Sunday, June 9, 2019

Sprayed and Stenciled Papers

Decorated papers from the Hübel & Denck Monatsblätter 1924 & 1925, as well as a photo showing process from Praktische Winke für den Verkehr zwischen Verlag und Buchbinderei published by the Leipziger Buchbinderei A.G., 1926. The decorated papers are created with sprayed colors using stencils and other techniques. See also pochoir, schabloniertes Papier.

End- and covering paper Pekapapier Nr. 84 made in our own workshop
from a design by Paul Klein.
Hübel & Denck Monatsblätter, Nr. 2, 1924.

End- and covering paper Pekapapier Nr. 96 made in our own workshop.
Hübel & Denck Monatsblätter, Nr. 3, 1924.

Peka sprayed paper made in our own workshop using light-fast colors,
a new development that has man advantages in addition to the attractive soft-toned colors.
Hübel & Denck Monatsblätter, Nr. 1, 1925.

Photo showing process of making sprayed and stenciled papers
from Praktische Winke published by the Leipziger Buchbinderei A.G., 1926.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Bone Folder as Bound by Marc Hammond

Congratulations Marc! Absolutely beautiful and honored by the binding.

The Bone Folder was written by Ernst Collin as Der Pressbengel, translated by me, and printed by Don Rash's Boss Dog Press with photos by John (Hans) Schiff. Order information at left. Unbound sheets are sold out.

Below the post on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw2oyDJgbgg/:






The 1st Place winner in the "Bound Together" bookbinding exhibit is a binding of “The Bone Folder" by #NBSSalumni Marc Hammonds BB ’17 @marc.hammo. . Marc says, “Much of the subject of The Bone Folder relates to traditional bookbinding techniques. My inspiration stems from the raised sewing supports and endband cores used in historic bookbinding to attach the boards. In my design, they are illustrated by leather onlays and dots tooled with gold leaf. The goal I had in mind was to craft a very contemporary binding with a design which would allude to traditional techniques.” . “The Bone Folder” was written by Ernst Collins as Der Pressbengel, translated by Peter D. Verheyen @pdverheyen, and printed by Boss Dog Press. . See photos of Marc's book process here, including the titling on the spine. This is a full leather binding with onlays, dots tooled with gold leaf, and Diane Bond paste paper endpapers. . Come see the book in "Bound Together," open until tomorrow. it will also be in the 20th Annual Celebration of Craft: Student & Alumni Exhibit, opening May 1, 2019. More info: nbss.edu/acc2019 . #boundtogether #boundtogetherbooks #bookbinding #bookbindingtools #bookbinder #bookbinders #bonefolder #thebonefolder #bookbindersdesign #bookart #finebinding #bookbindingexhibition #acc2019 #bookstagram #books
A post shared by North Bennet Street School (@nbssboston) on

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Help [Hübel & Denck] Advertise!

Help [Hübel & Denck] Advertise!

"A good book is the best friend and helper anytime!," "read books, knowledge is power!," and "give books at every occasion!" Hübel & Denck, based in Leipzig was one of Germany's largest trade binderies, binding everything from notebooks to literature, including very high end specialty work. The image is from their house journal that published articles about typography, design, bookbinding, collecting, ...

From Hübel & Denck's "Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst," vol 2, nr. 12, 1925-26.

Each of the issues in the journal had it's own unique style that included the paper, typography, graphic elements, and samples of materials. More about those later.

The bindery and book cover factory Hübel & Denck, 1895.
Franz Weisse worked there in their extra-binding department.
Hübel & Denck also published the Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst (1924-28),
a monthly newsletter with articles by and for bibliophiles that Ernst Collin wrote for as well.
Each issue had its own distinctive typographical design and often included samples of materials

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Carsick and Corrugated Cardboard

Good article in the New York Times (3/22/19) about the resurgence of corrugated manufacturing in the US. Nice segue to sharing images of this project from last summer...

Last summer I finally got around to binding my copy of John Waters' Carsick that chronicled his hitchhiking trip from Bawlmer to San Francisco. Carsick is your "traditional" modern trade hardcover, adhesive bound with dust jacket... Nothing special.

