Showing posts with label Decorated papers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Decorated papers. Show all posts

Monday, December 2, 2019

Bookbinding Materials Swatches, Con't

I'm continuing to go through my old trade manuals and journals scanning the materials swatches that were so often included. This time the swatches are from "L. Brade's Illustriertes Buchbinderbuch," edited and reworked by Paul Kersten in 1921. The closest edition available in Hathitrust is from 1916, but is lacking the materials samples and advertising.

The swatches themselves were provided by various workshops and wholesalers, included the contact information, and were mounted on different stocks for whom contact information was also provided.


Marbled with colors by Paul Szigrist, Leipzig.

Marbled with colors by Paul Szigrist, Leipzig.

Printed and batik artists' papers from the firm of Hanns Doenges, Wiesbaden.

Papers sold by Wilhelm Leo's Successors, Stuttgart.

Hand-colored papers from Künstlerpresse, Dresden.

Hand-colored papers from Künstlerpresse, Dresden.

Endpapers, some decorative from Wilhelm Valentin, Berlin.

Endpapers, some decorative from Wilhelm Valentin, Berlin.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

David Bourbeau's Wizard of Oz

I've long been enamored with the work of David Bourbeau, and had to jump at the chance to acquire this design idea for a binding on Barry Moser's Pennyroyal Press edition of the Wizard of Oz dated 6.6.'04. Sadly, he was never able to execute the binding as he passed 8/22/2009. Barbara Blumenthal wrote a wonderful "in memoriam" for him in The Bonefolder, vol. 6, nr. 1, fall 2009. From the "in memoriam:"

He was introduced to the art of the book by Leonard Baskin, and in 1972 he sold his business and took a two-year apprenticeship with master bookbinder [and Wiemeler student] Arno Werner. In 1975 he established the Thistle Bindery, located at various times in Northampton, Easthampton, and Florence, and in 1977 he took on the first of his many students and apprentices. 
A consummate bookbinder, he designed and constructed strong, innovative bindings for fine press books while also working in book restoration and art conservation. Having coined the word “bibliotect,” or book-architect, he observed that a binding “is not merely a fancy cover, the facade, but all of the elements, seen and unseen, that form the foundation and structure of the book.” This is borne out in his many organically unified editions, among them Poe’s The Raven, with graceful wing-like forms emerging from a raven-black binding, and Robert Francis’s posthumous collection Late Fire, Late Snow, whose handmade paper cover contains gold-tooled lines representing the shape of the title poem. Both of these books were bound using fine papers, a bookbinding material championed by David.

The Raven as bound by David Bourbeau.
Bound in full paper over boards with cloth spine reinforcement; sewn on three
linen tapes; leather wrapped headband; the marbled paper cover was designed by the binder
 "to resemble ravens' wings"; the papers were editioned by Steven Auger who
learned to marble from the binder. 8.5 x 28 x 2 centimeters. Created 1980.
Image from the catalog of the 100th Anniversary Exhibition of the Guild of Book Workers.

His design for The Wizard of Oz would have been executed similarly, except instead of being full paper it would have had a black Niger goat spine and fore-edge trim with the design being executed as a paste paper. The titled would have been tooled from the title page using "gold dots within the emerald light opening  in the black clouds."

Design sketch and technical specifications for David Bourbeau's design for the
binding of The Wizard of Oz.

Below Bourbeau's concept for the cover design using a unique paste paper. As in the case of the Raven, a design binding need not be full leather or vellum.

As an aside, a copy of Bourbeau's The Raven that was bound in an edition of 100 copies for sale (125 total) is available from The Veatchs Arts of the Books. It is on my bucket list.

So, how do you approach the design of your bindings?

Saturday, November 23, 2019

More Bookbinding Materials Swatches

More materials swatches from the apprentice journal, Der Buchbinderlehrling. These were a regular fixture and informed about all manner of materials – decorative, utilitarian, exotic, innovative – everything to keep the apprentice aware of what was out there. Samples were often associated with articles, and vendor contact information was often included.

A variety of decorative Japanese papers including wood veneer.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 4, nr. 7, 1930.

Embossed sheepskin at top with imitation "leathers" below.
These accompanied the article "Leder und Lederimitationen" by Paul Preß.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 5, nr. 1, 1931.

Swatches of gauze, crash, super, shirting.
For the article "Heftgaze - Papyrolin - Shirting" by Paul Preß.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 5, nr. 7, 1931.

Swatches of different bookcloths and fabrics used in covering. For the article
"Büchertuch - Halbleinen - Reinleinen - Rohleinen - Lasting - Moleskin"
by Paul Preß. Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 6, nr. 1, 1932.

