Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fritz Otto Thinks About Portfolios

While looking at all the Warwick Press books, Fritz Otto noticed this small and elegant (right-sized) portfolio with flaps protecting one of them in the Once Upon a Time series (at right).

Most of the Warwick Press collection.

What interested him in particular is proportionate and elegant the flaps were. Here was only really familiar with ones made of binders board that required multiple pieces and were covered in several steps. They also never seemed to fit the item that well, especially smaller/thinner ones. This is a great solution. Can't remember where I learned it, might have been from Bill Minter in Chicago.

Here's a link to the handout I created for PRT552, Book Arts, that I taught at Syracuse University in 2007.

Opening the portfolio. The flaps are made of book cloth and paper that
have been glued together and when dry, cut to size and folded to fit.

Opening the portfolio and removing Once Upon a Time, vol 4.

He really likes the way the flaps look and work.

Hmmmm...

Definitely like it...

Thank you for showing me. Instructions for making these are where...?
Ah-ha, the handout is here.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Werner Kiessig, MDE aus der DDR

Ich bin immer auf der Suche nach interessantem zur Buchbinderei. In letzter Zeit sind gleich 3  Päckchen zu Werner G. Kiessig, Meister der Einbandkunst (MDE) in der DDR, hier eingetroffen. 

I was recently able to acquire some ephemera and sample books relating to the bookbinder Werner Kiessig who lived and worked in Berlin, Ost, but was also a member of the Meister der Einbandkunst (MDE), then a largely West German group that changed its name to "Meister der Einbandkunst – Internationale Vereinigung e.V." so that Kiessig could become a member.

Backing board for a calendar advertising Werner Kiessig's bindery, 1972
The calendar board and exhibition catalog artwork is by Werner Klemke who was very well known internationally
More examples of Klemke's illustrations can be found here or here
.

Kiessig wurde 1924 in eine buchbinderische Familie geboren - Der Grossvater gründete 1893 in Berlin eine Globusfabrik und Buchbinderei die sein Vater 1918 als industrielle Buchbinder übernahm. Kiessig machte seine Lehre bei Kurt Grünewald und studierte unter anderem mit Bruno Scheer an der Graphischen Fachschule in Berlin. Grünewald und Scheer waren beide Mitglieder der MDE. Er blieb in der DDR, machte 1948 seinen Meister im Buchbinderhandwerk, verpachtete die familiäre industrielle Buchbinderei und widmete sich der Einzel- und Sonderfertigung. 1956 wurder er als Kunstschaffender im Handwerk" anerkannt und später Mitglied im Verband Bildender Künstler wodurch er sich Vorteile verschafte und er die Erlaubnis bekam Mitglied der MDE zu werden auch weil MDE "Internationale" dem Vereinsnamen beifügten. Seine Arbeiten wurden international ausgestellt und er war aktive mit Veröffentlichungen und Vorträgen. Er starb 2014 in Berlin. Etwas zu Kiessig gibt es auch in dem Blog der Pirckheimer Gesellschaft in der Kiessig auch Mitglied war. 

Andere Aufsätze zu Werner Kiessig:

  • Werner Kießig. MDE-Rundbrief . 2013, Nr. 2: 10-11
  • Porträt, MDE-Ehrenmitglieder, Werner Kießig. MDE-Rundbrief . [2015], Nr. ?: 12-16
  • Der Meister der Einbandkunst Werner G. Kießig. Enthalten in Marginalien Bd. 225, 2017, Nr. 2: 93-95

Kiessig was born into a Berlin trade/industrial bookbinding family, served his apprenticeship in with Kurt Grünewald and studied with Bruno Scheer, both members of the MDE. After the war, he remained in what became the DDR. He earned his Meister in 1948. With his interests clearly in the hand/fine bookbinding side of the trade he leased the industrial side of the firm to focus on the other. 1956 he was recognized as a "Kunstschaffender im Handwerk," a "trade-based" artist, as well as being a member of the "Verband Bildener Künstler" and other cultural organizations. Because of these, he had greater freedoms to pursue his creative work and become active in international organizations such as MDE. He also joined Designer Bookbinders in 1981. He exhibited and presented widely, mostly in Eastern Europe. He died in 2014.