So, rip cover off, take tacking iron (with protective layer between) to remove the bulk of the hot-melt adhesive and round while still warm. Next, attach a rolled cord to make a shoulder as there was none, make the endpapers, trim, give top edge a coloring of Woodland Scenics asphalt color (bookbinding and choo-choos overlap), apply rolled endbands, line spine, make case, cover with distressed corrugated cardboard, case-in. Got it? Good. Just another German case binding...


The start of Mr. Waters' journey, and mine.
Thought it might find use in the design.

A trip to AAA (Just like Mr. Waters) to get some road maps.
Started in Bawlmer/Maryland, an overall of the US, and finally San Francisco.

Textblock done, next the covers. Start with your typical corrugated cardboard box like you might pick up to make your hitchhiking sign, write destination (or in this case title) in Sharpie, and done. My vodka box was too clean though, so some light weathering was called for. Enter a post lunch-time coffee on Waverly Avenue, busy during that time, including with heavy truck traffic, just like along the interstate.




Result of the weathering...

Mr. Waters holding his sign.
From a review in the Chicago Tribune.

Needed a bit more, so coffee stains from the bottom of the cup.

End on view showing edge treatment, endband making use of map cutoffs,
and the corrugated.

The endpapers...

Overall view of cover. A torn strip of map depicting the heartland along the bottom

A very different yet very fun project where I felt I was channeling Richard Minsky's "material as metaphor" concept.

I enjoyed reading the book, too,really three stories bound as one, his fantasy trip, his horror trip, and reality. My masseuse (who didn't care for the book) undertook a similar trip last summer, retracing the one he made 40 years ago. Like Waters' experience, his reality was similar, a trip filled with meeting interesting people with interesting stories that reveal not all is lost in 'Merica.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Advertising for Binderies, 1910 and 1918

Just came into several issues of the Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, n.F., spanning the years 1910 - 18. Some wonderful advertising for binderies and binders I've shared here and seen in other places, so perhaps more fodder for future posts. You can find most of these binderies on the Buchstadt | City of the Book, Leipzig, 1913 map. 

E.A. Enders, 500 employees and 230 machines.
Everything bookbinding and related, with an
extra-binding department head by Professor Walter Tiemann.
Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, n.F., vol 9, 1917-18

E.A. Enders in 1929.
From Muster-Betriebe deutscher Wirtschaft.

Hübel & Denck, Leipzig.
Royal Bavarian Court bookbinders.
Odd that the Wittelsbacher went to Leipzig in Saxony.
No one in Munich, Nuremberg, or ...?
Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, n.F., vol 2, 1910-11.

Hübel & Denck also published the Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst,
a monthly newsletter with articles by and for bibliophiles that Ernst Collin wrote for as well.
Each issue had its own distinctive typographical design and often included samples of materials.
[Bindery image]

Karl Ebert in Munich
Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, n.F., vol 9, 1917-18

Completed book cases for the Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde by W. Drugulin, Leipzig.
Drugulin also printed Ernst Collin's Pressbengel in 1922.
Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde, n.F., vol 2, 1910-11
You can see modern examples of these book cases towards the bottom here.

Carl Sonntag Jun[ior] and Julius Hager, Leipzig.
More about Sonntag in German.
An ad for Julius Hager from 1921.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Bookbinding and Adapting to Life Changes


In The Ponderings of a Bookbinding Student- Part 3, I mentioned some of the reasons for returning to the US from Germany in 1987, even though returning was perhaps not the initial plan. One of the things that happened in the spring of my last apprentice year (and 2 short months before my exams) was that I was diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy. At the hospital the doctor said, "so what are you going to do now?" Hadn't thought about it, was still bike racing, and thinking of my life and career... "Well, you won't be able to get a job and will need to go on disability..." Ah, well, that's a problem then, and that statement alone made it easy to return to the US. Effects of this progressive disease weren't obvious for a very long time, in part because I continually adapted to those changes. Part of that was getting a job in academia with great health insurance, and  acquiring new interests and skills in my day job such as digitization and management.

In Blade Runner (1982), Roy and Pris asked Sebastian (Who had challenges of his own) for help with their life expiration dates...
We've got a lot in common.
What do you mean?
Similar problems. 
Accelerated decrepitude.

