Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Paste paper sample books in the United States

Paste papers, Kleisterpapiere in German, are one of the oldest forms of decorated papers. They were "developed" in German-speaking areas during the late 16th century, and used to cover books and as endsheets. Among the most famous are the Herrenhuter papers made by members of the Moravian Church, most often by women in "Single Sister" houses.  When this group emigrated from Moravia to North America they settled largely in Pennsylvania during the 1740s,where they were active in printing, binding, and making these papers. Their archives in the United States are in Bethlehem, PA.

Even in Germany they fell out of favor, were considered old-fashioned by the time the 19th century ended. However, with austerity measures during the First World War, paper bindings and the papers that decorated them came back, with many innovations in manufacture and aesthetics. Among them were paste papers. This was something Ernst Collin viewed as one of the few benefits of austerity and touched on in some of his articles.

Paste papers are made by mixing pigments (dry, tempera, acrylic, ...) into a paste made from flour, starches of other kinds, or more modern materials such as methylcellulose. Patterns can be made by brush strokes, pulling, stamps, rollers, any combination of these, and more. They have become very popular and there are numerous tutorials online. I have gathered many of these at the Book Arts Web.

More recently, they were "reintroduced" by German immigrant binders who passed the skills and love of the papers to their apprentices, most actively in New England where Arno Werner taught and mentored many. Below from his obituary in the New York Times dated 8/5/1995.
Arno Werner was born in Mylau, Saxony, one of 10 children of a weaver. He was apprenticed to a bookbinder at 13 and did the customary stint as a journeyman moving around Europe. He came to New York in 1925 with $25 and his tools in a cigar box.

For years he shuttled between jobs in this country and in Germany until he was persuaded to train with the famous master binder Ignatz Wiemeler in Leipzig, a center of publishing and antiquarian book dealers. He returned to the United States when war broke out in 1939 and set up his own bindery in Pittsfield, Mass., in 1942. He maintained it until 1977, when he moved the workshop to Hadlyme.
Fritz Wiese's Sonderarbeiten des Buchbinders (1948) bound by Arno Werner

From David Bourbeau's introductory essay in Katran Press' Pastepapers of the Pioneer Valley,
 Also in the latter half of the century, Arno Werner, a German-born and -trained master bookbinder, bound books for some the major antiquarian dealers, collectors, libraries, and printing masters of the day including the Cummington Press in the 1950s and Gehenna Press in the 1960s and 1970s. Arno had started making decorative papers in Pittsfield during the Second World War when European Products were difficult to come by... ... These he produced in the style of the Bauhaus movement that influenced most of his work. A Leonard Baskin and his Gehenna Press attracted and inspired a new generation of designer-printers, Arno Werner trained a new generation of studio bookbinders, Many of his students in turn have taught the art to others.

As mentioned by Bourbeau, these papers were made by and for private press books giving them a distinctive elegance, and their manufacture and use have spread across the United States. With this, some makers and presses have also issued elegant sample books of their papers, most with recipes and other tips. All-in-all, real treats for lovers of these decorated papers. A small selection of samples from this books in my collection can be found below:

Morris, Henry. Roller-Printed Paste Papers for Bookbinding. North Hills, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1975

Overall view of Roller-Printed Paste Papers with bird and bull pattern

Title Page
Samples. The one at left is the Bird & Bull "trademark."

Fraser, James H. The Paste Papers of the Golden Hind Press. Fairleigh Dickinson University Library and Tideline Press, 1983. Edition of 70. This book has been partially digitized here. From the introduction:
Historical changes in the European process of spattering, combing, impressing or otherwise distributing colored paste on paper have been variations niore of design and color preference than of mechanics. To belabor the history or the technique, which is little more than a function of in1agination and deft fingers, would be redundant considering the writings of Albert Haemmerle or Rosamund Loring. [Loring's "notebook" is online]

The number of paste paper artisans since the close of the nineteenth century, where these two accounts leave us, has likely been greater than in all the previous centuries. Quite possibly there is quantitatively more paste paper being produced at the beginning of the 1980s than at any other time in history in the scores of countries in which, like the United States, a revival in the book arts is being experienced. Yet with this productivity there is perhaps little to be added to our understanding of this simplest of paper decorating procedures except to document and exhibit so1nething of their variety.