Alle drei Musterbücher | All three sample books

"Schriften, Linien, Ornamente" sind Musterbücher von einigen derselbigen, die man Kunden vorlegte. Hier Beispiele. Insgesamt, konnte ich 3 solche Bände erwerben, alle so aus dem Zeitrum zwischen den späten 50er bis in 70er. 

The sample books "Schriften, Linien, Ornamente" were used to give clients an overview of the type faces and stamps that could have been used on their books.











"Handeinbände," eine Ausstellung der Deutschen Staatsbibliothek von 1984 zeigt viele seiner einfallsreichen Einbände mit einer Vielfalt an Materialien. Bei vielen kann mann sehen wie er auch mit einfachen Materialien sehr ansprechende Einbände schuff.

Handeinbände was a 1984 exhibit of his bindings at the Deutsche Staatsbibliothek. He was best known for his "fine bindings," many of which were shown in the exhibit. In some of the examples one can see how he used simple and more available materials to create handsome bindings.

Auch sehr schön ist die Werner Klemke Zeichnungen auf dem Deckblatt des Katalogs.

Werner Klemke also contributed the cover design of the catalog.







Thursday, March 19, 2020

Fritz Otto Makes a Box with Lid (Kasten mit Hals)

As we saw in Fritz Otto Says Be Safe, he is working on keeping his bench skills sharp.

Here he is making a box with lid to be covered in salmon parchment.  He's following instructions from Fritz Wiese's Sonderarbeiten des Buchbinders. The book was bound by Altmeister Arno Werner and is from his collection. The fish monger's wife brought the raw skin of the fish over requesting a small box for jewelry... Let's see what we can up with for her, especially since she also dropped of a 70+cm salmon skin to make into parchment.


Fritz Otto is going to make the variant on the left.
The diagram shows a cross section of the components and how they're covered.

Fritz Otto redeeming himself after miscutting the boards for box.
The Meister was demonstrating in a live FB feed and was most embarrassed...
Because parchment is so transparent, Fritz Otto painted the exterior
of the box black first. Then he glued the parchment onto the sides,
 and is now paring shark leather to go on the ends. It was a small salmon fillet.

Here he is edge-paring the shark leather.

One shark leather panel is on at the top of the box, next he'll glue on the other.
When done, he'll put felt on the base, something that'll also hide the turn-ins.

Here he test fitting the panels that will go inside the box that will create "neck"/Hals
that will keep the lid in place. They are made from card stock and covered fully
on one side and turned in enough on the other to cover the "neck."
You can see that he has already pre-folded the salmon for the lid.

Pieces going in as they should... So far so good.

Everything fits... Good!
Long sides first, then short sides between those during final assembly.

Getting ready to glue the salmon onto the sides of the box.

Almost done with the turn-ins.

Test fitting the lid. If you click on the picture, you can see the join for the "neck."
This way of creating the "neck" is pretty simple. There are more complex ways
to cover the box that wouldn't show cut edges.

Lid fits, and the shark and salmon go together well.

Not bad...

Can't deliver to fish monger's wife yet. Still need to put paper on
the inside of the lid's sidewalls, and then some felt on the base.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Fritz Otto Says Be Safe

Fritz Otto is playing it safe, saying at home, and keeping his bench skills sharp. In this case, he's making a box with lid to be covered in salmon parchment.  He's following instructions from Fritz Wiese's Sonderarbeiten des Buchbinders. The book was bound by Altmeister Arno Werner and is from his collection.





Sonderarbeiten des Buchbinders as bound by Arno Werner

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Fishy Sunprints

Did something different today, made sunprints from my pieces of fish parchment. Love how the texture of the skins came through.

Artic char

Sea bass & lane snapper

Lane snapper, sea bass, and Arctic char

Mackerel, Arctic char, and haddock

Haddock, sea bass, and lane snapper