Swatches of different Pliaphan and Zellstoff (Cellulose / Gelatine based clear films).
For the article "Zellglass und Gelatinefolien"" by Paul Preß.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 6, nr. 7, 1932.

Swatches of Igraf, a cellulose-based ersatz paper/parchment with the look of
Elephant Hide. For the article "Igraf in Bookbinding" by Walter Gerlach.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 7, nr. 1, 1933.

Swatches of western papers. For the article "Der Werkstoff Papier" by Paul Preß.
Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol. 7, nr. 12, 1933.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


I'm not a real user of marbled papers, let alone a marbler. I did, however, marble with oil paints before learning to make my real love of paste papers during my internship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (1984). We also marbled once with water colors on a carragheen. After my return to Baltimore to finish college, I made some more marbled papers that I used on some of my early bindings. I think I marbled once more in the late 80s, but that was it... My expectations for thus upcoming foray are rather low, that way I won't be disappointed.. ;-)

Not sure what I was thinking here... It was my 1984 internship and early days.
Binding covered in water color marbled paper, housed in a slipcase marbled with oil paints.

Box made (1984) of scored and folded board edged in cloth with oil marbled paper sides.
Technique is described in Franz Zeier's Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (Books, Boxes, and Portfolios),
My first manual, and still a favorite!

Fritz Wiese's Der Bucheinband as an Edelpappband
(millimeter binding), one of the first structures I learned. I bound this one on
my own in 1985 between internship and heading back to Germany for my apprenticeship.

Gabrielle Grünebaum's Bunterpapiervbook bound during my apprenticeship, ca 1986.

My notes from Nuremberg (1984) with samples of my first forays into marbling tipped-in,
my first book on basic marbling for hobbyists covered in my own paper, and oil paints,
and other marbling supplies I bought years ago to try my hand at it again. Instead of
dropping the paints on water, I learned to use a very dilute paste water (very thin cream)
that gave more control over the colors in terms of making patterns.
I think I'll use methylcellulose.

Fritz Otto checking things out and hoping he gets included in the party...
Still some supplies to get. We'll probably do this over Christmas break
when all will be home for two weeks+!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

More Sprayed and Stenciled Papers

Below a sample of Peka-Spritz-Papier made by Hübel & Denck in Leipzig from the article "Das Spritzverfahren in der Buchbinderei" by Paul Klein in the Buchbinderlehrling, 1928. I shared other papers using this technique by Hübel  & Denck from their Monatsblätter in this earlier post.

Steifbroschure (stiffened paper binding) by Amy Borezo on Ernst Collin's Bone Folder from the 2012 Bind-O-Rama, More examples including historical ones can be found by clicking on the steifbroschure label. Just scroll down.

Airbrushed Cave paper over boards; tipped on Tiziano endsheets;
unsupported link stitch. Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.8 x .8 cm.
In reading the text… I appreciated the discussion of the various kinds of decorated papers.
It inspired me to create my own decorated cover paper for this book using a metal bonefolder
 to score a geometric pattern into the paper, which I then folded, airbrushed, flattened,
and attached to the cover.

Amy wrote a short post on how she made the paper for Bonefolder Extras here. The second edition text of Ernst Collin's Bone Folder can also be freely downloaded laid out for binding using the link in the left sidebar.

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, 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. Paul Klein wrote an article on the topic, "Das Spritzverfahren in der Buchbinderei" for Der Buchbinderlehrling, vol 2, nr 8, 1928.

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.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Buntpapier | Decorated Papers

Finckh-Haelssig, Marianne. Die Herstellung von Buntpapier, Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, 1926.
Mal wieder ein kleiner, charmanter Zugang zum Thema Buntpapier. Drin sind Antleitungen für Kleister-Tunk-, Oel- und Schablonenpapier. Der Text beschreibt we man die Werkstoffe vorbereitet und die Muster erzielt. Auch dabei, die Herstellung von Stemplen aus Rüben. Hinten im Buch, aufgeklebte Muster von den verschiedenen Arten von Buntpapier, eine herkömmliche Praktika in deutschen Fachbüchern und Zeitschriften der Zeit.

Finckh-Haelssig, Marianne. Die Herstellung von Buntpapier, Otto Maier Verlag Ravensburg, 1926.
Another very charming little book on making decorated papers aimed at the hobbyist. Inside, an overview of and instructions for making pastepapers, stencils, and marbling with oil paints and more. Diagrams depict how to make patterns and tools, including making your own stamps from turnips and similar. At the back was a concertina with 8 panels of tipped on swatches of the different kinds of papers, a relatively common feature in German manuals and journals of the time.