Title page
Example Four
Examples Nine and Ten

Bolton, Claire. Maziarczyk Paste Papers. Oxford: The Alembic Press, 1991. Edition of 175. 8vo. quarter cloth, paste paper over boards. 53 pages. Contains nineteen samples of Claire Maziarczyk's paste papers, and also describes how they are made. The text includes a history of paste papers and notes on the range of patterns used. quarter cloth, paste paper over boards.

In the introduction, Bolton gives an overview of the historical use of paste papers, also mentioning an article by Paul Adam, "Die Kleistermamorpapiere" in Archiv für Buchbinderei, v7, nr 12 1907-1908 (176-182). 

In the section on "markets," Bolton notes that "Maziarczyk papers today sell to two main groups, bookbinders and interior designers, and the colours and the patterns are chosen with these two groups very much in mind... Apart from book covers and endpapers Maziarczyk papers are regularly used by designers as backdrops for photographers."

Before retiring from making paste papers, Claire Maziarczyk presented widely in the United States and Canada often including tips for ergonomics to reduce repetitive stress injuries. Her website is here.

Title page
Sample from text describing process
Sample - Maziarczyk's papers often have an iridescent shine.
Sample - Maziarczyk's papers often have an iridescent shine.

Bookbinder Elissa Campbell wrote about a visit to Claire Maziarczyk in her blog, sharing many images of the Studio.

One of my absolutely favorite people in the book arts is Warwick Press' Carol Blinn whose work ranges from her whimsical Once Upon a Time books to the serious. Throughout, Carol makes use of paste papers, a technique she learned from Arno Werner and taught frequently. You can see some images from workshops on her website. On the subject of paste papers, wrote two small chapbooks, Decorative Paste Papers at Warwick Press (1991) and On Making Decorative Paste Papers (2005) in which she shared tips and tricks.

Carol Blinn's Arno Werner / One Man's Work
Blinn's chapbooks
Her magnum opus on the topic, however, is Serious Play: Decorated Paste Papers, as much a tribute to her path and experiences learning from and working with Arno Werner, as it is a sampler.

Blinn, Carol J. Serious Play: Decorated Paste Papers. Easthampton, MA: Warwick Press, 2006. Edition of 35.

From the prospectus:
This book is the most ambitious to date issued from Warwick Press. The text describes my introduction to paste papers and explores my friend-ship with bookbinder Arno Werner. My affection for Arno shines through the description of his showing me how to decorate with paste. Early photographs of Arno as well as reproductions of some of my papers used on Warwick Press projects are included. For many years I have wanted to document my papers. This book is the result of endless prodding to get the edition done before I become too feeble to life a paint brush. Serious Play is a unique gathering together of my writing and paste papers and it gives me great joy to present it to discerning collectors. I fell in love with the making of this book & I hope you will too.

35 copies; 64 pages; 7 by 9 ½ inches high; designed, typeset in Dante, and letterpress printed by Carol on Zerkall Book; 22 paste paper samples, with descriptions of how to make each one; stenciled title page; a calligraphed title by Sarah Roberts; 12 digitally reproduced illustrations; hand bound by Carol with paste-paper-over-board covers glued onto signatures bound using a four-needle Coptic sewing stitch, the spine of the book being exposed; wrapped in an orange paper wrapper with colored label; signed.

Title page
Sample with description below
Sample with description below
Sample with description below
Sample with description below
Another Easthampton binder with the same lineage back to Arno Werner, a neighbor of Carol Blinn's at One Cottage Street, is Sarah Creighton. A selection of her beautiful papers can be found on her website, papers she often used in her edition bindings and other creations. There are numerous others, too.

On the West Coast we find Marie Kelzer who produced a series of seven Paste Paper Pattern Books between 2002 – 2012. All of these contain recipes and tips and tricks regarding the techniques used to make the papers, this along with an average of 50 tipped in samples. Kelzer was introduced to the technique by Eleanor Ramsey, a binder in San Francisco, and also learned from Claire Maziarczyk.

Paste Paper Pattern Book, Volume VI

Sample with description below
Sample with description below. Note use of toy cars.
Sample with description below. Note use of pastry rollers.

Below some links to pages in English and German about (historical) paste papers, all with lots of images:

So, head to your benches and make paste papers keeping in mind Henry Morris' "parting words."

