Showing posts with label Fritz Otto. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fritz Otto. Show all posts

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Latest Salmon Parchment

Used my last piece of salmon parchment to have it tested for fold and tear strength, so had to make a new one. Note the translucency! So glad Wegman's has salmon fillets in a family size. Good to have Fritz Otto around to hold it up for photography...




Sunday, September 29, 2019

Fritz Otto Gets Ready for the Week

Fritz Otto says a professional always makes sure their Kittel (lab coat) is clean and crisply ironed to start the week... This tacking iron is almost the right size, still need a proper ironing board though.


Fritz Otto washes, bleaches, and irons his lab coat every weekend, well almost every weekend. 

Below, the workshop of the Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg under the direction of Professor Kurt Londenberg, former student of Ignatz Wiemeler. From the December "Bilderbeilage" of the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, [after 1957]. Note the nice crisp lab coats. 




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.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Bookbinding Supplies | Buchbinderei-Bedarf, 1928

Below the 1928 Braunwarth & Lüthke catalog that gives a wonderful sense of the all the expendable supplies (paper, cloth, leather), hand tools, and equipment that a bookbinder of that time would have had available to them. Schmedt in Hamburg acquired Braunwarth & Lüthke 1990[ish] to give them a branch in Munich.

While not all items are depicted, where they are they can be a great aid to understanding terminology in foreign language manuals, especially in tandem with a resource like the Multi-lingual Bookbinding/Conservation Dictionary, https://bookbindingdictionary.com .

Braunwarth & Lüthke, München,
Braunwarth & Lüthke - Preis-Liste über Materialien, Werkzeuge, Beschläge,
Apparate und Maschinen für Buchbindereien und verwandte Branchen.1928.

Scanning all 138 pages with Fritz Otto's help.
No worries, the signatures were all loosely sew and the wrapper off, so no damage.

Complete tool sets for apprentices just starting out, and those more advanced.
Included were a bone folder, bookbinding knife, paring knife, scissors,
sewing needles, keys for securing raised cords in the sewing frame, a green linen apron.
The advanced included more of some of the tools and a divider.
Mk 14 and 17 respectively. (Page 42)

Everything needed to equip a small hand bindery.
Mk 1620 (Page 125)


View below or download here.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Fritz Otto Buchbinder

Needed a little help, alright a lot of help in the studio, something that was very evident during Bookbinder Barbie's visit. We had fun, worked well together, and I was able to teach her about some of my favorite weird bookbinding proclivities like making parchment from fish skin. Most of what I learned from that experience was that working alone can be hard for any number of reasons.

That got me talking to some old connections in Germany, and through them learned about a very motivated and well-versed binder, Fritz Otto Buchbinder, who was looking for some new experiences. He's a Meister, learned from some very good (and not so good) binders in the trade, and spent at one of the few remaining art academies teaching binding. There are also a lot of under- and unemployed bookbinders around...

He arrived recently on Lufthansa who managed to lose all his tools, save one. Ouch! To the rescue. the New World's best tool maker, Jeff Peachey who was able to outfit him with some of his finest tools. I was able to scare up some bone folders and Berlin-style brushes with the metal handle that he likes so much. The one tool he managed to save was the bone folder his Meister gave him as an apprentice. This Meister had gotten from the Meister of his Meisterin. Apparently it had guided a certain Franz through his career as a binder. There it is grinning from the pocket of his lab coat.

Fritz Otto Buchbinder with his Peachey Swiss paring knife.

The tool starter set, more will appear as they are needed and made.

Looking at paring knifes in the 1928 Braunwarth & Lüthke catalog.
Fritz prefers the Swiss and French styles of knives to the traditional German kind.
This is the result of bad experiences he had with the knife his Meister gave him –
Said it was a stumpfe Gurke... (dull cucumber).

Fritz is already getting lost in the Fachbibliothek. He's glad to find his familiar
German manuals, but is also very interested in what he can learn from the
English (and other) ones. I'm sure his English will improve quickly.

Fritz was blown away to see this binding from the "golden age" of German binding,
the period between the World Wars.

Examining a "Dorfner-style" open joint binding on the print-on-demand version of
Ernst Collin's The Bone Folder (Der Pressbengel).

I look forward to having Fritz Otto in the studio with me, teaching him things as well as learning from him. He's curious, loves exploring the old binding manuals and trade publications. Mostly, I'm sure he'll get me binding more. I'll also be glad for his help working on the layout and running the trains.