Showing posts with label Bookbinding as Rehabilitation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bookbinding as Rehabilitation. Show all posts

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Ignatz Wiemeler and Gerhard Gerlach Together at MoMA

MoMA in NYC has placed records of its exhibitions from the founding in 1929 to the present online. Included are some catalogs, some images of the installed exhibits, checklists, and press releases in some combination and to varying degrees. While not on display at the same time, both Ignatz Wiemeler and Gerhard Gerlach exhibited at MoMA.

Ignatz Wiemeler, Modern Bookbinder: [exhibition], October 2nd to October 24th, 1935.

Among them is the catalog to the 1935 exhibit, Ignatz Wiemeler, Modern Bookbinder!

Cover to Ignatz Wiemeler, Modern Bookbinder

The catalog also references the article "Bookbinding, Old and New" by Wiemeler that was published in The Dolphin, No. 1, 1933. The complete run of The Dolphin is online at Carnegie Mellon University. This was his only publication in English.

Wiemeler student Gerhard Gerlach was himself part of an exhibit titled The Arts in Therapy
February 3–March 7, 1943. The items in the exhibition represented "a selection from a nationwide competition, open to all American artists and craftsmen, for new designs and objects in those crafts acknowledged to have therapeutic and recreational value for disable ad convalencent members of the Armed Forces."

In the category "projects for patients," Gerlach received an "honorary award" with a Morris Levine for a lap board that was used for binding. Gerlach die the bookbinding. Levine was credited for the lap board. A lap board can be seen at right in the image from the exhibition below.

Lap board at right.

These kinds of activities, including for veterans were not unique to the United States. A contemporary example from Germany was Ruth Zechlin's Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung. Ravensburg: Otto Maier Verlag, 1943 (2nd ed). It was designed for convalescing soldiers and those on leave, and starts off with instructions for making a Bett-tisch (bed table) for making the quite complex projects on. These include wood working, origami,bookbinding, dolls, all manner of crafts really. See some images showing the cover with pasted-on label, title page, the Bett-Tisch, and examples of bookbinding in the post "Bookbinding for Rehabilitation." More articles here.

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/condition. 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. [Edit: See also this op-ed from the LA Times, Op-Ed: When my fingers stopped cooperating, I had to rethink making art, 7/28/19]

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 30 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, December 16, 2018

Ernst Collin über Rehabilitation | Ernst Collin on Rehabilitation

Ich habe hier schon einige Aufsätze zum Thema von Buchbinderei als Rehabilitation geteilt, unter anderem einen langen von Paul Adam.

Neulich fand ich beim Googlen einen zum Thema (auch wenn nicht spezifisch zur Buchbinderei) von Ernst Collin, "Zukunft unserer Kriegsbeschädigten" (Hamburgische Lazarett-Zeitung, Nr 14, 1  Juli, 1916). In dem Aufsatz schreibt Collin über die Notwendigkeit der vollen Wiedereingliederung in das produktive Berufsleben, wenn möglich das Alte, der "Kriegsbeschädigten." Alle vier Jahrgänge der digitalisierten Sammlungen der Staatsbibliothek Berlin sind hier aufrufbar.

I've already posted several articles on the subject of bookbinding for rehabilitation, among those a longer article from Paul Adam.

While googling recent, I found one related to the subject (not specific to bookbinding) by Ernst Collin, "Zukunft unserer Kriegsbeschädigten" (Hamburgische Lazarett-Zeitung, Nr 14, 1  Juli, 1916). In the article, Collin addresses the need to fully reintegrate severely wounded veterans into the workforce, and if possible their original jobs. All four volumes are in the digital collections of the Staatsbibliothek Berlin and can be viewed here.

Obwohl Collin die Buchbinderei in seinem Aufsatz nicht erwähnt, konnte ich dieses Bild auf Seite 4 von Nr. 11 finden. Auf der nächsten Seite stand "In Bild 3-6 kommt schon der Ernst des Lebens zu seinem Recht. Neben Papparbeiten werden tadellose Bucheinbände gefertigt..."

Although Collin did not speak to bookbinding in his article, I found this image on page 4 of Nr. 11. On the next page it said, "In pictures 3-6 the seriousness of life must be addressed. Along with paper products [such as boxes, calendars, portfolios, ...] impeccable bindings are created..."