Good Luck

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Binding an Empire

I've had this poem parked for future sharing, but prompted by the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco that started sharing bookbinding songs on its blog (and here), I decided to translate this poem that was read at the German Bookbinder's Convention in Berlin, 1882. At the celebrations, the "Altmeister" Wihelm Hoppenworth presented the following poetic tribute to his Imperial Majesty, the German Kaiser... Hoppenworth was "Obermeister" of the Berlin bookbinding guild at the time.

Here the German original from the Teltower Kreisblatt, August 26, 1882 (pg 3). Teltow is a part of Berlin. A translation into English is below with links to articles in Wiki about the historical events mentioned. Die mit Deutschkenntnissen können einfach die Abbildungen lesen... Links zu längst vergessenen Ereignißen sind in der Übersetzung ins Englische...

The Kaiser is the best bookbinder, because
He bound the fatherland together
Into a single glorious volume.
At Düppel, back in the day, and at Alsen,
That's where the Kaiser began his "folding."
With his folder of steel,
He stroked the Danes out of Schleswig-Holstein.
At Königsgrätz with mighty strength
The Kaiser began to "sew" the book.
And after only 8 days it was known,
that he understood what he was doing.
And all who didn't stand by his side,
They were simply "bound in."
And, then came the great day at Sedan,
That's when the last work was done,
That's where the principle enemy was captured,
And, that's where the book was cased-in.
And before one even noticed,
The deluxe binding Germany was completed.
And as is common with bookbinders,
He thought about the finishing,
And carried that out magnificently,
At Versailles, in the reflection of the imperial crown.
Therefore, you Masters old and young,
At the thought of this mighty memory:
Fill your glasses with noble wine,
And with mighty voices pronounce.
The Kaiser with a thunderous cheer,
He who bound Germany into a glorious volume
And with Alsace-Lorraine gave it a "gilt edge!"

It goes without saying that this pronouncement was heartily cheered by all the guests.
In 1936, the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien (pg 341) republished this poem on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Bruno Müllers, director of the Fachschule (the trade school) of the bookbinding guild of Berlin. Mentioned were his grandfather Friedrich Wilhelm Hoppenworth and his Onkel Wilhelm Hoppenworth, the same who read the poem above, both very highly regarded Guild masters. Wilhelm and Georg Collin will likely also have been in attendance.

Fast forward 54 years...

The times however had changed, and instead of a Kaiser and the Second German Empire (the first was the Holy Roman Empire) there was now the Third Reich, and "a new bookbinder, Adolf Hitler, who understood that the binding Germany needed to be restored after having been frivolously and maliciously torn apart... This new bookbinder made it his, and our task to restore this binding so that no power on earth will ever be able to tear it apart again..." This was written by Emil Kloth (link in German), a bookbinder, former marxist and labor organizer, who disillusioned by the collapse of the German Empire following WW I became a committed nationalist and Nazi functionary. He was also the author of Geschichte des deutschen Buchbinderverbandes published in two volumes by the Deutscher Buchbinderverband, Berlin 1910 – 1913. He is also the subject of the recently published Emil Kloth (1864 - 1943) : vom marxistischen Gewerkschaftsvorsitzenden zum bekennenden Nazi by Rüdiger Zimmermann

I have not found other politicizations of bookbinding in other countries, but with the election of the Nazis in 1933, the total political alignment (Gleichschaltung) of all trades, social organizations, ... began. This also carried over into design aesthetics for works produced by bookbinders, demonstrated by the works of Otto Dorfner, Heinrich Luers, Frieda Tiersch, Franz Weisse, among others, as well as their students. It was also clearly evident in the literature such as Der Buchbinderlehrling, the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, even the Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst. After the war, some of these continued working, and adapted to whatever political systems ruled where they lived. For Dorfner, who remained in East Germany (the DDR), this meant producing bindings extolling the virtues of that system and its leaders out of conviction, necessity, or just convenience... Both are topics for future posts.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Licht für die Buchbinderei - Lighting for Bookbinderies

Below, a photograph of a bookbindery taken in Berlin by OSRAM, and depicting inappropriate lighting. The photograph is interesting for other reasons as well. OSRAM was (and remains) one of the most modern lighting companies in Germany providing lighting solutions for shop windows, advertising, and work/office/task environments among others.
Unten eine Abbildung einer Buchbinderei in Berlin, aufgenommen von OSRAM um die Unzweckmäßige Beleuchtung zu zeigen. Das Bild ist aber auch sonst sehr interessant. OSRAM war (und ist es noch) eine der modernsten Firmen in Deutschland für Beleuchtung von Schaufenstern, Reklameleuchten und Arbeitsleuchte, u.A..