I don't know much about bio-mechanics, Roy...
In terms of my binding and teaching, the impact started to be noticed around 2003 when traveling to teach workshops became too strenuous, especially since one is "always on," and that for at least two long days, back to back. I continued to teach classes from my home studio until 2012ish when I decided I needed a break, in part to do my own work and not worry about having to clean off the bench once a week. I still welcome former students and selected others who want to use equipment and/or otherwise talk shop.

The impact is also felt at the bench where I have increasing issues with stamina and some fine motor skills such as sewing endbands or holding a finishing tool… I have no intention to stop binding, but rather will adapt by changing structures and other aspects. It creates some interesting design challenges, and for those things I can't do, I ask for help... Adapting to changing circumstances and adjusting ones career/artistic/life goals is essential regardless of circumstance. Sometimes we just need to roll with it, something easier said than done.

Last spring, after having avoided the bench because of problems getting up off the scooter safely and trying to stagger back and forth (always holding on) to get things out of my flat files, work at the stamping press (on another bench), sit on an adjustable stool that worked with my "standard" standing height benches, ..., I made the decision to have my benches reduced in height so that I could work comfortably seated on my scooter.

Original bench height (ca 36"/91.5cm), great for working when standing,
Seated on a scooter, not so much.

New bench height (ca 28"/71cm), equivalent to standing. Much better!

Bench for stamping press, a few inches higher than the old bench height.
Platten about chest height, great for looking at the stamping area.

About the same working height, except now from the scooter. Much better...

So, now I can comfortably work at my benches, but there are still plenty of challenges to working such as the declining fine motor skills
  • The bio-mechanics and ergonomics of endbanding (stamina and fine motor).
    • No work around yet, but maybe make some boxes that I put to either side to rest arms/elbows on.
  • Being able to exert downward pressure to keep rulers in position and keep things from slipping in general.
    • A rubber mat helps keep the cutting mat from slipping around...
  • Holding/using finishing tools very strenuous, even to do a straight line.
  • Using board shear.
    • Ask for help! Only way to do it, unless... Hmmm...
  • Bigger books more unwieldy, smaller ones easier to handle/work on.
  • Less "full" bindings, more 3-part bindings, that thing I call the modified Bradel binding (Gebrochener Rücken) as component parts can be easier to handle.
  • DON'T blame every problem on the disease/cpndition. Everyone screws up/has accidents at some point. Learn from them, recover if possible (or start over), and move on. Questioning everything not healthy...
  • Exhibits, maybe not so much anymore... Less pressure can equal more fun. Find other outlets for sharing work and experiences. 

Cathryn Miller of Byopia Press recently published a fantastic post on this topic on her blog. In it she describes many of her hacks and adaptations that allow her to keep working on her books.

I'm going to keep at it, binding that is, but have also gone back to my trains and building kits such as the pigeon shack. LOTS of detail work to keep the fine motor skills on notice, but not as costly when screw-ups happen.

H0 (1:87) birds for the pigeon shack below...

Pigeon shack with those birds - Detail work!

The articles shared on this blog about vocational rehabilitation, mostly of WW I veterans with lost limbs have given ideas for hacks I may try at different times. Likewise articles in the popular press like "We Are the Original Lifehackers" from the NYTimes. There is also the "Disabled List" is a disability-led, self advocacy organization that is creating the opportunities in design that we always wanted. The Disabled List is a curated list of creative disabled people who are available to consult, and the site has enough images to give ideas for adapting. Then, there are our future surgeons - scary and bemusing at the same time. Made me remember a retired surgeon who was also a bookbinder and sewed the most amazing endbands.

Taking advantage of opportunities for growth at work, developing other (related) interests such as writing (I love my ergonomic keyboard) and contributing that way have also been sustaining and satisfying.

