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Guild of Book Workers Newsletter 127

December 1999






PAPER NEWS (Cranberry Corner)





Guild News

Report On The 1999 General Meeting Of The Guild Of Book Workers

The 1999 General Meeting of the Guild of Book Workers was held in a sedate and orderly manner at 5 p.m. on October 30 in the Buckingham Room of the Congress Plaza Hotel in Chicago.

Because of the spirited comments made on the memberships’ electronic list, and because of the nature of previous General Meetings, many of us were expecting rousing discussions of relevant and irrelevant topics.

It must have been the "magic" of the Chicago Seminar that created the universal contented hum of the 120 or so members in the room. A standing ovation went to Bill Drendel and his assistants.

This created the perfect introduction for a tribute to Mary Schlosser. We learned from Margaret Johnson’s talk that Mary had held positions on the Board of the Guild of Book Workers for 32 years: Newsletter Editor, Journal Editor, President, and Treasurer. Mary was presented with a collection of personal thank-you notes, divided into 3 special boxes, the last being a Claire Maziarcyk creation which housed a tiny scroll. Mary Schlosser was made Honorary Member for life.

There was a brief report from each board member with the promise of a full written report in a later newsletter.

An interesting motion was formulated to somehow provide an honorary title for past presidents and perhaps other board members as a thank-you for service. The discussion became complicated, and the motion was tabled, pending further discussion on the membership’s electronic list. Even so, the intent of the motion was clear and appreciated.

That’s the way the meeting ended. We filed from the room pulling the customary number from Susan Martin’s raffle hat, and most of us were rewarded with items supplied by vendors and others. Mine was a nib container with the replicated logo of a long-forgotten nib manufacturing company.

Pamela Barrios

Mary Schlosser’s Retirement

The following address was given by Margaret H. Johnson at the Annual Meeting of the Guild held in Chicago on Saturday, October 30, 1999.

Karen has asked me to say a few words on this, for me, sad occasion of the retirement of Mary Schlosser from the Executive Committee of the Guild of Book Workers. For years I have been able to rely on Mary’s vastly greater experience of the problems inherent in running organizations. Now who can I hide behind? Except for Louise [Kuflik], who came on the Board the year after I did, I seem to be Senior Member… more ways than I like to think about.

Losing Mary from the Board will make a great difference. That Voice of Reason that pointed out, when expansive projects requiring large cash outlays, were proposed from time to time, that if an organization does not have a sufficient backlog of funds to carry it for an entire year, it runs the risk of losing its standing with creditors. "We’re okay for now, we can pay our bills, but be careful." A conservative approach that we didn’t always want to hear. But ….we’re still solvent and we’ve done a lot of things during those years.

"Those years" are the years since 1983, when Mary, then Newsletter Editor, turned the files over to me and took on the job of Treasurer. In that time, despite those words of caution, the Guild has doubled in size, put on 18 Standards Seminars, 4 major traveling exhibitions, 6 small exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and sent out one small-scale Standards exhibit that traveled for more than two years. We have published, 23 Journals, 16 Membership Lists, 4 Supply Lists, 3 Study Opportunities Lists and 96 Newsletters.

I wasn’t quite sure what year Mary joined the Guild, since my records only go back to the first Journal in 1962, but Mary says she joined in 1960. By 1963 she was on the Board as Programs Chairman. From 1974 until 1980, Mary was the Guild’s President. She was Exhibitions Chairman in 1980, and in 1981 and ‘82 she edited the Newsletter. She became the Guild’s Treasurer in 1983.

Mary was one of the three organizers of the Guild’s 75th Anniversary Exhibition in 1981. When, in 1988, the Grolier Club was asked by Les Amis de la Reliure Originale to organize an exhibition of the work of Contemporary American Binders, the Club asked the Guild to co-sponsor the exhibition. Mary was the one who pulled it together, dealt with the French, and compiled and edited the catalogue. Mary and Frank Mowery set up the exhibition in the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal in Paris in October of 1990. It was the first time the French had taken American binders seriously and the show was a great success.

My personal recollections of Mary go back to Laura Young’s studio twenty years ago, where we often met while working on our current projects. At that time the Journal was edited by members of the Executive Committee in rotation. Each issue was ultimately taken to Mrs. Young for "tightening up". So there was always a great deal of discussion going on there about the articles and the publication work. Mary seemed to be constantly working on an issue. She’s the best proofreader around.

I have taken a number of trips with Mary through the years. One was to Paris for the opening of the Grolier show, followed by a side trip to Burgundy. I was searching for a house to rent the following summer for my family, and Mary’s superior French was a great asset. In 1992, we both attended the Institute for Paper Conservation Conference in Manchester, England where we shared a birthday party with Frank Mowery. Two years later we shared a hallway and bath in Christ Church College, Oxford, during the 1994 New Horizons Conference. And, of course, we’ve both attended most of the Standards Seminars. That’s a tiny fraction of the travel Mary has done for book-related meetings with the Guild, the Grolier Club and the Bibliophile Society.

Mary is not leaving the Guild…. only the job. But, who knows? She may find time so heavy on her hands that she volunteers for some project with a time limit.

But how can we ever thank her for all she has given the Guild?