Bookbinding workroom with inappropriate lighting. The light bulbs protrude from the  too-flat shades blinding the workers below. The lighting is harsh and creates deep shadows. Additionally, the bulbs are insufficient in their output.
[Description printed on verso of photograph]

What do we see in this image? A small shoddy shop, dark, tired, with 5 workers. The "Meister" (an Omar Sharif lookalike as my wife pointed out) at left in the back. The curtains are drawn, and it is dark behind. The clock on the wall shows 7:00 a.m. or 7:00 pm - in February in Berlin it would have been dark at either time. A "calendar" on the wall at right given away by the board maker Th. Volstorf celebrates their 100th anniversary, 1930 - 1930. Below in that "calendar" it says February 28, then Dienstag (Tuesday). That would fit for 1928, a leap-year. In 1930 February 28th fell on a Friday. The date would also work for 1933. What does the "9" represent? The 9th week of that year, that would fit, buy why so prominent. Between the two a map of the center of Berlin.

Und, was sehen wir in diesem Bild? Ein kleiner schmuddeliger betrieb, dunkel, abgenutzt, dreckig, mit  5 Arbeitern. Dem Alter nach, hinten links der "Meister" der wie Omar Sharif aussieht (sagt meine Frau). Die Vorhänge sind zu, und es ist dunkel dahinter. Die Uhr an der Wand gibt 7 oder 19:00 Uhr an. Februar in Berlin wäre es zu beiden Zeiten Dunkel. Ein Werbekalendar daneben von Pappen Th. Volstorf die 1930 deren 100. Jubiläum feier(ten). Darauf steht auch Februar 28, dann Dienstag. Dienstag der 28. würde für 1928 passen, 1930 fiel der 28. an einem Freitag, Dienstag der 28. würde auch für 1933 passen. Was bedeutet die 9? Die neunte Woche des Jahres - würde für alle die Jahre passen, aber warum so groß. Zwischen Uhr und Kalender eine Karte von Berlin-Mitte.

The single workbench shows a number of piles and tasks. The young apprentice at left is slitting open signatures, another at right is sewing (with piles of signatures below). with the one behind checking the fit of the cover to the book. In the middle of the table we have a paste pot with heated glue pot behind. Gas for the heating flame (based on screw valve) comes from the pipe from above. In the pot, brushes with metal handles. On the wall at left, nicely ordered tools and a sign that proclaims Time is Money! The lights above, the reason for the image have been heavily retouched on the negative before printing.

 Die einzige Werkbank zeigt einige Arbeitsgänge und Haufen von ... Der "Lehrling" vorne links schneidet Lagen oder sonst was auf, der vorne rechts heftet mit hauen von Lagen darunter, dahinter einer der kontrolliert ob die Decke auch richtig paßt. In der Mitte von der Bank ein Topf Kleister und dahinter der Heißleimtopf. Von der Decke kommt die Gaszufuhr dem Ventil in der Leitung nach. Das Gas war für die Heizflamme im Topf. Im Leimtopf, 2 Pinsel mit Metallgriff. Ganz hinten links an der Wand, mehr Werkzeug und ein Schild mit Zeit ist Geld. Die Beleuchtung, der Grund für die Aufnahme, wurde vor dem Abziehen auf dem Negativ stark retuschiert.

Still from the OSRAM video below with well-lit workbenches
Ausschnitt des OSRAM Video unten mit zweckmäßiger Beleuchtung

For some background, in 1928 OSRAM worked with the government of Berlin to hold a promotional week during which selected buildings would be spectacularly lit up.  OSRAM hired several photographers specializing in architecture to document these activities. During the 1930s efforts shifted to advertising lighting solutions for shop windows, advertising, and work/office/task environments among others. In order to help promote this, illustrated portfolios were created that representatives would have taken to prospective clients.

