, and as a reminder that function doesn’t necessarily have to sacrifice pleasure.


Jean G. Kropper. Handmade Books and Cards. Davis Publications, Inc., Worcester, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 1997. 148 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-87192-334-3.
Reviewed by Barbara Harman.

Jean Kropper tells readers in her preface that this book grew from ideas in response to her students’ question "What can I make with my handmade papers?" The resulting compilation ranges widely over history and technique, attempting an overview of possibilities while also providing the reader with instructions for specific projects.

In the first five chapters, Kropper reviews useful tools and materials and briefly describes papermaking, typography, printing techniques, and paper decoration as they might be used in book and greeting card design. Chapter six covers bookbinding terms and vocabulary, providing step-by-step instructions for making pamphlet-sewn and stab sewn books and variations. Chapter seven introduces the hardcover album, taking the reader through the process of covering boards with paper, hinged covers, page preparation and binding. Chapter eight, titled "Advanced Bindings" and also the longest chapter in the book, describes various concertina structures, including tunnel books and pamphlets sewn to concertina spines, and Coptic binding. Minimal instruction is given in the two remaining chapters, entitled "Creative Departures" and "Design Beyond the Ordinary," though these two chapters, like the rest of the book, are profusely illustrated with photographs, drawings and instructional diagrams.

Kropper intends her book "to introduce more people to bookbinding and cardmaking, to make their creation achievable, and to expand their application by combining the basic technical skills and creative ideas." She states that all of the books and cards she describes in her book can be made in one day or less without having to acquire specialized tools.

And therein lies one of my problems with Kropper’s book. While it probably is true that a novice can execute a Coptic binding by following Kropper’s instructions, the results are not likely to resemble her finished diagrams. The leap from three-hole pamphlet binding to multi-signature Coptic is a large one, one that is more usually traversed by gradually increasing difficulty of structure and technique.

I often found this book confusing. It tries to do too much, covering too wide an expanse of history and technique and consequently leaving much out. A narrower focus would have allowed for greater depth and given readers a more confident grasp on what they were learning. I found the typographic design especially annoying at times. It is possible to encounter on one page spread several different type styles in different sizes and colors, with stamp-type icons and "boxes" set off by printed textures underneath the type. Additionally, the text itself vacillates between straightforward instruction and puzzling condescension, as when the reader is told, in red bold-faced type, to obtain assistance in using power tools, as they "can be dangerous if you do not know how to handle them." It is the equivalent of "don’t try this at home, boys and girls," and each time I encountered a warning like this, I wondered again who the target audience was for this book.

It might be worthwhile to acquire this book for the illustrations, which are profuse and many of which are in color. The printing, on recycled paper, leaves something to be desired, however. The color illustrations are shallow, as if the color is missing something. I don’t know if this is the result of the ink or paper that were used, the matte surface of the paper or the quality of printing, but the effect is of low quality. While there is some useful information in Handmade Books and Cards, it is information that is already available in other, better organized books. Pauline Johnson’s Creative Bookbinding is one that immediately comes to mind.

Somerset Studio: Paper Arts, Art Stamping, Letter Arts. Stampington & Co., 22992 Mill Creek Suites B & C, Laguna Hills, CA 92653. Premier Issue (January/February 1997) and March/ April 1997. 6 issues per year. One year subscription: $32.50.
Reviewed by Eric Alstrom.

This new, glossy, magazine of about 68 pages is devoted, as its title states, to the arts of paper crafts, stamping, and lettering. The articles cover various topics including papermaking, calligraphy, and paper craft projects such as folding pockets for photos and gifts. While much of the magazine is geared towards those whose primary focus is using stamps to create cards, envelopes, picture frames, and small pamphlet-style books, there is some crossover information of use to papermakers, calligraphers, and binders.

The Premier Issue features an article by Denise DeMarie about her use of Spartina, an invasive weed which is growing out of control in Washington state, which when mixed with other natural fibers and plants, makes a highly textured paper. A second article concerns papermaking in Costa Rica, while the calligraphy article discusses personal style of lettering hands versus precision lettering and how to let creativity express itself. The featured artist is Shereen LaPlantz, book artist and author, and the article includes many color pictures of her work.

