Showing posts with label Decorated papers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decorated papers. Show all posts

Sunday, March 20, 2016

In Memoriam Norma Rubovits

Learned on Friday that Norma Rubovits passed away at the age of 97 1/2. Bill Drendel wrote a wonderful tribute to her that was posted on Book_Arts-L, Bill Minter shared images from a 2010 exhibition of her work at the Newberry, and I found myself remembering her from my days in Chicago. Norma was a regular participant at Chicago Hand Bookbinders meetings, which is how I came to know her during the late 1980s – 1990s. Fast forward to 2006, and I was very glad to have included her in the retrospective exhibition held for the Guild of Book Workers' 100th anniversary where one of her vignettes was shown.

Here Bill's Drendel's tribute:
The passing of Norma B. Rubovits

The book arts community lost a good friend this week Wednesday, when Norma B. Rubovits died at the age of 97. She was a pioneering paper marbler, imaginative bookbinder, major collector and donor. For decades from the 1960s well into the current century, she had a role to play in Chicago book arts and at the Newberry Library. The Newberry hosted a retrospective exhibition of her work in 2010 that celebrated her international renown.

Norma's story is one of determined craft, original thinking, and careful collecting, but it started almost by chance. One day in 1964, Norma's husband Frank asked her if she wanted to take a binding class with him. He had inherited a collection of deteriorating books from his grandfather’s library. Norma said "Why not?" and off they went - to study with Elizabeth Kner, a well- known Hungarian émigré binder with a studio in the Printer's Row area of Chicago. Although Norma became an accomplished binder, her attention soon turned to marbled papers. She taught herself to make marbled paper, by referring to old manuals and sample books at the Newberry, and also by seeking out and getting to know others interested in the art. Her papers were accomplished enough that Jim Wells bought some for use in the Newberry Library bindery, and other customers lined up too. But Norma was not content to produce sheet after sheet of beautiful but predictable papers. She started experimenting with smaller marbles that took up only part of a sheet and eventually came to place these compositions toward the center, using the sheet as a sort of frame. She first referred to these as marbled "doodles" and later "mono-prints," but finally settled on "vignettes." The marbling world had never seen anything like them, and they caused a stir. The Chicago Public Library included her prominently in an exhibit in 1969. She got invitations to exhibit her papers and bindings in group shows locally, nationally, and internationally. She visited Turkey, then as now a center of the marbling world, and corresponded with marblers everywhere. Her international reputation was further solidified in 1992 when Dawson's Bookshop in Los Angeles issued Marbled Vignettes, a limited edition of original miniature marbles along with an accompanying interview in which Norma described her methods and aesthetic.

From the start, Norma Rubovits collected everything she could find on the art of marbling, including copies of the rare manuals she had seen at the Newberry and hundreds of other works about paper, binding, and related book arts. She built a huge collection of papers made by others, largely by purchasing or trading some of her sheets for some of theirs. She often told the story of how shocked and pleased she was when Newberry’s curator, James Wells expressed interest in keeping her papers as part of the John. M. Wing Foundation. But Wells retired soon after and he referred her to "the new guy," Paul Gehl. Norma's major gifts to the Newberry began in 1991 and continued for over a decade. As recently as last year she was adding individual papers and books. The collection is always growing in other ways too. Marblers and authors on paper continue to send their work to the Newberry in Norma's honor. Norma also endowed a book fund at the Newberry for the purchase of books on binding and decorated papers. The collection now numbers more than 4000 marbled pieces and more than 170 books, including many of Norma's own bindings.

Many will mourn Norma as artist and friend. Born Norma Bloch on August 26, 1918 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma and came to Chicago to work at the University of Chicago hospitals as a dietitian. It was during this time she met Dr. Frank E. Rubovits, an obstetrician-gynecologist from an established Chicago family. They raised two daughters: Paula, an artist and model, and Randi, a psychiatrist. Frank died in 1987, Paula in 1988. Norma died March 16, 2016. Randi Rubovits-Seitz is the sole immediate survivor. A memorial is being planned.
Link here to an in memoriam from the Newberry Library, and more about Norma and her collection and more. Here from the Chicago Tribune.

Below three of her marbled vignettes that she sent to me, shown approximately actual size. I was very glad to find them again.