1928 veranstaltete OSRAM mit dem Berliner Magistrat die Werbewoche "Berlin im Licht", bei der viele Gebäude spektakulär beleuchtet wurden. OSRAM beschäftigte hervorragende Architektur-Fotografen, um  die Aktivitäten zu dokumentieren. Max Krajewski und Arthur Köster arbeiteten auch für OSRAM. In den 1930er Jahren verlegte man sich auf die Werbung für Leuchtreklamen, Arbeitsplätze, Lädenaußenfronten wie Innengestaltung. Dafür wurde eine Werbemappe erstellt, mit denen wohl Vertreter in Berlin arbeiteten um neue Kunden zu finden.

Below an advertising short Die Licht Bienalle, created by OSRAM in the early 1950s... The title says Bright as OSRAM Bright, Bright as a Bright Day.

From the 1950s...

Zwei Artikel auf Deutsch über OSRAM und Beleuchtung: 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Art Deco Bookbinding - Two Tales by Oscar Wilde

For a change, something from Germany's neighbor to the west, France. This is one of my favorite bindings, in large part because I have had the privilege of being able to view and handle it as part of my "day job" as a librarian. Reasons for its attraction are my love of art deco livres d'artistes, in particular the French bindings of that period, and the fact that so much of the process in the form of proofs of illustrations and the binding design are bound in. Johanna Drucker in her work The Century of Artists' Books , the livre d'artiste came into being as a publishing enterprise initiated by such figures as the Parisian art dealers Vollard and Kahnweiler who saw a business opportunity in marketing deluxe editions illustrated by recognized or upcoming stars in the fields of visual arts or poetry, among them Chagall, Picasso, Apollonaire, Matisse, Miro, Ernst.

The two short stories that are related in Two Tales by Oscar Wilde, The Happy Prince and The Nightingale and the Rose, involve the tragic deaths of a sparrow and a nightingale, each sacrificing itself for the cause of true love. The engraver and printer F. L. Schmied and the bookbinder Georges Cretté decided to use this emblem on the volume's magnificent art deco binding. Set into the morocco leather of the front cover is a panel with the image of a dying bird created with cracked eggshell and lacquer by Jean Dunand after Schmied's design. The edition was limited to twenty copies. The opening displays Schmied's dramatic typographical treatment complemented by a horizontal band of engraving and explains the death of the nightingale:
If you want a red rose," said the Tree, "you must build it out of music by moonlight, and stain it with your own heart's-blood. You must sing to me with your breast against a thorn. All night long you must sing to me, and the thorn must pierce your heart, and your lifeblood must flow into my veins, and become mine.
In addition to the final printed text and illustrations, proofs for all illustrations, borders, and other design elements were also bound into the book.

Front cover of binding with eggshell lacquer panel by Jean Dunand.

Design mock-up of front cover design bound into book.

Detail of eggshell lacquer panel...

Printed silk doublure (inside front board) with stamp for lacquer panel.

Detail of stamp.

Binder's stamp from inside of rear board, G[eorges] Cretté succ[essor] Marius Michel

Title page.

Colophon/edition statement on verso of title page.

Text page showing borders/decorative elements

Full page illustration.

Proof for illustration above, bound in at back of book.

Proof for illustration, bound in at back of book.

For more images of wonderful Art Deco livres d'artistes, including other examples of this edition see the auction catalog for the Bibliothèque Félix Marcilhac that can be downloaded in PDF.

Art Nouveau and Art Deco Bookbinding: French Masterpieces 1880-1940 by Alastair Duncan and Georges De Bartha is must have "book porn" for lovers of this era of binding. Lots of copies floating around at Amazon, ABE Books, ...

All binding images, Peter D. Verheyen from Wilde, Oscar. Two Tales. Paris : F.L. Schmied, 1926. Contains: The Happy Prince and The Nightingale and the Rose.8 leaves, xxviii p., 5 leaves, xxvi p., 6 leaves, 102 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. Permission of: Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Der letzte Schrei | A Scream

Buchbinderei, der letzte Schrei

Bookbinding, a scream

Fritzche Buchbinderei / Leipziger Großbuchbinderei
Berlin / Leipzig



And here the Buchbinderei Fritsch (no relation) in a "mini mall" in Berlin.
You never know what Google will find...

Und hier die Buchbinderei Fritsch (keine Verbindung) in einer kleinen Ladenreihe in Berlin.
Man weiß nie was bei Google so auftaucht...