New GBW listserv is a mailing list based at Syracuse University, and managed by the Executive Committee of the Guild. We decided to form this listserv as an added service to our networked members to give them a way to interact directly with peers, colleagues, and the Executive Committee; in essence, a virtual Standards Seminar and Annual Meeting. At present about 50% of the membership is signed on with the List. Topics we envision seeing discussed are:

To keep our non-networked members informed, occasional summaries of important discussions will be abstracted in the Newsletter. Once the archive is established at the Guild’s homepage you’ll also be able to read all the postings there. The URL is

To help keep the list functioning smoothly, we have set it up as a closed (GBW only) and "edited" list, meaning that all postings go through the editor for approval. What does that mean? That means that your email address will not be shared, sold, or misappropriated for non-GBW uses. It also means that one of us will be looking at the postings to make sure they fit the scope of this list and that they are appropriate. Things which will not get passed on are blank replies (someone includes a previous message but adds nothing); "me too," like the preceding but with the comment "me too;" spam/junkmail (yes some of that might get through), and off-topic posts such as unverified virus warnings, chain letters and the like.

All members who indicated an e-mail address on their renewal form were added automatically. If you have access to e-mail, are not already on the list, but would like to be, send the following message to:


Please put in your own name for "YOUR NAME." Anonymous requests will be ignored, and GBW membership will be verified. This is an automated process so the text of the message must be exactly as above and sent to that address. If you have questions, please email the administrator at for assistance.

Peter D. Verheyen


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News Of GBW Members

Peter Jermann, former Bookbinder and Preservation Officer at St. Bonaventure University, has formed his own company, TeMPer Productions. He will design and handcraft bookbinding equipment for the small bindery and repair shop. He can be reached at TeMPer Productions, 117 S. 14th St., Olean, NY 14760; t: 716-373-9450;

Peter Verheyen is back at the Syracuse University Library as Special Collections Preservation & Access Librarian/Conservator after a stint at Gaylord Brothers as Archival Product Manager.

Gary Frost, Conservator at the University of Iowa Library, can be reached at: 100 Main Library, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; t: 319-335-5908; f: 319-335-5900;

Frank Mowery gave the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture at Scripps College, Claremont, Calif., on November 6 immediately following the opening of the GBW show ABeCedarium in the Clark Humanities Museum. He spoke on "Bound & Closed: An Overview of Fine and Historical Bindings with Clasps from the Folger Shakespeare Library". On November 6 & 7 he gave a workshop on Clasps & Bosses: A Guide to their Manufacture, also at Scripps.

Prize Winners

Peter and Donna Thomas won the Miniature Book Society’s "1999 Distinguished Book Award" with their innovative scrolling book Four Views of Kealakelua Bay. The book presents three literary views and one pictorial view illustrating the spot where Cook and his crew first discovered the charms of Hawaii. (See Publications)

Jarmila Sobotovà won the First Prize in the "book object" category at the Fifth Biennial in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France, in September. Jarmila and Jan Sobota held the Third Seminar of the Society of Czech Bookbinders in Loket, Czech Republic, during the summer. Jarmila writes that the Society has recently become a member of GBW.

On Exhibition

"Look Books", an exhibition of the work of Robbin Ami Silverberg, was held in the Lobby Gallery of the Brooklyn Public Library from September 18 to October 29.

"Beyond the Fold: Artist’s Books: Traditional to the Cutting Edge", a multi-event held at The Gallery of South Orange (NJ) in September and October, included an exhibition, book arts workshops, book fair, lectures and a dance performance by Susan Share. Other GBW members involved in the exhibition and events were: Carol Barton, Elsi Vassdal Ellis, Barbara Broff Goldman, Hedi Kyle, Matthew Liddle, Emily Martin, Barbara Mauriello, Joanne Page, Mary Ann Sampson, Rhea Sanders, Miriam Schaer, and Robbin Ami Silverberg.



We report with regret the death of Joan D. Henry on July 10, 1999. A book dealer in Penn Valley, California, Joan "enjoyed very much her work with boxes and binding, as well as the useful information she got from the Guild", writes Nadya Henry. She was a member of both the Guild and the Hand Bookbinders of California. She lost a four month battle with cancer.

Dorothy Jean Krall Westapher
April 12, 1923 &emdash; August 31, 1999
The bookbinding world lost a respected and talented bookbinder on August 31, 1999. Dorothy Westapher courageously battled cancer for several months, but continued classes and her binding projects close to the last as her health and stamina would allow. She bravely completed almost 30 years in the bookbinding world.

In the early 1970s Dorothy visited Andrew (Andy) and Gerard Dickinson of Dallas in their bookbindery for a matter which had nothing to do with binding books. While there she became very interested and fascinated with what she saw in Andy’s bindery and was most impressed. When she arrived back home she immediately told her husband, "Why, I can do that!" She then began her bookbinding lessons with Andy, which lasted about two years.

In this period of time, she was introduced to Mariana Roach, who had taught Andy, and who was at this time, conducting bookbinding classes in a garage apartment behind her home. The classes were a part of the curriculum offered through the Craft Guild of Dallas. Dorothy continued her studies now with Mariana as her instructor, and later the two became very good friends. Mariana designated Dorothy as her "associate" in 1975. She died of cancer in 1976.

Mariana’s family requested Dorothy to continue the bookbinding classes and allowed that garage apartment on Farquhar Street in Dallas to continue as a bookbinding classroom. Dorothy had inherited 92 students at this time. She chose to carry on with the standards and rules set by Mariana, advocating quality binding techniques and active class participation. The classes met there through the spring semester of 1981, and records note that 164 students had taken classes that 1980-81 year. Miss Roach’s family requested that the facilities now be vacated by the binders; they had until August, 1981, to move.