Other topics include stamping on aluminum foil and the multiple use of single stamps to create unique designs. There are also several pages of illustrations from reader’s personal projects. The section titled "Essentials" lists new products for the stamping and paper arts; in another article, the Dallas, Texas paper supplier, Paper Routes, is featured; and there is a section of book reviews featuring two books about paste paper making and illumination.

The second issue again offers articles which will interest GBW members. An article by the editor, Sherilyn Miller, titled "Paper Primer: The Art of Japanese Paper," discusses the many different types of paper available from Japanese papermakers. Miller quotes Timothy Barrett, of the University of Iowa Center for the Book and a "connoisseur" of Japanese papers, at length. Another article features a trip to the Philippines and that country’s abaca (manila hemp) papermakers. As in the first issue, the rest of the magazine is devoted to stamping and paper arts, with articles on monoprinting with stamps, folding paper envelopes, and making watercolor postcards with rubber stamps. There is also an article on using calligraphic flourishes in cards and letters.

The featured artist in this issue is Janet Hofacker, whose creations recycle old images and photographs into collages which resemble a two-dimensional dadaist Kurt Schwitter Merz. The new products review a rubber stamp positioner, decorative edge scissors, and a pH testing pen. The "Enlighten Me" section features book reviews for Books, Boxes and Wraps by Marilyn Webberley and JoAn Forsyth, David Harris’ The Art of Calligraphy, and a book on making greeting cards with rubberstamps.

The number of pictures sent in by readers expanded with the second issue. While most of these projects are in the realms of paper and stamping arts, some very creative examples may offer spring boards for personal projects.

Peter Bowers, ed. Studies in British Paper History: The Oxford Papers. British Association of Paper Historians, 1996. 108 pp. $29.95. ISBN 095-25757-0-1. Distributed in the U.S. by Oak Knoll Press, 414 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE 19720;
Reviewed by James Downey, President, Legacy Art & BookWorks.

This is Volume 1 in a new series of reference works, containing essays presented at the Fourth Annual Conference of the British Association of Paper Historians, held at Oxford in September of 1993. While the two main themes of the conference were the historical use of straw in papermaking and the paper history of Oxfordshire, England, the published essays range more widely: from technical studies of fiber content and paper performance to the history of various English mills; from James Watt's 19th century efforts to develop a practical copying machine (and find a suitable paper for its use) to papermaking in Kashmir, India.

There is a little something for everyone in this volume. For those who are looking for reference material on dating specific papers according to pulp content, Peter Bower's essay on "Straw in 19th Century Papermaking" provides a nice overview. In the essay he discusses the economic as well as technical aspects of the subject, and has a useful appendix abstracted from the 1967 text Strength and Other Characteristics of Book Papers 1800-1899. by William J. Barrow. Companion essays on specific paper mills/papermaking families provide additional information on how to place specific papers in both locale and time, according to their characteristic watermarks or mold-surface impressions.

Anyone interested in the papermaking process will find a great deal to consider with an essay simply titled "Straw" by James Brander, in which he discusses not only the use of this material by papermakers through history, but also prospects for the use of straw by papermakers today. An informative primer on basic fiber properties and how they influence sheet performance is covered in a short essay by H.W. Kropholler, D.J. Ryder and C.P. Wilkins titled "Fibres and Paper." And a quick overview of beater history is to be found in "The Development of the Beater" by Phil Crocket.

Paper conservators will relish the information in two essays: "Observations from an art conservator about the use of straw in paper and boards" by Penny Jenkins; and "The Evolution and Development of Drawing Papers' and the effect of this development on Watercolour Artists, 1750-1850" by Peter Bower. The first has observations on the behavior of aging straw paper and boards, and some sound advice on how to treat those materials. The second is an extensive investigation into the interaction between artists and papermakers, as new types of paper were developed to meet medium-specific needs.

I'm not sure where the essays on James Watt's copying machine, or the photo record of Kashmiri papermaking in 1917 fit in, but hey, those are kinda fun, readable, and have good illustrations/images.

All in all, this is a good first effort, and if the rest of the series holds up to the promise of this first volume, it will be a nice addition to the literature available in the field.