Looking back 25 years, watching an older binding student with parkinson's sticking with it despite the challenges was almost like looking at my future self without knowing the details of progression. Almost like the ending of the "Fairy Tale for Bookbinding Apprentices:"
... This made the Meister very sad and depressed, so much so that he never wanted to create another masterpiece. He didn’t even want to teach anymore... His hair grayed, his vision deteriorated so that he saw his gilt lines double, and his hands shook when he held the type-holder over the stove.. He rubbed his hands over his eyes and dreamt that the wise Bone Folder was still in his pocket where it had always rested. In his dream it spoke to his heart, “don’t be sad great Meister. You shared your talents before they could leave you, and your generosity was so great that you even let me go. Now, I still shape beautiful headcaps, but in someone else’s gentle hands. You still live though. Rise up, and continue to tell all the stories you told me. Then I will be with you in spirit and can help you. Your pen is your new tool now.”
This made the Meister perk up. Once again, the wise Bone Folder was right. Everyone has something to share and pass on. Meister Franz’s gifts will enable others to sustain themselves. He will keep nothing to himself until he closes his eyes for the last time, and then he will go, satisfied to have lived for his art and craft, and those that practice it.

Maybe too dramatic? Maybe not? What are your stories? Though the details may vary there are always similarities, and hacks. Let's share.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

A Fairy Tale for Bookbinding Apprentices

And now, another story about a "bone folder," this time a fairy tale that contains many autobiographical references to bookbinding training, the trade, and education as they might have been experienced in the first half of the 20th century...

The Wise Bone Folder – A fairy tale for bookbinding apprentices

By Schlaghammer [Franz Weiße*, 1878-1952].
Originally published as "Das kluge Falzbein" in Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 16, Nr 2, 1942 (12-14).
Translation by Peter D. Verheyen, 2/2019


Meister and apprentice (They started very young)
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister: Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

Once upon a time, at the beginning of his apprenticeship, Franz was given a very common bone folder by his Meister. Franz didn’t think much of this bone folder. For a tool that was never to leave his hands when folding, it felt hard and unfamiliar. Over time, Franz became accustomed to the Bone Folder, and grew so attached to it that he didn’t ever want to lose it. This pleased the Bone Folder immensely, and they became close friends, conversing regularly. It was then that the Bone Folder began to realize how foolish Franz really was, and how much it could help him grow as a binder. Once Franz said to the Bone Folder, “what will become of me if don’t want to become a bookbinder, but rather a book seller? And then, what would I do with you my dear Bone Folder?” Upon this the Bone Folder answered, “don’t start talking nonsense, you will become a bookbinder!” Two years later, Franz asked a similar question. “What is to become of us? I mean, I can bind books now, but maybe I shouldn’t have become a bookbinder?” “Enough,” responded the Bone Folder, “you’re just at the beginning of your life in this wonderful profession of bookbinding! We will leave this place and move on to other cities and Meisters. It is then that you will discover what you really know, and what you still need to learn. Now!” … But, Franz still hesitated. “What do you know already about being a bookbinder?” the Bone Folder continued. “Get away from here, and I’m coming with you! I will take good care of you, and make sure that you will become a real, competent bookbinder. You will even become famous!” This made Franz break out in laughter, “what is that, a famous bookbinder…?

The bindery and book cover factory Hübel & Denck, 1895.
Weisse worked there in their extra-binding department.
Hübel & Denck also published the Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst (1924-28),
a monthly newsletter with articles by and for bibliophiles that Ernst Collin wrote for as well.
Each issue had its own distinctive typographical design and often included samples of materials

After completing their apprenticeship, Franz and the Bone Folder began their Journeyman years wandering from bindery to bindery throughout the land. Franz depended on the Bone Folder to help put food on the table, and that was just fine with the Bone Folder. Franz, however, liked heartier fare, so the Bone Folder had to work hard to earn its keep. In doing so, both came to the realization that one really needed to make beautiful bindings to put that fare on the table. They had already worked for three Meisters where they had the opportunity to work on so-called better bindings that they referred to as quarter-leather extra-bindings. But, from these alone one would not be able to “live in luxury” the Meister said. Next they went to a “factory,” a large trade bindery where only new books were bound. These were blank except for the words “My Diary” on the first leaf. This was nothing for them. There were also far too many people working in this factory, and way too much noise that came from the wire binding machines. At this, the Bone Folder suggested attending an arts & crafts school where bookbinding was taught to students who were working towards their Meister’s certificate, and where one could learn the finer points of the trade such as gold tooling and finishing. They would certainly be able to offer guidance on the best path to binding beautiful books. These schools existed in many cities like Berlin, Breslau (Now Wrocław), Hamburg, Munich, Weimar, … And so, Franz and the Bone Folder enrolled and completed their studies, knowing far more about making beautiful books than they did before, and they were proud of their work. Franz now wanted to use his Bone Folder on full-leather extra-bindings! But, life is often unfair, and they were unable to gain entry in binderies where they could apply what they had learned. Everywhere they went they were turned away with a laugh when they brought up their desire to work on these full-leather extra-bindings. Journeymen were never given those creative fine bindings to work on – that was something the Meister reserved for themselves. And, if there happened to be only one Meister in the shop, especially one who wasn’t up to snuff but still bragged about themselves, they might have kept their own journeyman who could complete that kind of work. But, a Meister like that was nowhere to be found. Eventually, in a “factory” for hymnals, they were able to see how the many books received their shiny gilt edges. They stayed there for a while, surreptitiously looking over their colleagues shoulders and working as hard as they could until there was nothing left to learn there. Even if the work was not what one was interested in, there were always things (even little things) to learn, and just as importantly, what not to do.