The Craft Guild had moved to new facilities in the Snider Plaza Shopping Center in Dallas in 1973, and the bookbinders joined the other media departments of the Guild in time for fall 1981 classes. To get the studio functional for bookbinding classes, the students held their own fund raisers in order to purchase materials, do electrical and plumbing work, carpentry, etc. Most all the work was done by volunteers; funds left over purchased additional equipment. Dorothy and her many helpers were very busy that summer of 1981!

A second move for the class location took place in 1983 when the Guild rented larger facilities in a now-vacated Dallas public school. Dorothy and her bookbinding students enjoyed these spacious facilities, again made functional by her students and other volunteers.

In 1985 Dorothy had the opportunity to study with Hugo Peller for six weeks in his studio in Switzerland. She commented many times thereafter that this was truly the most wonderful experience and certainly expanded her bookbinding knowledge and expertise. Three other Dallasites attended with her, and so many new techniques were brought back to the world of bookbinding in Dallas.

In May of 1988 Dorothy retired from the Craft Guild as the main bookbinding instructor. But that summer she decided to continue teaching on a smaller scale &endash; having small classes in her home. The studio in her home had been a card table in the laundry room off the kitchen. Then it was moved into a small room north of her kitchen. But with students coming, further expansion was necessary! The attached garage was turned into a teaching & work studio with many additions and specially built furniture to allow for seven students at a time. Classes began in the fall of 1988, with five sessions held each week. Dorothy kept these classes going through June of 1999.

Dorothy maintained high standards in her bindings. She stood for quality work and continually encouraged students to learn how to execute fine bindings. Yet, she would work with them when they needed a break to do a scrapbook, a pyramid box, an Oriental binding, or such. Both at the Craft Guild and at home she saw to it that additional workshops with guest instructors were available to her students, and she taught many herself &endash; especially paper marbling, paste papers, gold tooling.

During most of her years of teaching, Dorothy also took in restoration and custom work from the public. She was most respected for those beautiful new books and exquisitely restored books, just as she was for her years of sharing her bookbinding knowledge. She will be missed.

Catherine Burkhard

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Chapter News

The California Chapter has been busy with workshops over the summer: Don Glaister’s ‘Surface Design and Manipulation of Binding Materials’ in August and Daniel Kelm’s ‘Folder Techniques’ in July. Adam Larsson’s workshop on ‘Millimeter Binding’ was held in early October at Kater-Crafts Bookbinders in Pico Rivera. AbeCedarium is being shown in its final venue at Scripps College, Claremont until December 17.

Their November meeting on the 21st was held at Joanne Page’s house.

The Delaware Valley Chapter has revived itself and sponsored three workshops, a couple of lectures and a bindery visit since the spring. They are planning a chapter exhibit in a Philadelphia gallery, a workshop and informal monthly get-togethers in the coming year. Welcome back!

The Rocky Mountain Chapter hosted the reception for the opening of AbeCedarium at the Denver Public Library on September 19. Paula Gourley gave a Simplified Binding workshop in September and Alicia Bailey (the new National Treasurer) and Laura Wait gave a workshop in October in Denver on Artist’s Books: Structure & Content. But now all will be focused on organizing the 20th Standards of Bookbinding Seminar in Salt Lake City on October 5 &emdash; 8, 2000, which will include a show of the chapter’s work. Cindy Haller recently moved from Houston to Albuquerque, is the new Editor of Book Arts Roundup, the Lone Star Chapter’s newsletter.

The New England Chapter hosted a Crossed Structure Binding workshop in November given by Adam Larsson, guest lecturer, binder and conservator from Sweden. They held a meeting during the summer at the Portland (Maine) Public Library where they were addressed by the Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Portland Museum of Art on the Cash Collections &endash; a noteworthy collection established at the museum by the family and friends of the late Barbara Cash.

Nancy Leavitt gave the group a slide talk, ‘From Landscape to Manuscript Book: a tour of Iona and Holy Island’, on the tour she took with calligraphers last year to the regions off the coast of Scotland where the Lindisfarne Gospels were written and illuminated.

The New York Chapter visited with Jesse Meyer, Parchment Maker and the Meyer Family Tannery in Montgomery, N.Y. in September, on the day after Hurricane Floyd blew through the area. Despite the lack of phone service and electricity, the Meyers led a tour of the facility. The trip was sponsored by Ocker & Trapp Library Bindery and a number of the chapter members spent the weekend at Ralph Ocker’s house (also without electricity). Adam Larsson gave a workshop for the NY Chapter on Millimeter Binding in November at the Conservation lab of the NY Academy of Medicine.

Lone Star Chapter correction: the online version of the Lone Star Chapter’s exhibition "Heaven on Earth" is:

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METRO Preservation Sourcebook Update

METRO has received funding from the New York State Discretionary Grant Program to compile a database of updated information on products and services pertaining to preservation and disaster planning/recovery for libraries and archives. METRO is interested in listing product and services providers for the New York State.

Product and service providers previously listed in either ‘Who Ya Gonna Call: A Preservation Services Sourcebook for Libraries and Archives’ or ‘Hell and High Water: A Disaster Information Sourcebook’ will be contacted by the project director. Individuals, organizations and companies who are interested in being listed in the updated manual and were not previously listed should send their name and address and/or email address to:

Holly MacCammon
Project Manager-Preservation
Sourcebook Update Project, METRO
57 East 11th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10003

Rare Book School Winter/Spring Sessions 2000

The Rare Book School at the University of Virginia is offering various five-day, non-credit courses on bookish subjects. The Winter Session, January 10-14, includes Terry Belanger’s ‘Book Illustration to 1890’, Daniel Traister on ‘Introduction to Rare Book Librarianship’, and Daniel Pitti on ‘Implementing Encoded Archival Description’.