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18th Annual Standards of Excellence Seminar In Hand Bookbinding


Wednesday, October 21:

7 - 9 pm: Registration packets available in the Greensboro Hilton lobby

Thursday, October 22:

8 - 9 am & 4 - 5pm: Registration packets available in the Hilton lobby

9 am to 4 pm: Tours. Participants may choose one (see the following Tour Information)

6 to 8 pm: Opening reception of the 18th Standards Seminar and the GBW Exhibition ABECEDARIUM, in the meeting room foyer of the Hilton. The speaker will be John Ballinger, co-owner of The Book Press, Williamsburg, VA

Friday, October 23:

8 - 8:45 am: Coffee and pastries in the meeting room foyer

8:45 to 12 noon: session one, with 30 minute break

12 noon to 1:30 pm: Lunch on your own

1:30 to 4:45 pm: session two with 30 minute break

7:00 pm: Cash Bar followed by the BANQUET at the Hilton, with the "Greensboro Tar Heel Chorus" and the Third Annual Auction

Saturday, October 24:

8 - 8:45 am: Coffee and pastries in the meeting room foyer

8:45 to 12 noon: session three with 30 minute break

12 noon to 1:30 pm: Lunch on your own

1:30 pm to 4:45 pm: session four with 30 minute break

5 pm: GBW Annual Business Meeting and raffle drawing

Concerts, plays and entertainment for Saturday evening will be listed in your confirmation packet

Sunday, October 25:

9 am to 12 noon: Visit to the Jackson Library Special Collection. Bus will leave from the hotel

Note: The Vendor's room will be open Friday and Saturday mornings before sessions start, during the lunch period, and during all session breaks. And probably after the second session each day.

Scholarships Available
The Guild of Book Workers will grant three scholarships for the Standards of Excellence Seminar to be held this year in Greensboro, North Carolina. The scholarship will consist of a waiver of registration fees to the seminar and four nights lodging at The Hilton Greensboro. This is for lodging only and does not include meals, phone calls, movie rentals or any other room service. A recipient must have been a Guild member for at least two years, make a short statement explaining why they need the scholarship, obtain two brief letters of reference, and must attend the Standards Seminar for 1997. Recipients will be responsible for making their own travel plans and hotel reservations.

Tour Information
Tours take place on Thursday, October 22, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Participants may choose Tour 1, 2 or 3.
Tours 2 & 3 share the same bus (limit 45 per tour), but you cannot do both tours.

Tour 1: Etherington Conservation Center and Replacements, Ltd.
Fee: $10; limit 90 persons.

The Conservation Lab is presided over by Don Etherington, assisted by Harry Campbell and 14 employees, where they deal with conservation work of books and manuscripts. (
Restorations is a museum and a store featuring china, crystal and flatware. You can buy beautiful things from their enormous stock of discontinued and active patterns, or, if you are interested in replacing broken or lost pieces, give the pattern name and manufacturer (or bring a piece or a photograph for identiwcation) to a sales rep before the tour and their computer system can usually tell you what is available in your pattern

Tour 2: Old Salem and Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts
Fee $30; limit 45 persons

The Moravian village of Salem, founded in the 1700's, has been restored to recreate the lifestyle and activities of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Visitors can tour the town at their own pace, enjoying the historic areas and shops and restaurants, as well. (
Located within Old Salem is the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), where the history of southern craftsmen and their artistry unfold in 19 room settings and six galleries. Featured are furniture, paintings, textiles, ceramics, silver and other wares through 1820. (www.

Tour 3: Reynolda House, Museum of American Art
Fee: $18; limit 45 persons

Originally the country estate of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, this English "Bungalow-style" mansion houses a wide ranging collection of notable pieces of American art, as well as many of the furnishings and personal belongings of the Reynolds family. Adjacent to the house are extensive grounds that include both formal and informal gardens, shops and restaurants. (

Sunday, October 25 No fee!

Jackson Library, Special Collection at University of North Carolina Greensboro

An exhibition of rare books and wne bindings will be specially organized for our visit. (

The Seminar hotel is the Greensboro Hilton, 304 North Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401. For reservations, call 1-800-533-3944, ext. 5000 between 9 am and 5 pm EDT and ask for the Guild of Book Workers rate of $89 for single, double, triple or quadruple, + 12% tax. Call before September 30. Check room sharing line on application form for list of names of others wishing to share.