1989

1990

No date

Though we lost touch over the years, she is someone who I will always remember very fondly.

Thank you, Norma. You are missed.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Einschlagpapier, wrapping papers of the DDR

Just received my copy of Don Rash​'s latest Boss Dog Press imprint, Einschlagpapier. Beautifully done with wonderful samples of these very ephemeral papers. Design-wise, something for everyone. Would be a great addition to institutional collections with graphic and surface pattern design holdings, never mind personal collections... Below the text of the prospectus.

The Boss Dog Press takes great pleasure in announcing the upcoming publication of

Einschlagpapier: Wrapping Papers
of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik


By James H. Fraser

PDF of the prospectus 

The late Dr. James Fraser (and here) was a personal friend and a valued patron of the Boss Dog Press. Quite a few years ago he felt it appropriate that Loyd Haberly's bookbinding equipment be placed in my care. This act of kindness made the 2012 BDP catalog of Dr. Haberly's tools possible. His longstanding interest in East German wrapping papers (arguably one of the more esoteric fields of graphic arts history) resulted in a collection of 63 different wrapping paper patterns, which he acquired both personally and through the efforts of friends over several decades. These papers are the core of the forthcoming Boss Dog Press title: Einschlagpapier: Wrapping Papers of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik.

The text, written by Dr. Fraser and edited by his wife Sibylle, describes how his interest in these papers developed, and documents his research into their history. The samples consist of 38 pattern swatches in each book, with sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 5" x 1 9/16" There are six patterns cited in the text; these samples are situated near their respective citations. Another pattern is used as a tailpiece to the text. The other 31 swatches are arranged by decade as per Dr. Fraser's original dating. In order to maximize the sizes of the samples per volume, the edition size had to be limited to 20 copies; of these, three are reserved for the Fraser family and one for the Press.
Although the remaining samples were insufficient in area to be used in all of the copies, most were large enough to provide one 5" x 7" swatch. Twenty of these will be used as frontispieces, each unique to its copy of the edition.

Page size for the edition is 7 1/3" x 11" in landscape format.· The book is imposed in seven quarto signatures with 51 numbered pages plus colophon. The paper for the text and for this prospectus is handmade Old Master Gaspe from La Papeterie Saint-Armand in Montreal, Canada. As with prior Boss Dog titles, the paper will be dampened and printed on our Washington handpress.

The typeface for Einschlagpapier is Linotype digital Kabel, set in Adobe In Design here at the Press. Kabel was designed by Rudolf Koch in 1926; a monoline face with rather eccentric features, it has a marked affinity to the aesthetic of these wrapping papers. Polymer plates for the project are by Boxcar Press in Syracuse, NY.

Bindings will be full Scholco Half-Linen cloth over boards, with paper labels scanned from wrapping bands in the collection. Each book and an accompanying DVD of images of the complete collection of papers will be housed in a matching full cloth clamshell box.

As noted above, the edition size is 20 copies, with 16 for sale. The price per copy is $750, payable by check or credit card. Payment over time can also be arranged. As usual, standing order customers receive 20% discount plus free shipping. Dealer discount is 30%, but given the miniscule size of the edition the Press regretfully has to limit one copy per dealer. The cost of shipping is $15.00.

While normally we send along an order card with each prospectus, due to the unique content and very small size of this edition we are asking interested parties to contact the press via email or phone in order to ensure prompt processing of orders.

Don Rash
The Boss Dog Press
50 Burke Street
Plains, Pennsylvania 18705 USA
Telephone +001 570 239 8643
Email bossdogpress@donrashfinebookbinder.com

Below scans of the cover and selected pages from the introduction, of illustrations, and the colophon.











The book also contains a CD of images of the full sheets. While not at reproduction quality, they give a wonderful overall sense of the surface pattern design of these papers. The CD also provides descriptive data for the swatches included in the book, swatches that were produced from these sheets.

Images from the CD

A wonderful complement to Einschlagpapier is Freude am Einkauf – Papiertüten in der DDR, a book that while in German is richly illustrated with images of the paper bags produced for shoppers in the DDR, bags that shared the joy of shopping. The book can be ordered worldwide from Edition Panorama Berlin. ISBN: 978-3938753545.