March 13-17 courses are ‘Introduction to Descriptive Bibliography’ with Terry Belanger and Richard Noble, and ‘Electronic Texts and Images’ with David Seaman.

May 8-12 courses are a repeat of Belanger’s ‘Book Illustration to 1890’, and ‘Rare Book Cataloging’ with Deborah J. Leslie. For information, contact: RBS, 114 Alderman Library, Charlottesville, VA 22903; t: 804-924-8851; f: 804-924-8824;


Thornwillow Press

It was nice to pick up the usually uninteresting booklet in an airplane pocket this summer (US Airways Attaché, August 1999) and find an article about a self-employed book publisher, who makes beautifully crafted limited edition books. His name is Luke Ives Pontifell and his publishing house is the Thornwillow Press. Producing 14 titles through 1998 in the 14 years he’s been in the business, his books average $500, and are painstakingly produced on handmade paper produced in the Czech Republic paper mill Pontifell bought and reopened in 1992. His titles include a book of poems, an architectural and historical volume, a novella, and a portfolio of photographs. "As we move increasingly toward the intangible and disposable, things that are beautifully made with attention to detail take on a whole new meaning. In this regard, my books, I hope, provide a powerful way of communicating ideas." For more information on Thornwillow Press, call 212-980-0738 or visit his web site:

Arts And Crafts In Lisbon

A special issue of Departures (March/April 1999, pp. 216-225) contained an interesting article about the Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation in Lisbon, an ensemble of craft workshops and a museum of Portuguese decorative arts. Master gold beater Fernando de Oliveira and his daughter, Fernanda, pound out the gold leaf, which is then used by the Foundation’s book, leather, and furniture-decorating workshops. The bookbinding studio, run by Graça Maria Jordão, contains a 400-year-old collection of finishing tools, one of the world’s largest. The Museu de Artes Decorativas, part of the complex, is open Wed.-Mon. 10-5. The workshops can be visited during the same times, provided application is made in writing three weeks in advance. Museu de Artes Decorativas, Largo das Portas do Sol 2, Portugal; 351-1-886-2183.

"Will Libraries Disappear?"

George W. Cooke, Director of Oradell Public Library, Oradell, NJ, has entered the fray about the future of books with his article, "Will Library Binderies Disappear?" in The New Library Scene (Vol. 18, March 1999, pp. 6-7). He expresses the fear that since some states no longer have any library binderies certified by the Library Binding Institute, and many others are on the decline, perhaps librarians have decided that books are disposable after all. He enters a well-reasoned plea for using library binders to preserve and extend the life of their new and old materials.

Online Blake

For web browsers, the on-line William Blake Archive ( offers at least one copy of each of Blake’s 19 books, with notes on the texts. This is merely the first phase of a much bigger project which will post all of Blake’s images: paintings, drawings, engravings, manuscripts, and typographical works.

Online Imaging

And while we’re onto online images, there’s more variety than ever, as a New York Times article (July 22, 1999) pointed out in "Imaging: From Daguerreotypes to Satellites." For historical photographs (c. 1902) from across the country, see: For satellite images of storms, see: For high altitude satellite imagery of "any small corner of the world", see:;;; or For stereoscopic views of small-town life in NY, NJ, and CT, see:

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Cranberry Corner No. 11

by E.H. Snider

Physical and Optical Properties of Paper and Their Inter-Relationships

Basis Weight, Grammage

In the previous article, the units of measurement for "Basis Weight", (Pounds per Ream), and "grammage" (grams per square meter) were described.

The weight of the paper per unit area is the most dominant physical property of paper. Most of the other properties, both physical and optical, relate to it.

Caliper, or Paper Thickness

The next most obvious property of paper is its caliper (thickness), which is measured by a micrometer and is expressed in millimeters (previously in thousandths of an inch). This is mostly determined by the paper grammage, but it is also affected by the paper finish. Thus, all other things constant, a Smooth Finish paper will be thinner than a Medium Finish paper, and a Medium Finish paper will be thinner than a Rough Finish paper. (See Article No. 9 re: Surface Texture).

Caliper is also affected by the pulp furnish and by beating. Thus, coarse pulp fibers will result in a thicker paper than will fine fibers. Also, the longer the pulp is beaten and the heavier the loading of the beater roll, the more compact and thinner the paper made from it will become.

Formation also affects caliper. A very "wild" formation will result in a thicker paper than will a very uniform formation.


Density is expressed as grams per cubic centimeter, and depends on the type of fiber used, the degree of beating of the fiber, the grammage of the paper, the degree to which the paper has been consolidated during forming and pressing, as well as the degree to which it has been compressed by calendering.


Bulk is the reciprocal of Density and is expressed as cubic centimeters per gram.

Tensile Strength

Tensile Strength is a measure of the force required to break a strip of paper of a standard length and width held between two clamps under a standard rate of extension. It is expressed as kilonewtons per meter of width (formerly pounds/inch of width).

A high Tensile Strength results from such paper properties as relatively high fiber length, a high purity of cellulose in the fiber, (i.e., low lignin content), a high degree of pulp beating and fiber fibrillation, a high grammage and a high caliper. In general, calendering reduces both Tensile and Tear Strengths by crushing and weakening the fibers and the inter-fiber bonds.

