Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Just completed the long-overdue binding on Eight Wood Engravings On A Theme Of Pan (Northampton: Pennyroyal Press, 1980) with wood engravings by Barry Moser. A delightful well-proportioned smallish book printed in an edition of 130 copies. The text is made up of six epigrams from the Anthologia Graeca, which Moser loosely translates in his afterword. Set in Goudy Greek (12pt. to 36pt.) in 3 or 4 colors, and punctuated with original brush calligraphy by Betse Curtis. Printed on handmade Japanese Etching paper; engravings on sheets of Sekishu.

From the description of this book at The Veatchs, Arts of the Book.

Description: Dorfner/de Gonet "open joint" style binding. Text sewn on two reinforced leather tapes; bottom and fore-edge left uncut with graphite top edge; black leather endband; spine covered in snake-skin; "O'Malley Crackle" flyleaves; boards covered in Pergamena goat vellum with design taken from illustrations underneath; "O'Malley Crackle" doublures and roundels on front of boards. Housed in Layered Indigo Night semi-soft slipcase.

Cave Paper "O'Malley Crackle" flyleaves and doublures.

Semi-soft slipcase of Cave Paper "Layered Indigo Night" with gold stamped snake-skin label.

Overall showing snake-skin spine, "O'Malley Crackle" roundels,
with design taken from illustrations underneath Pergamena goat vellum.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Buchbinderei in Kontext

Several years ago I found this image floating around the web with no attribution, date, or description but was immediately drawn to it because of the stark imagery, the decay, and the fact that it was (once?) a bindery... Liked it so much I used it as my Facebook banner until today.

Searching in Flickr just now, I found another image of the same bindery, in color no less, that provides a bit more context in the form of the concrete protrusion at the top right. Image below by Markus Mayer from 2009 with the same graffiti and a similar reflection of a Plattenbau in the windows...

Flickr had a few more images of it such as this one that clearly show a railroad trestle above... A bit more searching brought me to Berlin, right near the iconic (for train geeks) Jannowitzbrücke and the Berlin Stadtbahn. This is along the Spree in what was once East Berlin.

A link to a quiz of the "where is this" sort provided a bit of history from a genealogy forum. This indicated that this was once the Buchbinderei Scholz. Interesting story for those that can read German ending with success in tracking down a relation/ancestor.

Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...
The TV tower at the Alexanderplatz is at right.
Click Google Maps Street View to view this July 2008 image,
spin image around to see the reflecting Plattenbau...

Would love to have a bindery at that somewhat desolate location. Combine two passions in one location, books and trains.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Millimeter Binding (Edelpappband)

The German-style millimeter binding (Edelpappband) is the "ennobled" version of the paper-covered case binding and should not be confused with the equally elegant but fundamentally different Danish millimeter binding (link to John Hyltoft: Danish Millimeter Binding from GBW Standards 1995). I described the case-bound German version of the millimeter binding in The Bonefolder, Volume 1, No. 2, Spring 2005, and Renate Mesmer the "in boards" version at the GBW Standards in 2005.

Ernst Collin discussed aspects of this binding on "Wednesday" in his Pressbengel, link to the English Bone Folder at left.

See also the 2005 Bonefolder Edelpappband / “Millimeter” Binding Bind-O-Rama where readers explored this structure, many for the first time.

Below are some maquettes I made to illustrate the covering stages for the version with the narrow leather edge along top and bottom (or fore-edges) and the version with invisible corners.

Below a diagram showing some of the design variants possible.

Overall images of the three books above

The Enchiridon of Epictetus, Press Intermezzo, 1997.

Edelpappband / millimeter binding: Endpapers of red Roma paper; top edge gilt; endband of pastepaper around thread core, vellum trim along top and bottom edges; covered in hand-made pastepaper; title in gold on front cover. 16.5 x 12 x 1cm. Bound 2005.

Saturday Night, 1953 / The Elements, Angorfa Press, 1998.

Edelpappband / millimeter binding: Sewn on 3 ramie tapes; plain endsheets same as text; solid graphite edges; red eel-skin leather endbands; "millimeter / edelpappband" case covered in original pastepaper by binder with blue eel-skin leather trim at head, tail, and along foreedges; title stamped in black on spine. 18 x 13 x .7cm. Bound 2003. The book, in the "Cased Binding" category, was awarded the Harmatan Leather Award for Forwarding in the Society of Bookbinders' 2003 Bookbinding Competition.

Fritz and Trudi Eberhardt, Rules for Bookbinders, The Boss Dog Press, 2003.

Edelpappband / millimeter binding: Endpapers same as text; top edge in graphite and burnished; dark red leather endband around thread core; vellum trim at head/tail caps with invisible corners; covered in handmade pastepaper; title in graphite on front cover. Soft “Ascona-style” slipcase covered in paper to match book with title in graphite on spine. 18 x 12.5 x 1cm. Bound 2005.
Other examples can be seen among the bindings here.