Schematic for an attaché case, something bookbinders made in leather goods factories.
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 6, 1937

Franz always kept the Bone Folder in top left pocket of his white lab coat. When it was not working, the Bone Folder had an ideal perch from which to observe what was happening around it, and to learn. This made it even wiser than it was already. Next, they came to a workshop that specialized in stamping and blocking, and where all they did was stamp gilt ribbons with the words “rest in peace” on both sides. This was very boring work, especially in the long term. Leaving there, they went to another town where the Meister was rude, Franz did nothing but marble, and the Bone Folder had nothing to do… That just wouldn’t do. Finally, they came to a Meister finisher who worked on leather goods such as portfolios, purses, and wallets. Franz worked like a dog in the finishing department there, becoming regarded as an artist among the skilled leather workers. Finally, satisfying work, and the Bone Folder got to mark the lines that France would gild. Both were very happy working there together, and Franz even thought he might want to become a leather goods “baron.” Even the Bone Folder became so excited at that prospect that it imagined itself in a frame hanging over Franz’s desk, admired by all of his friends.


Students in the trade and arts & crafts schools learning the making
of decorated papers (pastepaper and marbling)
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

However, things turned out very differently. Because the Bone Folder was there with Franz when he visited the art schools to learn drawing and study art, it realized that there was a much better future ahead for Franz than playing the leather goods “baron.” The thought of resting in a frame ultimately did not interest the Bone Folder, either. Work, that was what it was meant to do. They ended up in THE city of books, Leipzig where Franz was able to establish himself as a fine binder, and where they created many fine bindings of his own design together, just for the joy of it. Briefly, they even considered emigrating to England because they could find real bibliophiles there. The Bone Folder was able to talk Franz out of emigrating, telling him that he never liked the English anyway, and why would he want to be among them… “Well” said dear Bone Folder, “we’ll stay in Germany and do well here.”

Continuing professional development of apprentices and journeymen
happens in the trade and arts & crafts schools...
From Heinrich Lüers,
Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindermeister Eine Einführung in das Buchbinderhandwerk,
Berlin: Reichsinnungsverb. d. Buchbinderhandwerks. 1941.

After a while, the two of them became restless again, and no one knows who put the bug in their ears – “Franz, you must become a teacher at one of these vocational schools!” “Yes” said the Bone Folder, “of course!” and Franz chuckled. “And…,” continued the Bone Folder, “you can even become a professor.” “A professor of bookbinding?” No said Franz, there is no such thing anywhere in the world.” But it did happen and Franz was appointed “professor” of bookbinding at one of the leading arts & crafts schools.

Workshop of the Staatl. Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg where Weiße taught 1907-1942.
More at Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg.

Many years passed for them there as they taught and fussed over each other, and the next generation of bookbinders. Everywhere, at each bench, and to each student, the Bone Folder dispensed wise words when it demonstrated a turn-in, a well-formed headcap, “if you don’t pay attention to how your professor did it, you will never make it out in the real world. You do want to become teachers some day, don’t you? Don’t make me laugh, you think you can call it done with a little bit of gold tooling? Anyone can learn how to do that if they have the tools, and you seem very pleased with yourselves, and how you use them.” The Bone Folder went on, “there’s so much more to it including how to maintain your tools in top condition and use them safely. The Meister knows all of you, and can make you the best that you can be. The lazy ones among you he will let fall behind... That’s why he is the teacher and Meister, and was appointed as professor!” Oh, this Bone Folder… What it had once prophesied had come to be. But, the Meister students thought Franz had them to thank for his position and honors. They were the best among the best! The foolish ones among them didn’t understand what was going on...”