If a cellulose pulp is mixed with a wood-containing pulp, (i.e., a mechanical pulp), the higher the proportion of the cellulose pulp, the higher will be the Tensile Strength of the Paper.

Tensile Strength is affected by the grain (fiber orientation) of machine-made papers, it being higher in the machine direction than in the cross-machine direction.

Tensile Strength and Tear Strength have an inverse relationship.

Tear Strength

Tear Strength is a measure of the force, applied perpendicularly to the plane of the paper, that is required to tear one or more sheets of paper clamped between two sets of jaws through a specified distance after the tear has been started, using a standard tearing tester. The measured result is used to calculate the tearing resistance of a single sheet of paper. The Tear Index is the Tear Strength corrected for grammage and is expressed as milllinewtons per grams/square meter.

A high Tear Strength results from such paper properties as a high fiber length, a low degree of beating, a high grammage and a high caliper.

Tear Strength is affected by the grain (fiber orientation) of machine-made papers, it being lower in the machine direction than in the cross-machine direction.

Tear Strength and Tensile Strength have an inverse relationship.


Stiffness is defined as the bending moment in gram centimeters required to bend a clamped strip of paper through a specified angle.

The higher the paper grammage, and the thicker the paper caliper, and thus the lower the density, the stiffer the paper will be, all other properties being equal.

Stiffness is also affected by the degree of beating of the pulp. A highly beaten pulp will have a higher degree of interfiber bonding and this will produce a stiffer paper than one that is beaten lightly.

Calendering paper not only reduces its thickness but reduces its stiffness and other strength properties.


These two paper properties are inversely related and are tested on differently designed instruments.

Roughness is determined by measuring the rate of flow of air under standard pressure between the paper surface and two concentric annular metal rings applied to the paper, (Sheffield method). The rougher the paper is, the higher the rate of air flow and the higher the reading.

Smoothness is determined by measuring the time required for a standard volume of air to pass between the paper surface and a smooth annular metal disc applied to the paper, (Gurley method). The smoother the paper is, the longer the time required and the higher the reading.

As the caliper or thickness of paper is reduced, the smoothness increases and the roughness decreases.


Absolute Brightness is defined as the reflectance of blue light with a specified spectral distribution peaking at 457 nanonmeters compared to that of a perfectly reflecting perfectly diffusing surface. It is expressed as a percentage

Brightness of paper is affected by the brightness of the pulps used in the furnish. Higher brightness paper can also be obtained by adding proportions of fillers, such as calcium carbonate in various forms, talc and titanium dioxide. The addition of fillers to paper furnish has a negative effect on interfiber bonding and so reduces both Tensile and Tear Strengths.

Printing Opacity (4)

The Printing Opacity of paper is defined as the ratio of the reflectance of a single sheet of paper backed by a black body divided by the reflectance of the same sheet backed by an opaque pad of similar paper, using a standard reflectance meter.

High Printing Opacity of a paper results from a high grammage, a high caliper, i.e. low density, and from using a pulp that has a high fiber length, i.e. is lightly beaten.

Fillers are also added to the furnish of some papers to increase opacity. However, retention aids must be used to retain a filler in the paper during forming, otherwise it is lost in the white water.


The measurement of color is a complex science. The color of paper depends in a complicated way on the interaction of the characteristics of the observer, and a number of physical factors such as the spectral energy distribution of the illuminant, the geometry of illuminating and viewing, and the nature and extent of the background surrounding the paper, as well as the optical properties of the paper itself.

The color of a sample of paper can be characterized by means of three color coordinates, such as the CIE (Commission Internationale d’Eclairage) Tristimulus Values X, Y, and Z, or the CIE L*a*b* coordinates, which are determined using a standard reflectometer.

Other Paper Properties

There are many other paper properties which are more or less important depending upon the end use of the paper.

Some of these other paper properties are as follows: Abrasion; Air Permeability; Bending Length; Breaking Length Meters; Burst; Fold Endurance; Gloss; Grease Resistance; Pick Strength; Softness; Stretch; Tensile Energy Absorption; Water Absorption; and Water Vapor Permeability.


This concludes the cranberry corner series of articles. I hope that you, my readers, have found them both interesting and beneficial in your particular pursuit of the book arts. If you have any questions, please write to:

Edward "Ted" H. Snider
RR No. 1, Seeleys Bay, ON
K0H 2N0, Canada


Note: All current units of measurement used are specified by the S.I (systeme internationale).

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Marbling News

by Iris Nevins

To those GBW members who also do marbling:

Survey: "Who are we marbling for these days?"

I have noticed that the marbling markets have changed somewhat in the past decade and I’d like to find out in what ways they have changed. I’ve been surveying marblers to find out. I hope you will participate in the survey.

My own marbling is done about 60% for book restorers, 25% small press, 5% for reproduction, 5% interior decoration and 5% stores.

You don’t need to be a marbler "working in the field", just marbling, even if only for your own use, (bookbinding, restoration, home decoration, etc.) and not for resale. You do not need to report the number of sheets you marble annually, nor how much income is derived from sales, just percentages of uses. The survey results will be anonymous, and will be reported in a future issue.

The categories are:

Please send your answers to:

Iris Nevins
P.O.Box 429, Johnsonburg, NJ 07846

An exhibition of "Ebru: Contemporary Marbling by Feridun Özgören" will be at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston until April 12, 2000.