Alternative Housing

Within walking distance:

Beyond walking distance, you would need a car:

Please note that October is a very busy time in Greensboro. You need to reserve as soon as possible at the Hilton or Biltmore Hotels. 30 rooms have been blocked at the Holiday Inn Express .

You are responsible for your own housing reservation.


Airlines: US Airways has been designated as the official carrier for the attendees of the Guild of Book Workers Seminar, October 22-25, 1998 in Greensboro, NC. Alternate service is allowed into Raleigh, NC (1H hr drive to Greensboro.) US Airways agrees to offer an exclusive low fare for the attendees. This special fare will offer a 5% discount off First or Business Class and any published US Airways promotional round trip fare. A 10% discount off unrestricted coach fares will apply, with 7 day advance reservations and ticketing required. Refer to gold Wle no. 93190382.

Plan ahead and receive an additional 5% discount by ticketing 60 days or more prior to departure. Call US Airways’ Meeting and Convention Reservation Office at 1-800-334-8644; 8 am - 9 pm EDT.

Shuttle from the Airport: Airport Express counter on the baggage claim level (walking toward the center of the airport) for buying your ticket - no reservation required. Buses leave the Airport every hour on the half hour. $7.50 per person to the Hilton. Taxi: $18 for one or two, $21 for three.

Presentations & Presenters

Anthony Cains will demonstrate the open-boarded covering of beech wood and paste-boarded models of typical sixteenth century bindings in the Trinity College, Dublin collections. The demonstrations will be supported by slides illustrating the sewing, forwarding and covering sequence used in the rebinding of the Ellesmere Chaucer in the Huntington Library, based on a mid-wfteenth century oak-boarded London binding in the same collection.
Anthony Cains, Trinity College, Dublin, was apprenticed to the London trade bookbinder, E.A. Neale, Ltd.(1954). He studied at the London School of Printing and Graphic Art and under many distinguished bookbinders, including Bernard Middleton and the late William Matthews, who recommended him to the late Dr. Sidney Cockerell (1961-5). He worked in the HMSO British Museum Bindery (1965) before establishing his own workshop in St. Albans. He volunteered for salvage work in Florence after the 1966 flood and was later appointed Technical Director of the conservation system set-up in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale with the support of the Art & Archive Rescue Fund (UK) and the Committee to Rescue Italian Art (USA) (1967-72). In 1972 he designed and established a workshop and laboratory in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. He has contributed articles to the Paper Conservator & the New Bookbinder and taught & lectured extensively.

Carol Barton will demonstrate wve basic paper engineered pop-up structures and explain the mechanical principles which allow them to function with the motion of the turning page. She will also discuss making a simple mat board jig to allow for production of a small edition of pop-ups, and the process of die-cutting for larger editions.
Carol Barton is a book artists, curator, and arts administrator who has published several editions and organized local and national shows of artists’ books. She has taught at all academic levels and conducted workshops at Penland School of Crafts, the Virginia Museum of fine Arts, the Center for Book Arts, The International Center for Photography and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others. Her work is exhibited internationally and is in the collections of the Library of Congress, MOMA, and the V&A in London, as well as others.Most recently she curated the exhibition "Science and the Artist’s Book" for the Smithsonian. Her artist’s book edition, "Instructions for Assembly", was published by Nexus Press in Atlanta during an artist’s residency in 1993. She is currently working on a new offset edition, "Vision Shifts", to be printed at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia this spring.

Linda Hohneke will give us a look at historic decorative papers used in bookbinding and some of the techniques used in their manufacture.
Linda Hohneke began working in book conservation as a volunteer with the Smithsonian Institution Book Conservation Lab and has worked in the Folger Shakespeare Library Conservation Lab since 1992. She began marbling in 1990 in a workshop with Paul Maurer. Her interest in historic decorative papers was further sparked with the Folger’s acquisition of the Lada-Mocarski Decorated Paper Collection in 1993 and the in-depth research for the 1998 Porcelain and Papers: Two Gift Collections exhibition.