Franz Weisse, Ernst Klette (publisher), Otto Dorfner, Hugo Wagner
The jury for the annual Buchbinderlehrling binding competition for apprentices
From Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 12, Nr 5,1938.

Again, years went by teaching and binding, giving lectures about art and technical nuances, all things that go along with being a professor in one’s métier. On the side, Franz and the Bone Folder created more than two-hundred fine bindings together, each unique, valuable, and highly regarded.

Binding by Franz Weiße, on Jesus und Johannes, 1930.
From Otto Fröde, Franz Weisse, 1956.

During those sessions in the workshop, there were many occasions when the students used the Meister’s tools, thinking they would be able to create better work than if they used their own. The Meister let them believe that, and even let them use his bone folders so that these became used to the hands of others. This scared the wise Bone Folder. “If you keep on like this you won’t have any tools soon. Don’t ever let me leave your hands!” Franz replied, “oh, let them think my tools are theirs and that they can create better work with them than with their own tools. Everyone strives to improve...” “Well said,” said the Bone Folder, “but not with your tools…” “My dear Bone Folder,” said Franz, “that’s true, but apparently my tools can bring rewards to others. That’s why I let them go like that, just as they once came to me.”

Professor Franz Weiße observing his student Martin Lehmann gold tooling by hand.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, Vol 11, Nr 11, 1938.

Soon after, the wise Bone Folder itself disappeared without a trace. This made the Meister very sad and depressed, so much so that he never wanted to create another masterpiece. He didn’t even want to teach anymore. His treasure had gotten away from him, and with it his love of his fine craft. The Meister had become old and even superstitious. His hair grayed, his vision deteriorated so that he saw his gilt lines double, and his hands shook when he held the type-holder over the stove.. He rubbed his hands over his eyes and dreamt that the wise Bone Folder was still in his pocket where it had always rested. In his dream it spoke to his heart, “don’t be sad great Meister. You shared your talents before they could leave you, and your generosity was so great that you even let me go. Now, I still shape beautiful headcaps, but in someone else’s gentle hands. You still live though. Rise up, and continue to tell all the stories you told me. Then I will be with you in spirit and can help you. Your pen is your new tool now.”

This made the Meister perk up. Once again, the wise Bone Folder was right. Everyone has something to share and pass on. Meister Franz’s gifts will enable others to sustain themselves. He will keep nothing to himself until he closes his eyes for the last time, and then he will go, satisfied to have lived for his art and craft, and those that practice it.

[Do you still have your first bone folder? Did it help guide you in your career? Was it as wise and snarky?]

My first bone folders: The top given to me when I started in this field as a
work-study student at Conservation and Preservation at Johns Hopkins University Library in 1981.
The bottom when I began my apprenticeship at the Kunstbuchbinderei Dietmar Klein in Gelsenkirchen, Germany in 1985.


Franz Weiße (1878-1952) was one of the most noted German binders of the first half of the 20th century. He grew up as the son of a policeman and began his apprenticeship at age 14 as was traditional. According to Fröde (Franz Weisse, 1952) and the obituary that appeared in Das Falzbein (Vol 5, Nr. 3, 1952), his apprenticeship took place in a trade bindery in which boxes of all sorts and picture framing were part of the daily flow of work in addition to binding of hymnals, notebooks, and the like. When not working on what needed to be done, he was encouraged to follow his own interests including working on his own designs, drawing, binding, where he was described as willful. Following his apprenticeship he spent his journeyman years wandering throughout Germany to work in a wide variety of binderies, many of them referenced in his "fairy tale." His first attempt at enrolling in an arts & crafts school did not go well as they pushed a curriculum based on technical proficiency and traditional design, whereas he was more innovative, also described as willful. His relationship with Hans Dannhorn who taught finishing there grew into a friendship over the years and opened doors for him, at Hübel & Denck in Leipzig where he worked as a fine binder in their extra-binding division. During this time, he was drawn to the ideals of the English arts & crafts movement as exemplified by William Morris. In 1903, he became teacher at the school in [Wuppertal] Elberfeld where he taught all levels of binding, but also himself took classes in drawing to further develop his skills. His favorite students were those more "mature" ones working towards their Meister, something that had again become required in order to open one's own bindery and train apprentices. Weiße it is revealed never formally completed his apprenticeship or journeyman certificates...