Feridun studied Turkish style marbling from the master of the technique, Niyazi Sayin. In his works, he combines both Western and Eastern techniques, using modern materials such as carragheen moss for size and mordants the paper with alum before laying the paper, but still makes many of his paints by hand in the traditional method. In particular, he uses a technique first developed by the late master Necmeddin Okyay of over-marbling and using hand cut stencils (in yet another traditional Turkish method known as Kati) to build up a calligraphic composition, termed yazili ebru (written ebru). Many of the calligraphies are derived from the works of Turkish masters.

For more information, Museum hours, etc., go to:

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ABeCedarium, the Guild of Book Workers’ exhibit of Alphabet Books, 1998 &endash; 99
Greensboro, N.C. • Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. • Chicago, Ill. • Athens, Ohio • Denver, Co. • Claremont, Ca.

Reviewed by Cole Swensen

Everybody knows the alphabet &endash; some of us can even recite it backwards in a pinch &endash; but, like most things familiar and taken for granted, the alphabet can become enormous, endless and, above all, inventive when touched by a lively imagination. The current Guild of Book Workers exhibition, ABeCedarium, opens up the notion of the alphabet in many directions, and it’s this very variety of format, materials, focus and interpretation, as well as the generally excellent level of execution, that makes the show a pure delight.

The texts include Albrecht Dürer’s 1543 Of the Just Shaping of Letters (scanned and imposed in Adobe Illustrator), an Ugaritic (early cuneiform) alphabet, an Alphabook composed of eleven alphabets from prehistory to the present, a Runic text, and a binary rendition of our familiar alphabet, as well as many wildly inventive versions of the aforementioned "familiar."

The presentation of these texts is even more widely varied than the texts themselves; one end of the spectrum is represented by classic full leather bindings, of which there are several stunning examples, all of them marked by unique elements. Patricia Owen’s rendition of The Neolithic Adventures of Taffi-Mai Metalu-Mai: How the First Letter was Written, from How the Alphabet was Made, by Kipling, for instance, is presented in a tight-back binding of full olive-grey oasis enhanced with irregular and timeless images blind-tooled and scattered both arbitrarily and perfectly across a sculpted surface. Another example, Eleanore Ramsey’s Fowl Alphabet by A.J. Robinson features a distinctly dignified sculptural loon framed in cut-out boards that allow the antique marbled flyleaves to show through, and closes with one of her ingenious leather/magnet contraptions. Monique Lallier’s series of three exquisite in-laid calf miniatures, each binding one of Three Classic Typefaces, and all nestled vertically in their cloth box is mirrored in Cris Clair Takacs’ interpretation of the same three, bound in Hahnemuele Bugra paper and fitted out with little brass handles on the spine to resemble drawers that slip into their minuscule faux wood-grained typecase.

The other end of the spectrum is represented by several inventions and constructions that resist categorization, such as Barbara Blumenthal’s Disappearing Alphabet with text by Richard Wilbur on the dire consequences of the disappearance of any one letter (how could one ever visit Uruguay if U disappeared? etc.) printed on cards with a steadily diminishing alphabet on the back and bound with Japanese sewing into a flip-book, and Eric Alstrom’s A Box Containing Dreams..., with an origami-fold card for each letter, collaged with appropriate dictionary fragments and magazine images, all boxed in a marvelous diagonally closing structure, and Claire Satin’s Alphabook of interleaving triangles that fan out for display and in again to tuck into their circular box.

And in between, there was everything in between. To give some notion of the scope: Emily Martin’s The Anxiety Alphabet, bound with pins jutting out from the cover; Laura Wait’s ABC of Gardens & Creative Energy, with its vivid green mahogany covers inlaid with etched brass and an equally verdant illustrated text by the author calligraphed by Sandy Marvin; and Cathy Atwood’s lovely and curiously tender Button Book, contrasting textures of different Japanese papers on which the letters are worked in antique pearl buttons, everything luminously cream.

In such exhibitions, I tend to play "Take Home" &endash; you get to take home only one &endash; but which? I came out with a different one each time, but more than once, it was the small 4 x 5.5 inch Alphabet bound by Anne Conneman in a leafy green oasis goatskin with lively vari-colored onlays. The intimate jauntiness of the cover made you ache to hold it, to curl up with it, open it and read. In fact, that was the only thing these books had in common &endash; they all made you ache to open them up and read them. And if there was any flaw in the show, it was that there was not enough opportunity to get even a hint of the inside if the outside seemed to be the focus, and vice versa. It is, of course, a problem inherent in the medium, but these works more than most made you want to see more.

The catalogue, available from the Guild of Book Workers, can be seen online at:

Xiao Zhentang and Ding Yu, The Repair and Binding of Old Chinese Books Translated and Adapted for Western Conservators, translated to English by David Helliwell, in The East Asian Library Journal, VIII/1, Spring 1998, pp. 27-149, 211 Jones Hall, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 08544. $30.

Reviewed by Gary Frost, University of Iowa Libraries.

Known to Guild members for her exuberant knowledge of Chinese book arts, Nancy Tomasko should also be acknowledged for her part in the revival of The East Asian Library Journal. As Associate Editor she managed the publication of the translation under review in the spring 1998 issue; the next issue, now in press, is also a direct result of her work.

David Helliwell, Senior Assistant Librarian in the Department of Oriental Books at the Bodleian Library, has greatly assisted book crafts people with this translation and adaptation of Xiao Zhentang's manual. Xiao had a long career in Chinese book restoration and began his manual with writer and co-author Ding Yu in 1964. It was published in Peking in 1980. Helliwell encountered the book while considering conservation for Chinese books that had been rebound in Western styles, and considers this treatise the best on the subject. It describes both binding and conservation methods for all types of traditional Chinese books. As presented by Helliwell, the manual also enables the western reader to compare Chinese and Western book crafts and book conservation.