Papparbeiten und Bucheinbände
Paper products and bookbindings

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Bookbinding for the Blind

Recent acquisition of a postcard depicting a bookbinding workshop at the Red Cross Institute for the Blind in Baltimore, MD. The postcard is ca. 1920.

The image depicts a basic, well-equipped workshop with a boardshear, sewing
frame, heated glue pot, and an unidentified device at the far end of the bench.

Bookbinding offers a splendid form of finger training for the men, and while
not many are likely to enter the profession, the handling of small objects in the
making of boxes, index files, as well as the binding of books, has proved to be
an excellent industrial activity.

While the postcard describes this as an activity for men, it seems that half the individuals in the image are women, at least judging by the clothing.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Bookbinding as Rehabilitation | Buchbinderei als Rehabilitation

Last May I shared a number of articles and other publications related to bookbinding as rehabilitation.  I recently received a postcard from Germany depicting the bookbinding workshop of the Pfeiffersche Anstalten in Magdeburg-Cracau, likely from the time around World War I or thereafter based on fashions... US Senate Document 166 from 1918, Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, mentions a call for support to build a trades-based home for war veterans there from 1915, helping with the dating.

Im letzten Mai teilte ich einige Artikel und andere Herausgebungen zu Thema von Buchbinderei als Rehabilitation. Vor kurzer Zeit bekam ich aus Deutschland eine Postkarte die "Lehrwerkstätten Buchbinderei" der Pfeiffersche Anstalten in Magdeburg-Cracau zeigt. Das Bild entstand um die Zeit des Ersten Weltkriegs oder danach den Moden nach. Ein Bericht des US Senats von 1918, US Senate Document 166, über die berufliche Rehabilitation von verwundeten Soldaten und Matrosen erwähnte die Gründung dieser Anstalt in 1915 was auch mit der Datierung hilft.

Lehrwerkstätten Buchbinderei

The Pfeiffersche Anstalten were also very involved in providing learning opportunities akin to those in todays "sheltered workshops" to a wide range of individuals with special needs from children to the elderly. In addition to the trade-based programs these facilities also offered medical care and therapies appropriate to the needs. Based on an a German article from 2015, after 1933 many became victims of the Nazi's euthanasia  program.

Ein "Blatt" über die Pfeifferische Anstalten war auch stark in der Fuersorge von Kindern, Kriegsinvaliden, und Anderen tätig. Es wurde auch ärztliche Hilfe und Therapie angeboten. In der Zeit nach 1933 wurden die Anstalten dann von dem "Euthanasieprogramm" betroffen.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bookbinding as Rehabilitation | Buchbinderei als Rehabilitation

Back in 2012, Jeff Peachey posted a piece on "Bookbinding for the Nervous Convalescent" based around William Dunton's  Occupation Therapy: A Manual for Nurses  (Philadelphia and London: W.B. Saunders and Co., 1918), and asked if there were other publications on the uses of bookbinding for rehabilitation... Then in a recent thread on SHARP-L and Exlibris, a David Levy pointed to a post on his blog about a stroke victim learning to write with his left hand. This led to a discussion of adaptations to compensate for these kinds of challenges... An interesting discussion.

2012 schrieb Jeff Peachey auf seinem Blog ein Aufsatz mit dem Titel "Bookbinding for the Nervous Convalescent" (Buchbinden für den Nervenkranken) in dem er zu William Dunton's  Occupation Therapy: A Manual for Nurses  (Philadelphia and London: W.B. Saunders and Co., 1918) fragte ob es noch andere Texte zum Thema Buchbinderei zur Rehabilitation gäbe. Dann vor kurzer Zeit eine Diskussion auf SHARP-L und Exlibris in der David Levy auf seinen Blog ein Opfer von einem Schlaganfall beschrieb der sich beibrachte mit der linken Hand zu schreiben. Die Diskussion ging dann auf weitere Anpassungen um für Behinderungen zu kompensieren ein. Interessant.

From Adam, "Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf," pt 1.

While not handwriting, there are some very interesting articles that were published during and after WW I in German on teaching bookbinding to veterans and others with damaged or missing limbs. This is accomplished with prosthesis that have been adapted for holding tools, including “plug and play” functionality. These are best illustrated in Pt. 1 of Adam article and in the Proebster article.