Frank Mowery and Linda Blaser will demonstrate two leather paring methods, the German method and the English method. Frank uses the German, Linda the English method.
Linda Blaser studied Crafts in college and worked as draftsman/illustrator before taking the opportunity of being trained at the Library of Congress. She studied with Peter Waters, Don Etherington and Christopher Clarkson. This training position lasted wve years and included studies in papermaking history, paper conservation, photography, conservation bookbinding techniques, bookbinding history, boxmaking, exhibition cradling of books, typography and chemistry. Following that, she went into private practice as a book conservator and also, working through the Smithsonian Resident Associate Studio Arts office, teaches bookbinding, boxmaking and conservation. For the past wve years she has been working on grant projects at the Folger Shakespeare Library as a Senior Book Conservator.
J. Franklin Mowery, the son of two librarians, got his wrst taste of bookbinding while working for his father at the library of Wittenberg University in Springweld, Ohio, dusting books and mending them with pressure sensitive tape and self-adhesive book cloth. He went on to study bookbinding at the Staatliche Hochschule fhr bildende Kunste in Hamburg, Germany, under the guidance of Professor Kurt Londenberg. He worked as a student in the conservation department of the University Library in Hamburg and, after his training at the Art School, went to the Academie of Art in Vienna, Austria, to train as a paper conservator under Otto W@chter. He spent six months working as a book conservator in Florence, Italy, at the Biblioteca Nazionale before returning to the U.S. His wrst job was at the Huntington Library in California. Then in August 1977, he became the head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, a position he still holds. His own bindings have been on display in exhibitions around the world. For nearly 10 years, he was President of the Guild of Book Workers.

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This list is compiled by Sid Huttner and includes catalogs received by him which include books of interest to GBW members. Catalog number, address, phone number and Internet address (when stated in the catalog) are recorded.

The BookPress 109 (319 items). P.O. Box KP, Williamsburg, VA 23187. 757-229-1260. <>. 85 items in fine printing and history, including binding manuals.

Bromer Booksellers 103 (189 items). 607 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. 617-247-2818. <>. Private press, illustrated, designer bindings and other books.

Claude Cox 125 (644 items). 3 & 5 Silent Street, Ipswich IP1 1TF, England. 011-44-01473-254776. Fine printing, arts of the book, books about books.

Frances Wakeman Books 36 (405 items). 2 Manor Way, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 2BD, UK. 011-44-01865-378316. <>. Book arts, featuring bookbinding (83 items), papermaking (48 items), and printing (89 items).

Franklin Gilliam Rare Books List 1 (194 items). 218 South Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902. 804-9792512. <>. Art & illustration; some bibliography and book arts.

Frits Knuf 196 (431 items) and 198 (452 items). P.O.B. 780, 5340 AT Oss, The Netherlands. 011-599-0-412-626072. <>. Bibliography and book arts: 196 includes 37 bookbinding items, 50 on papermaking, and was mailed with a separate list of 132 type specimens.

The Hermitage Bookshop Spring 1998 (1264 items). 290 Fillmore Street, Denver, CO 80206-5020. 303-388-6811. <>. Books about books, press and illustrated books, long Limited Editions Club run.

Joshua Heller 19 (278 items). P.O. Box 39114, Washington, DC 20016-9114. 202-966-9411. <>. Books about books, illustrated books, and contemporary book arts and bindings. 4 pages b&w illustrations.

L&T Respess Books 3 (486 items). P.O. Box 1604, Charlottesville, VA 22902. 804-293-3553. Books about books and bibliography from the library of Phyllis Goodhart Gordan. Many book arts items.

Patrick King 32 (151 items). 36 Calverton Road, Stony Stratford, Bucks MK11 1HL, England. 011-44-01908-564546. Mainly pre-1850 imprints, many in contemporary bindings (several illustrated). Several bookbinding items.

Phillips Hill Books 3 (110 items). 344 Orange Street, Manchester, NH 03104. 603-624-9707. <>. Various but including a number of illustrated books and bindings.

Thomas G. Boss List 981 (103 items) and 982 (95 items). 355 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116-3313. 617-421-1880. <>. 981: illustrated books, press ephemera, and bindings: a Will Bradley original drawing for a cover design, circa 1893, $2500. 982: varia, including bookbindings, decorative arts.

The Veatchs 34 (87 items) & 35 (124 items). P.O.B. 328, Northampton, MA 01061. 413-584-1867. <>. 34 offers Grolier Club and Stone House Press publications, 35 arts of the book, with several unusual items, including a collection of almost 7000 pieces of brass bookbinding dies (weight: 800 pounds; price: $28,000).

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