Managing the urge to restore is a theme in both Chinese and Western book conservation. Xiao Zhentang frequently talks about "preservation of the original appearance" but this is frequently pursued via methods of craft re-fabrication. For example, avoiding restoration of the image in printed text or margin ruling is deference enough to excuse subsequent format modifications such as complete rebinding. Or, again, Xiao considers head or tail trimming an option in restoration work.

Overall, however, the restoration concept seems to fare better in Chinese book conservation than it does in Western book conservation. One explanation may be that the materials and techniques of mending and repair are the same as the materials and techniques of the original construction. The nuances of toning in-fills and beating down mends, for example, is not so much cosmetic as a bionic healing of original fabric.

Another reason that restoration of Chinese books is effective is that preservability was designed into them from the start. These design components deserve replication. The fundamental economy and simplicity of the Chinese bookbinding has proven itself more preservable than more elaborate Western binding. Deliberate preservation design is also apparent in the relation of a protective cover to the text. With Chinese books this relationship of protective enclosure, or han, and the bound fascicles of the text is provided as an integral step in book production.

Many fascinating details stimulate comparison of Chinese and western book crafts. One is the familiarity of the Chinese traditional binder and book conservator with a great diversity of fundamental page structures and therefore with an understanding the ingenuity of the physical book. The traditional Chinese book worker is as familiar with folds in the gutter as with folds at the foredge, or with both, or with folds at the gutter thrown out on guards to yield continuous two page spread openings from traditional side stitch sewing.

Such diversity is not related to the length of the history of the Chinese codex, which is not different from that of the Western codex. Innovation just seems to be the rule in Chinese book crafts. For example, the Chinese book with folds at the foredge is relatively recent invention, beginning in the 14th century, and the familiar side sewing emerged only at the turn of the 17th century. But this followed a previous period when the opened gutter edges were adhesively bound and paper wrapped in an eerie equivalent of modern adhesive binding. Such receptivity to innovation is continued with the adoption of western methods in this century.

There are also details of comparison between Chinese and Western book conservation. There is the Chinese method of applying the paste to the original leaf and laying down the dry mending piece, not visa-versa as in the Western routine. Another is the frequent application of non-adhesive technique, not for reversability but to avoid insect attraction. In fact insect repellant coatings and precautions have something of the status of deacidification in the west. Reversability in the strict sense is a consideration in mending paste not because the historical paste, to which a plant sap was added, was damaging but because its bonds have proven too long lasting!

Helliwell's translation captures Xiao’s craft narrative, pure and simple, recording and expressing the grace and precision of technique in traditional Chinese book craft. The translation is enhanced by the graceful and precise drawings provided by Chris Clarkson. In addition, however, Helliwell provides a secondary narrative; and it is not always clear when Xiao leaves off and Helliwell begins. Likewise it is not clear if Clarkson's drawings replace illustrations in the original publication or if they freely elucidate difficult and nuanced points.

A little help revealing the interplay of primary and secondary content would be welcome; for that matter, the reader may selfishly desire more of both. For example, Helliwell mentions the deletion of techniques that Xiao used to prepare books for resale in the antiquarian market. Exactly such information would be of interest to conservators, as would more information about Xiao Zhetang’s career and his family background in the book crafts. Xiao freely mixes production bookbinding technique and book conservation technique, and more comment on their interplay would be useful. Extending the glossary of English representation of Chinese characters to include the nearest English craft term would also be welcome.

Finally, at the end of this wonderful document, the Western reader may still wonder at the sources of the innovations and preservation performances that are achieved by the traditional Chinese book. On the one hand, stereotype confines the Eastern book worker to unquestioned replication of technique. But did the grace and mastery of technique of book workers exemplified by Xiao Zhentang also help to produce the cunning and timeless designs of traditional Chinese books?

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Paper And Type 

For Sale: Barcham Green, English handmade paper (Edinburgh, Dover, Dover Castle, Bodleian and Windsor) $8 per sheet. Set of 18 pt. Edinburgh brass hand letters $250. Two fonts (197 pieces each) Kwikprint Service type: 10 pt. @ $85 and 12 pt. @ $90.

Call Beverly Thompson: 804-293-4461.


I have the following equipment for sale:

I am willing to entertain offers. The equipment is located in Alexandria, VA. and I may be contacted by calling Michael Brooks, (703)922-6639.


Bookbinder’s and artist’s brush soap. A gentle, glycerine-based soap for cleaning your brushes. Developed and tested in the working studio, it is intended for use with water-based media, pastes and adhesives. It is enriched with sweet almond and wheat germ oils to keep your brushes &emdash; and hands &emdash; clean, soft and supple. Available in unscented, lavender or lemon fragrances. The 5H &emdash; oz. Block is $5.50 for one, or 2 for $10. Shipping by priority mail: $4 for up to 6 soaps. Send check or m.o. to Lilyhouse Studio Editions, 1936 West 34th St., Eugene, OR 97405;

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Four Views of Kealakekua Bay, a scrolling book presenting four different views, three literary and one pictorial illustrating the spot where Cook and his crew first discovered Hawaii. Excerpts from the writings of Captain James Cook, Mark Twain and the well-known song by Jonny Noble. Produced by Peter & Donna Thomas, the 20 inch scrolling page is printed on Peter’s handmade paper, illustrated by Donna, and mounted on a dowel through blocks of Koa wood. Bound in handmade paper. 2 7/8" x 1 3/4". 75 copies. $75 ea. plus $3 postage. (Cal. Residents add sales tax.) Peter & Donna Thomas, 260 Fifteenth Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062; t: 831-475-1455.