Obowhl sie nicht von Schreiben oder Handschrift handeln, wurden einige sehr interessant Aufsätze zum Thema Buchbinderei als/und Rehabilitation während des WK I und dannach geschrieben in denen mann beschrieb wie man "Einarmigen" die Buchbinderei auf recht hohem Niveau beibringen konnte, bzw diese es ausüben konnten. Dieses wurde mit Prothesen die eine gewisse "plug and play" Funktionalität hatten, und wurden am besten in Teil 1 von Paul Adam und in dem Proebster Aufsatz beschrieben. Die ganzen Aufsätze können als PDF über die Links in diesem Aufsatz gelesen werden.

From Adam, "Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf," pt 1.

Cutting on the boardshear
From Adam, "Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf," pt 1.

Auf Deutsch gehts mit den Links weiter zum kompletten Aufsatz mit mehr Bildern
See the link below for more images.

Adam, Paul. „Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf.“ Archiv für Buchbinderei, 1916-1918. Pt 1 | Pt 2 | Pt 3 (Complete article with all three parts)

In the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien (1927) I found on page 837 an article by Emil Kloth entitled "One-armed Bookbinders." Below and quick and dirty translation and paraphrasing. Original German not PC by today’s standards…

In dem Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien (1927) fand ich auf Seite 837 einen Aufsatz von Emil Kloth mit dem Titel "Einarmige Buchbinder." Auf den Link unter dem Bild klicken für den Aufsatz auf Deutsch...

Beginning of the article from the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien
Anfang des Aufsatzes vom Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien
Ganzen Aufsatz hier lesen

Translation of article illustrated above.

"One-armed Bookbinders"

Ones duty to go beyond sym/empathy with the maimed/physically disabled and to help them into avocations that can provide for them. Mention of homes and workshops to help in this healing process, most with workshops to serve the young and adults. The article does make the point to mention that none of these are veterans, but rather those who were maimed such as losing an arm in work related accidents and may still be of school age.

The Zeitschrift für Krüppelfürsorge, Heft 5/6, 1927 (89-96) describes in the illustrated article "Über die Arbeitsgänge im Buchbinderhandwerk bei Armamputierten" by Dr. Proebster  how young people can be prepared for the bookbinding trade. Only one of the apprentices as a fore-arm stump, the others have upper arm stumps. Cited is a Dr. Biesalksi who “says that the best prostheses is the stump,” or the stump still contains a certain amount of strength and mobility and facilitates the use of prosthetic devices. However, prosthetic devices are limb replacements, not replacements for limbs.

Sewing and rounding
From Proebster, "Über die Arbeitsgänge im Buchbinderhandwerk bei Armamputierten"

Twelve further illustrations depict one-armed individuals sewing, round and backing using German press with “press nut,” laying on gold for edge gilding, covering a spine, paring leather, and tooling. One graduate of the program is satisfactorily working full-time in a Berlin bindery, and another completed his apprenticeship early with very good notes. His examination pieces were 2 ¼-leather bindings. The author also notes a well-known guild master who lost his left arm to a steam press but was able to continue working and now owns his own bindery with 20 employees. “Much can be achieved with a strong/resolute will.”

Paring leather corners
From Proebster, "Über die Arbeitsgänge im Buchbinderhandwerk bei Armamputierten"

Now we come to the usual “but…” It is wrong to say that based on these experiences/reports that binding is a trade suitable for cripples. However, Dr. Proebster does just that by citing a passage from Paul Kersten’s Der Buchbinderlehrling, 2nd ed, pg 44 that states that “frail people are completely unsuited [for the bookbinding trade] because one needs strong arm and leg muscles for making gilt edges or embossing [working the machinery], and further notes that the success of the Oscar-Helene-Home prove that Kersten’s attitude is wrong. Even in trades it not just the muscles but also the will that determine success…. We must acknowledge that those with physical limitations but otherwise sound minds will want/need to become contributing members of society via the trades, something we must encourage and facilitate.

Turning-in at the spine
From Proebster, "Über die Arbeitsgänge im Buchbinderhandwerk bei Armamputierten"

It seems to me, however, that Dr. Proebster overreached to a greater degree than Paul Kersten because what Kersten wrote is undoubtedly true in that his is a reaction to the still held view that the [bookbinding] trade is good enough for the physically and mentally weak individuals. This has nothing to do with animosity towards amputees. Dr. Proebster is correct in stating that society is required to help those less fortunate, but is cannot demand that one trade alone take this task upon itself – every trade should do this…

Emil Kloth
(Ist Secretary of the International Bookbinders’ Union 1907-20)

Hier beispiele der vollendeten Arbeiten
Here some examples of completed work

Lacquered batik; hand tooling, handmade bosses after design by Paul Adam
From Adam, "Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf," pt 2.