Es gab auch verschiedene Umschläge. Hier das Beispiel von Simon Beattie.

There were also different wrappers. Here Simon Beattie's copy.

Auch im Buch, Werbung für ein Buch über Schriftschreiben und Zeichnen vom Otto Maier Verlag, sowie eine Musterkarte mit bunten Fäden.

Also found in the book, ephemera such as card of threads, and an advert for a calligraphy manual by the Otto Maier Verlag.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

In Memoriam Norma Rubovits

Learned on Friday that Norma Rubovits passed away at the age of 97 1/2. Bill Drendel wrote a wonderful tribute to her that was posted on Book_Arts-L, Bill Minter shared images from a 2010 exhibition of her work at the Newberry, and I found myself remembering her from my days in Chicago. Norma was a regular participant at Chicago Hand Bookbinders meetings, which is how I came to know her during the late 1980s – early 1990s. Fast forward to 2006, and I was very glad to have included her in the retrospective exhibition held for the Guild of Book Workers' 100th anniversary where one of her vignettes was shown.

Here Bill's Drendel's tribute:
The passing of Norma B. Rubovits

The book arts community lost a good friend this week Wednesday, when Norma B. Rubovits died at the age of 97. She was a pioneering paper marbler, imaginative bookbinder, major collector and donor. For decades from the 1960s well into the current century, she had a role to play in Chicago book arts and at the Newberry Library. The Newberry hosted a retrospective exhibition of her work in 2010 that celebrated her international renown.

Norma's story is one of determined craft, original thinking, and careful collecting, but it started almost by chance. One day in 1964, Norma's husband Frank asked her if she wanted to take a binding class with him. He had inherited a collection of deteriorating books from his grandfather’s library. Norma said "Why not?" and off they went - to study with Elizabeth Kner, a well- known Hungarian émigré binder with a studio in the Printer's Row area of Chicago. Although Norma became an accomplished binder, her attention soon turned to marbled papers. She taught herself to make marbled paper, by referring to old manuals and sample books at the Newberry, and also by seeking out and getting to know others interested in the art. Her papers were accomplished enough that Jim Wells bought some for use in the Newberry Library bindery, and other customers lined up too. But Norma was not content to produce sheet after sheet of beautiful but predictable papers. She started experimenting with smaller marbles that took up only part of a sheet and eventually came to place these compositions toward the center, using the sheet as a sort of frame. She first referred to these as marbled "doodles" and later "mono-prints," but finally settled on "vignettes." The marbling world had never seen anything like them, and they caused a stir. The Chicago Public Library included her prominently in an exhibit in 1969. She got invitations to exhibit her papers and bindings in group shows locally, nationally, and internationally. She visited Turkey, then as now a center of the marbling world, and corresponded with marblers everywhere. Her international reputation was further solidified in 1992 when Dawson's Bookshop in Los Angeles issued Marbled Vignettes, a limited edition of original miniature marbles along with an accompanying interview in which Norma described her methods and aesthetic.

From the start, Norma Rubovits collected everything she could find on the art of marbling, including copies of the rare manuals she had seen at the Newberry and hundreds of other works about paper, binding, and related book arts. She built a huge collection of papers made by others, largely by purchasing or trading some of her sheets for some of theirs. She often told the story of how shocked and pleased she was when Newberry’s curator, James Wells expressed interest in keeping her papers as part of the John. M. Wing Foundation. But Wells retired soon after and he referred her to "the new guy," Paul Gehl. Norma's major gifts to the Newberry began in 1991 and continued for over a decade. As recently as last year she was adding individual papers and books. The collection is always growing in other ways too. Marblers and authors on paper continue to send their work to the Newberry in Norma's honor. Norma also endowed a book fund at the Newberry for the purchase of books on binding and decorated papers. The collection now numbers more than 4000 marbled pieces and more than 170 books, including many of Norma's own bindings.

Many will mourn Norma as artist and friend. Born Norma Bloch on August 26, 1918 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she graduated from the University of Oklahoma and came to Chicago to work at the University of Chicago hospitals as a dietitian. It was during this time she met Dr. Frank E. Rubovits, an obstetrician-gynecologist from an established Chicago family. They raised two daughters: Paula, an artist and model, and Randi, a psychiatrist. Frank died in 1987, Paula in 1988. Norma died March 16, 2016. Randi Rubovits-Seitz is the sole immediate survivor. A memorial is being planned.
Link here to an in memoriam from the Newberry Library, and more about Norma and her collection and more. Here from the Chicago Tribune.