In 1905, he followed the director of the school in Elberfeld to Hamburg that was in the process of reorganizing its arts & crafts school, and Weiße became the chair of the bookbinding program. He was to remain their until 1942 when he retired... During his tenure, he developed what became to be known as the Hamburg style and among his students were Ignatz Wiemeler (who taught for those in US Fritz Eberhardt, Gerhard Gerlach, and Kurt Londenberg, the latter teacher of Frank Mowery among others) and Heinrich Lüers were his students among other, and many went on to lead the bookbinding programs, with Wiemeler Weiße's successor in Hamburg and Lüers in Magdeburg. The latter went on to write one of the most comprehensive binding manuals in the German tradition.

In addition to teaching, Weiße was a founding member of the Meister der Einbandkunst (along with his friend and mentor Dannhorn among others) and was co-editor of Der Buchbinderlehrling, THE journal for bookbinding apprentices where he wrote under his own name and the pseudonym Schlaghammer ([paper]-beating hammer, something he had to learn to do as an apprentice). In 1942 he became co-editor of Das Deutsche Buchbinderhandwerk, successor to the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. He was also the author of several manuals on marbling, including Die Kunst des Marmorierens oder Die Herstellung von Buchbinder-Buntpapieren mit Wasserfarben auf schleimhaltigen Grund (1940), translated as The Art of Marbling by Richard J.Wolfe (Bird & Bull, 1980),& Mein Kampf mit der Ochsengalle (My Struggle with Oxgall, 1938), and Der Handvergolder im Tageswerken und Kunstschaffen (The Finisher in Daily Work and While Creating Art, 1951).

Like all binders and teachers of his era, Weiße, Lüers, Wagner, Dorfner ... worked in a system where the schools and organizations of all kind were ideologically controlled by the Nazi party to include the indoctrination of students, including expressing that ideology through their work. In his introduction to The Art of Marbling Wolfe speaks to that aspect as well. Der Buchbinderlehrling was certainly full of this indoctrination as the trade-schools were charged with developing well rounded individuals including subjects like "social studies" beyond the specific trade. Published in 1942, I expected "Das kluge Falzbein" (The Wise Bone Folder) to include such references, but was pleasantly pleased that it did not. Biographies of binders such as Dorfner and Weiße who were active during this time, most written in the 1950s, do not address this period except in the most general terms and often with references to bombed-out workshops, and certainly do include images of works expressing Nazi ideology. How strongly individuals identified with this ideology is not always discernible. It could have been accommodation in order to feed a family, or pure opportunism and careerism. Otto Dorfner is interesting in this regard as he was one of the favorites (see also Hitler's Bookbinder about Frieda Thiersch), stayed in Weimar in the Soviet Occupations Zone / DDR after the war, and continued to serve his masters with his work. Lüers' Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders appeared in multiple editions both during and after, and Vom Buchbinderlehrling zum Buchbindemeister (1941) published by the Reichsinnungsverband des Buchbinderhandwerks gives a sense of this. It is interesting to see how those references were expunged in post-war editions. Another example was Zechlin's Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung (1943), in which the title was changed on the binding only to Jungens... More towards bottom here.


A thank you to Karen Hanmer for her contributions to making my translation of the tale better.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

W. Collin Rahmen mit umfangreichen Lederarbeiten

Ein Rahmen von W. Collin, Berlin der in der  ZDF Serie Bares für Rares am 02.01.2019 erschien. Ich bekam während des Sommers Fragen von der Sendung zu W. Collin. Schön jetzt das Programm zu sehen.

Abgeledert! Diese Verhandlung geht auf keine Kuhhaut

Photo dem Video entnommen, daß leider nicht mehr verfügbar ist.
Der Abschnitt fing bei ca 24:23 im Video an.