Freude am Einkauf – Papiertüten in der DDR
Both books are wonderful to an collection related to decorated papers, surface pattern design, historical studies.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Paste Papers - Mehr Kleisterpapiere

Some more paste paper covered books from my collection, one by a "professional," the others by apprentices.

The first is on Buch und Bucheinband: Eine Festschrift für Hans Loubier, Verlag von Karl W. Hiersemann in Leipzig, 1923. The book (text and binding) was designed by Walter Tiemann. There is a description in a review (in German) in Das Werk, vol 11, 1924. Whether that is the case with this binding is not clear, but there is another just like it (see below). The binding is in quarter vellum with labels and gold tooling on spine.

Noch mehr Kleisterpapier bezogene Bücher aus meiner Sammlung, eins aus "Meisterhand," die Anderen vom Lehrlingen...

Das erste ist Buch und Bucheinband: Eine Festschrift für Hans Loubier, Verlag von Karl W. Hiersemann in Leipzig, 1923. Die Gestaltung von Text und Einband ist von Walter Tiemann. Eine Rezession aus Das Werk, Bd. 11, 1924 ist hier zu finden. Ob das auch für diesen gilt ist mir unklar, aber noch einer konnte bei einem Antiquar unten gefunden werden. Der Einband ist in halb-pergament mit Rückenschild und Vergoldung.

Buch und Bucheinband: Eine Festschrift für Hans Loubier, Verlag von Karl W. Hiersemann in Leipzig, 1923.
Rezession aus Das Werk, Bd. 11, 1924

Here a dealer description for another copy. I did not get my copy from John Windle.

Hier der Inserat von einem Antiquar für noch ein Exemplar. Ich habe meins nicht von John Windle bezogen.

Antiquarian dealer notice from viaLibri

Next, an apprentice binding on Paul Adam's Lebenserinnerungen eines alten Kunstbuchbinders (Memoires of an old Craft Bookbinder) published by the Meister der Einbandkunst (MDE) in 1925. The book was published in further editions in 1929 and 1951. My copy is 223/300.

Als Nächstes, Lehrlingsarbeit an Paul Adams Lebenserinnerungen eines alten Kunstbuchbinders herausgegeben von den Meister der Einbandkunst (MDE) 1925. Das Buch wurde 1929 und 1951 in weiteren Auflagen herausgegeben. Mein Exemplar ist 223/300.

Paul Adam, Lebenserinnerungen eines alten Kunstbuchbinders, 1925

Below a detail of the title on the spine. You can see clearly how it was pieced together using pallets and gouges. This is the same technique that was used on both spine and front cover (with onlays) on my copy of the 1927 Meister der Einbandkunst Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst.

Unten ein Detail von dem Titel, zusammen gesetzt aus Linien und Bogen. Dies ist die selbe Technik die bei meinem Exemplar vom Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst, herausgegeben von den Meister der Einbandkunst, 1927.

Title detail from Paul Adam, Lebenserinnerungen eines alten Kunstbuchbinders, 1925
Click to enlarge

You can see another binding on this text, this one by W. Collin student Maria Lühr in the Sammlung Max Hettler in Stuttgart, Germany.

Man kann einen anderen Einband an diesem Text, diesmal gebunden von der W. Collin Schülerin Maria Lühr in der Sammlung Max Hettler in Stuttgart finden.

Der Buchbinderlehrling
Volume 14, 1940 - 1941; Volume 15, 1941 - 1942; Volume 16, 1942 - 1943.

I have many more apprentice bindings using paste papers (see above), most in my collection of Der Buchbinderlehrling to which I dedicated a post here last summer.

Ich habe noch viele weitere Lehrlingseinbände mit Kleisterpapier eingebunden in meiner Sammlung (siehe oben) vom Buchbinderlehrling über die im letzten Jahr geschrieben habe.

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
Recipes
Samples
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
 
Prospectus

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.
Sample
Sample

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.


Not from a sample book, here two papers by Don Rash Fine Bookbinder on books from his Boss Dog Press.

Fritz Eberhard's Three Lectures covered in original pastepaper
Click here to see how the pastepaper was made on the Boss Dog Press blog
Fritz Eberhardt's Rules for Bookbinders in a simple non-adhesive wrapper.

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

More Paste Papers - Mehr Kleisterpapiere

 Some more paste paper covered books from my collection at the link above, one by a "professional," the others by apprentices.