Saturday, September 14, 2019

Decorated Papers

Recently received 3 years of bound volumes of the Archive für Buchbinderei, 1930-32.

1930 featured 2 tipped in decorated samples, one paste and one oil marbled.

"Hand painted" decorated paper from the workshop of Emma Gustorff,
Beuel a. Rh. (now  a part of Bonn).

Oil marbled paper from the Workshop of Alex Peltzer, Munich.

1931 was bound by a first year apprentice and covered with a paste paper of his own making.

Paste paper (and half-linen) binding by a 1st year apprentice.
No, the label was not adhered to the cover.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Fritz Otto Goes Fishing 2

In the last installment, Fritz Otto Goes Fishing, our hero prepared the fish skin for making parchment, but also trying something new, egg tanning. We're following Nienke Hoogvliet's instructions from her book Fish LeatherReady? Here we go! Fritz Otto is glad @bookbinderbarbie left copies of her notes.

Taking one of the haddock and stretching it out to make parchment.
We'll compare with the egg tanned haddock.

All right, that's done. Now to let it dry.

 

Now, on to the egg tanning!


Why do I always get the grunt work?Beat the egg, oil, detergent mixture until smooth.

Next, tamp the haddock and salmon so that they are not dripping wet.

At least I didn't have to drop the skins into the egg/oil
mixture to then massage it into the skins until warm.
That looked totally gross!

But, wait! I get roll up the slimy skins so that they can sit for about 15 minutes.

Now we hang them up to drip-dry.
When dry, they'll still feel oily/slippery, and we'll need to massage and work them to
loosen up the fibers in the skin. We do that for a week.


Here they are a week later. Time to rinse in soapy water until they
feel soft and not oily/slippery.

Rinse, and rinse some more...

Let drip-dry. We tamped with a paper towel again, too.

Then, dump them into a more dilute mixture, work in, and set out to dry.

We smoothed them out to dry on a piece of plexi-glass,
scale-side down. That gives them a shinier appearance.
When they were dryish, we worked them back and forth
over a smooth dowel, always with the flesh side to the dowel.
Finally, we worked it like leather before paring.

Take out the pins and liberate the haddock parchment. Next we'll compare.

Comparing the haddocks – parchment at the bottom, egg tanned at top.
The egg tanned is like parchment, but much shiner and more
transparent. Not sure how we feel about that... The whitish patches are
fleshy stuff that will need to be scrapped off with a scalpel later.
The haddock is much more thin-skinned than the salmon.

See what I mean by transparent and shiny?

And here the egg tanned salmon. Less translucent than the salmon parchment that was made
 when @bookbinderbarbie was here over a month ago. Softer too, but not supple like leather.
Still. looks and feels really interesting. Wonder if we'll make anything with it?

Click here to see where this fishy adventure started.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Always Document Your Work and Keep Notes

Always photo-document your work and keep notes, no matter what career stage you're at. You never know when you'll refer back. Even Fritz Otto knows that.

Documenting his first go at making parchment from fish.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Fritz Otto Goes Fishing

Thanks to Fritz Otto, I'm able to dive into another round of making fish skin parchment and leather. Have three skins in this batch, one coho salmon, and two haddocks. He'll make parchment from one of the haddocks, and then "we'' egg-tan the other and the coho following Nienke Hoogvliet's instructions from her book Fish Leather, a by-product of her RE-SEA ME project. Will be nice to have two identical species to compare.

A few weeks ago, Fritz Otto skinned the fillets we got,
freezing the skins until we're ready. This is the coho.


The skins were rinsed in unscented/un-dyed dish detergent to help remove oils.
This process was repeated a few times, the skins kept in the refrigerator in-between
to prevent decay.

Next I showed him how to remove any remaining fleshy bits
from the skin. 

He used a scalpel and scrapped away...

Tiring work he just wanted to hide after.
He said it was kind-of gross.
I gave him some space...

Reading up from Nienke Hoogvliet's instructions from her book Fish Leather
The skins are soaking in a Mason jar with the dish detergent again. Tomorrow we stake out the one haddock to make parchment, and then start the egg-tanning. Looks straight forward.

See Fritz Otto Goes Fishing 2 for the next steps.