Below three of her marbled vignettes that she sent to me, shown approximately actual size. I was very glad to find them again.



No date

Though we lost touch over the years, she is someone who I will always remember very fondly.

Thank you, Norma. You are missed.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Einschlagpapier, wrapping papers of the DDR

Just received my copy of Don Rash​'s latest Boss Dog Press imprint, Einschlagpapier. Beautifully done with wonderful samples of these very ephemeral papers. Design-wise, something for everyone. Would be a great addition to institutional collections with graphic and surface pattern design holdings, never mind personal collections... Below the text of the prospectus.

The Boss Dog Press takes great pleasure in announcing the upcoming publication of

Einschlagpapier: Wrapping Papers
of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik

By James H. Fraser

PDF of the prospectus 

The late Dr. James Fraser (and here) was a personal friend and a valued patron of the Boss Dog Press. Quite a few years ago he felt it appropriate that Loyd Haberly's bookbinding equipment be placed in my care. This act of kindness made the 2012 BDP catalog of Dr. Haberly's tools possible. His longstanding interest in East German wrapping papers (arguably one of the more esoteric fields of graphic arts history) resulted in a collection of 63 different wrapping paper patterns, which he acquired both personally and through the efforts of friends over several decades. These papers are the core of the forthcoming Boss Dog Press title: Einschlagpapier: Wrapping Papers of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik.

The text, written by Dr. Fraser and edited by his wife Sibylle, describes how his interest in these papers developed, and documents his research into their history. The samples consist of 38 pattern swatches in each book, with sizes ranging from 5" x 7" to 5" x 1 9/16" There are six patterns cited in the text; these samples are situated near their respective citations. Another pattern is used as a tailpiece to the text. The other 31 swatches are arranged by decade as per Dr. Fraser's original dating. In order to maximize the sizes of the samples per volume, the edition size had to be limited to 20 copies; of these, three are reserved for the Fraser family and one for the Press.
Although the remaining samples were insufficient in area to be used in all of the copies, most were large enough to provide one 5" x 7" swatch. Twenty of these will be used as frontispieces, each unique to its copy of the edition.

Page size for the edition is 7 1/3" x 11" in landscape format.· The book is imposed in seven quarto signatures with 51 numbered pages plus colophon. The paper for the text and for this prospectus is handmade Old Master Gaspe from La Papeterie Saint-Armand in Montreal, Canada. As with prior Boss Dog titles, the paper will be dampened and printed on our Washington handpress.

The typeface for Einschlagpapier is Linotype digital Kabel, set in Adobe In Design here at the Press. Kabel was designed by Rudolf Koch in 1926; a monoline face with rather eccentric features, it has a marked affinity to the aesthetic of these wrapping papers. Polymer plates for the project are by Boxcar Press in Syracuse, NY.

Bindings will be full Scholco Half-Linen cloth over boards, with paper labels scanned from wrapping bands in the collection. Each book and an accompanying DVD of images of the complete collection of papers will be housed in a matching full cloth clamshell box.

As noted above, the edition size is 20 copies, with 16 for sale. The price per copy is $750, payable by check or credit card. Payment over time can also be arranged. As usual, standing order customers receive 20% discount plus free shipping. Dealer discount is 30%, but given the miniscule size of the edition the Press regretfully has to limit one copy per dealer. The cost of shipping is $15.00.

While normally we send along an order card with each prospectus, due to the unique content and very small size of this edition we are asking interested parties to contact the press via email or phone in order to ensure prompt processing of orders.

Don Rash
The Boss Dog Press
50 Burke Street
Plains, Pennsylvania 18705 USA
Telephone +001 570 239 8643

Below scans of the cover and selected pages from the introduction, of illustrations, and the colophon.

The book also contains a CD of images of the full sheets. While not at reproduction quality, they give a wonderful overall sense of the surface pattern design of these papers. The CD also provides descriptive data for the swatches included in the book, swatches that were produced from these sheets.

Images from the CD

A wonderful complement to Einschlagpapier is Freude am Einkauf – Papiertüten in der DDR, a book that while in German is richly illustrated with images of the paper bags produced for shoppers in the DDR, bags that shared the joy of shopping. The book can be ordered worldwide from Edition Panorama Berlin. ISBN: 978-3938753545.

Freude am Einkauf – Papiertüten in der DDR
Both books are wonderful to an collection related to decorated papers, surface pattern design, historical studies.