The Ten Commandments, a miniature book published by the J & J Sobota’s Book Arts Studio, Loket, Czech Republic. 1999. The Ten Commandments are printed in ten languages: Latin, Czech, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Slovak (they were unable to obtain in the Czech Republic a Hebrew font for the computer). 3 x 2, in the shape of a cross, enclosed in a "medieval Pouch". Limited ed. of 100. Printed in gold on handmade paper and bound in various colors of goat-, sheep- and calfskin, with onlays and gold tooling. Cost: US$200 plus $10 postage in Europe, $15 outside Europe. Equivalent checks in major currencies accepted. Jan & Jarmila Sobota, Radnicni 1, 357 33 Loket, Czech Republic; t/f: +420 168/684 154;

The Early Years of Griffen Mill 1968 &emdash; 1998, by Chris Laver-Gibbs. Alembic Press. 1999. Recounts the history of the Mill from its early beginnings. Ms. Laver-Gibbs describes some of the technical problems and solutions in the production of the Mill’s specialist custom sheets for such diverse uses as a reproduction 16th c. print or an 18th c. wallpaper or paper for conservation of archives or rare incunabula. The book includes paper samples and is available from the Mill, or, Alembic Press, Claire M. Bolton, Hyde Farm House, Marcham, Abingdon, Oxford, ox13 6nx, England. t: 44 (0) 1865 391391; f: 44 (0) 1865 391322:

Seeing Glass, designed, edited and produced by Pat Baldwin at Pequeño Press. Throughout history, the mirror images of people, ideas and forms have been fascinating people. Some of these expressions of like-ness are brought forth from a varied collection of authors. French door style of binding with Japanese printed paper over boards, with mirrors included. 2I x 2I, 18 pp. Illustrated by Pat Baldwin. Double accordion structure bound at Waterleaf Mill. Ed. of 50. $80 + $2 p&h. Pequeño Press, P.O. Box 1711, Bisbee, AZ 85603; t: 520-432-5924; f: 520-432-3065;

Books In Sheets

Collected PROVERBS with Commentary by ERASMUS of Rotterdam, contains more than 200 proverbs with engaging commentary by the renowned scholar Erasmus. The text is set in 11 pt. Poliphilus Roman with Blado Italic and printed letterpress on Hahnemuehle Ingres. 6 1/4 x 4 1/4, 110 pages (11 sections). Latin proverbs printed in red with translation and commentary in black. Bound copies are available as well, hand-sewn on leather thongs and laced into an Iowa-paper cover. Price: $48 for sheets, $68 bound, plus $3 shipping ($6 outside N. America). Texas residents add 8% tax. Send a check with your order to: Randolph Bertin, Press Intermezzo, 2612 W. 49th St., Austin, TX 78731.

Binders’ Lettering, A Neglected Art, book historian Colin Franklin’s keynote address at the 1995 Guild of Book Worker’s Standards of Excellence Seminar.

Printed from handset Centaur type and polymer plates in two versions: (1) an oatmeal-colored recycled paper or (2) unbleached linen handmade paper in an edition of 100 copies. Issued as six uncut quarto signatures, including endsheets. 5.25 x 7.25 as folded folios. Published as a Pelegaya Paperworks & Saffron Press Collaboration in 1995. Version 1 is $35. and Version 2 is $60, plus shipping ($4.00).

Please inquire: Paula Marie Gourley, Lilyhouse Studio, 1936 West 34th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon 97405.

Oak Knoll books ( 310 Delaware St., New Castle, DE 19720; t: 800-996-2556;, or list two titles in sheets in their latest catalogue. 1) Ticketed Bookbindings From Nineteenth-Century Britain by Willman Spawn, $35.00. 2) Harrild & Sons’ Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Bookbinders’ Machinery, Materials, Rolls, Tools, Corners, Etc., $15.00.

Some Publishers With Websites Offering Books In Sheets

This was posted on the Peter Verheyen/GBW website in response to an inquiry for sources for books in sheets.

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The following publications are available for borrowing from the Guild Library.

Abbey Newsletter, Vol. 23 #1 1999.

Association of Book Crafts (New Zealand), May/June 1999.


Association of Book Crafts (New Zealand), July/August 1999.

Binder’s Guild Newsletter, Vol. XXII, No. 2, March 1999

Binders’ Guild Newsletter, Vol. XXII, No. 3, April 1999.

Binders’ Guild Newsletter, Vol. XXII, No. 4, June 1999.

Bookbinder, Journal of the Society of Bookbinders, Vol. 11, 1997.

Bookbinder, Journal of the Society of Bookbinders, Vol. 12, 1998.

Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild Newsletter, Vol. 17, No. 2, Summer 1999

Designer Bookbinders Newsletter, No. 107, Summer 1999.

Morocco Bound: Journal of the Craft Bookbinders, Vol. 20 #2, May 1999.

Paper Conservation News, Newsletter of the Institute of Paper Conservation, No. 89, March 1999

Paper Conservation News, Number 90, June 1999.

Printing History: Journal of the American Printing History Association, Vol. XIX, No. 2, 1999, Vol. XX, No. 1, 1999.

The Scribe: Journal of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, Number 72, Summer 1999.


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