Bares für Rares is a German equivalent for Antiques Roadshow with the difference that dealers actually bid for the piece and buyers get a sense of "true" value.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ernst Collin über/about E.A. Enders, Leipzig - München

Ich liebe es wenn verschiedene Themen hier zusammen kommen wie in dem Beitrag in dem Ernst Collin über die "Zukunft unserer Kriegsbeschädigten" schrieb. In diesem Fall, eine Rezension geschrieben als "ec." über Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig auf Seite 658 vom Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Bd. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).

I love it when different threads come together such as with a previous post in which Ernst Collin wrote about rehabilitation for wounded veterans. In this case, finding a review of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft: Die Großbuchbinderei E.A. Enders, Leipzig written as "ec." on page 658 of the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien. (Vol. 44, Nr. 28, 1929).



Über die Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände schrieb Ernst Collin, "Wie die Mehrzahl der führenden Leipziger Großbuchbindereien, so verfügt auch die Firma E.A. Enders über eine Sonderabteilung für Handeinbände. Mit dieser Abteilung wird die handwerkliche Tradition des Unternehmens gewahrt. Abbildungen von Handeinbänden zumeist nach Entwürfen von H. Hußmann sind den Darlegungen über die Enderssche Werkstätte beigegeben: Eine moderne Stilsprache, die aus traditioneller Vornehmheit wichtige Anregungen geschöpft hat, ist das Kennzeichen dieser Einbände..."

About the extra-binding department, Ernst Collin wrote that like most of the large trade binderies in Leipzig, E.A. Enders also had such a department. These departments preserved the handbinding roots of what had become very large binderies. Depicted bindings in the book were largely designed by H. Hußman and represent the Enders aesthetic of a modern style that draws on traditional noblesse is the hallmark of their bindings.

Über die Sonderabteilung
About the extra-binding department

Einband von Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft
Cover of Musterbetriebe deutscher Wirtschaft

Beispiel der Arbeiten der Sonder-Abteilung
An example of the work of the Extra-Binding department

Buchstadt | City of the Book, Leipzig, 1913

1913 war Leipzig das Zentrum des deutschen Buchhandels und Verlagswesens. Zu den prominenten Unternehmen der Stadt gehörten Verlage wie F. A. Brockhaus, Reclam oder Breitkopf & Härtel. Hier wurden der Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon und 90 Prozent der weltweiten Notenproduktion gedruckt. Nun zeigt eine digitale Karte, wie flächendeckend das Gesicht der Stadt damals vom Buchgewerbe geprägt war.

 Für die digitale Buchgewerbekarte wurden insgesamt 2.200 Firmenstandorte in einer Datenbank erfasst und nach Gewerbetypen sortiert. Dazu kamen die heutigen Entsprechungen der historischen Adressen und die Geokoordinaten. Alles zusammen wurde in eine digitale Karte mit historischem Overlay überführt.

 Die digitale Buchgewerbekarte ist ein Kooperationsprojekt zwischen dem Deutschen Buch- und Schriftmuseum der Deutschen Nationalbibliothek in Leipzig und dem Amt für Geoinformation und Bodenordnung der Stadt Leipzig.

In 1913 Leipzig was the center of publishing, book production, and publishing. Among the most prominent business were publishers like F.A. Brockhaus, Reclam, or  Breitkopf & Härtel. The Duden, Meyers Konversationslexikon, and 90% of sheetmusic and scores worldwide were printed here. Now, an interactive digital map shows how widely distributed the book trade was in Leipzig.

2,200 businesses were captured and coded by type, historic addresses overlaid onto a map from 1913 using GIS to create the map.

The map is the result of a cooperative project between the German Books and Writing of the German National Library and the Office for Geoinformation and Planning of the City of Leipzig. 
[Unfortunately for non-German speakers, the map and navigational elements are only in German]



Auf Karte klicken für Großansicht
Click on map to enlarge

Leipzig war auch Heimatstadt der BUGRA, der damals weltweit größten Buchmesse die ein Höhepunkt von 1914 war. Ernst Collin schrieb mehrere Aufsätze und Artikel zum Thema. Siehe auch 100 Jahre Bugra.

Leipzig was also home to the BUGRA, then the largest tradeshow for the book trades that was the highpoint of 1914. Ernst Collin wrote numerous articles about the BUGRA.