Boxes on punched, tooled, and painted leather
From Adam, "Der Unterricht der einarmigen Kriegsverletzten in Düsseldorf," pt 2.

During WW II there was also Zechlin, Ruth. Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung. Ravensburg: Otto Maier Verlag, 1943 (2nd ed). This continued to be sold after the war with a label pasted over “Soldaten” so that it read “Jungen” instead. Interestingly, the title page and images were not updated so it is still possible to see references to the original purpose of the book. It was designed for convalescing soldiers and those on leave, and starts off with instructions for making a Bett-tisch (bed table) for making the quite complex projects on. These include wood working, origami,bookbinding, dolls, all manner of crafts really. Below some images showing the cover with pasted-on label, title page, the Bett-Tisch, and examples of bookbinding...

Während des WK II gab es auch Ruth Zechlin's Soldaten Werkbuch für Freizeit und Genesung. Ravensburg: Otto Maier Verlag, 1943 (2. Ausgabe). Dieses wurde nach dem Krieg als Jungen Werkbuch weiter verkauft, aber mit aufgeklebter "Korrektur" des Titels... Die Titelseite sowie Abbildungen wurden aber nicht ausgewechselt so, daß der Ursprung des Buches klar ist. Geschrieben wurde es geschrieben "für den verwundeten Soldaten im Lazarett und auch den Landser, der längere Zeit im Quartier liegt, so gibt es manche langeweilige Stunde..."Das Buch fängt mit dem "Bett-Tisch an der benutzt werden kann zum Lesen, Spielen, oder auch Basteln. Bastlearbeiten sind sehr vielseitig und beinhalten Origami, Puppen, kleine Holzarbeiten, aber auch Buchbinden und Papparbeiten. Unten einige Abbildungen.

Making the case/book cover

Improvised sewing frame

These challenges are still very much with us. The Wiltshire Barn Project in the UK "uses the therapeutic qualities of craft bookbinding to assist casualty rehabilitation and to develop employment opportunities" and "offers City & Guilds instruction on Level 1 and Level 2 courses in craft bookbinding. Each stage will lead to an award, and successful completion of the two stages will lead to a nationally recognised certificate." The uses of crafts in this way also comes up regularly in the literature, here an example, especially as too many who serve their countries return with traumatic injuries. Here a link to an article about one veteran who learned the craft of shoemaking and is also working to develop better prostheses.View also his TEDx talk on the subject. In the USA there also is the Combat Paper Project where veterans cut up uniforms, beat them into a pulp, and form them into sheets of paper to reclaim their uniforms as art and express their experiences with the military.

Diese Herausfoderungen sind noch mit uns. Das Wiltshire Barn Project in der UK benutzt die therapeutischen Qualitäten der handwerklichen Buchbinderei als Reha mit dem Ziel dieses als Beruf auszuüben können und bietet deshalb auch die erforderlichen Zertifikate an die auf nationaler Ebene anerkannt sind. Die Anwendung von handwerklichen Tätigkeiten auf diese Art erscheint auch regelmäßig in der Literatur, hier ein Beispiel aus den USA, besonders da viel zu viele die ihr Land dienen mit traumatischen Wunden zurückkehren. Hier ein Beispiel von einem Soldaten der das Schuhmacherhandwerk erlernt hat und die Entwicklung besserer Prothesen vorantreibt. Man kann auch seiner TEDx rede zum thema zuhören. In den USA gibt es auch das Combat Paper Project in dem Veteranen aus ihren Uniformen Paper machen und so ihre Erlebnisse versuchen zu bewältigen.

If anyone has citations to similar articles or mentions of the uses of bookbinding/book arts for rehabiliation, please share them via the comments below. I know there are some in the English bookbinding literature...

Wenn Leser von anderen Schriften zur Anwendung von Buchbinderei und Buchkunst als Rehabilitation kennt, bitte unten im Kommentarkasten teilen.

See also comments below for links to related articles and posts...

Siehe auch Kommentare unten für Links zu mehr Aufsätzen...