The programs created by the New England Chapter during this time period were primarily lectures, but workshops were also an important way to share knowledge and techniques. The following list of workshops during 1990 – 1999 were sourced from old GBW Newsletters.
– Hugo Peller gave two workshops at North Bennet Street School on making a small book and “pop-up” box with onlay decoration
– Monique Lallier also gave a workshop at NBSS
– during a visit to the Easthampton Public Library, Hedi Kyle gave a workshop on “Oriental Binding Structures”
– two workshops were designed around the NEGBW 10th Anniversary exhibit: a 2-day workshop on Decorated papers and marbling on fabric with Nancy Leavitt and a 4-day workshop on Calligraphy with Maude Olsen
– during the annual meeting Joe Newman gave a workshop on Rebacking and Timothy Hasten gave a workshop on Archival Matting
– Daniel Kelm held a co-sponsored seminar with NBSS on “Chemistry for Book Workers”
– the Northeast Document Conservation Center hosted a workshop with Deborah Evetts, book conservator at the Pierpont Morgan Library, on “Gold Tooling”
– the Head of Book Restoration at Centro del Bel Libro, Julia Puissant, gave a workshop on “The Restoration and Conservation of Parchment”
– Barbara Meier-Husby gave a workshop at NEDCC on “Long-Fiber Mending of Book-leaf Materials”
– Betsy Palmer Eldridge taught a workshop of variations on supported and unsupported sewing methods at NEDCC
– Nicholas Pickwoad presented a 1-day seminar on “Writing Condition and Treatment Reports” on two different occasions at NEDCC and the American Antiquarian Society; this seminar focused on a recent study of Judaica Collection at Harvard University
– a workshop on “Tunnel Books” was taught by Carol Barton where students designed and constructed a tunnel or “peephole” book
– Terry Buckley, Senior Lecturer in Bookbinding at the London College of Printing, taught a workshop on “Dyeing and Staining Leather” at the Creative Arts Workshop
– Monique Lallier taught a workshop on “Edge Treatments”
– a workshop on “Pressure Sensitive Tape Removal” with Elizabeth Morse was taught at the Harvard University Library Preservation Center
– a 1-day workshop by Richard Horton on “Leaf Structures for Photo Albums” was give at Wide Awake Garage
– Peter Geraty taught “Board Construction for Adhesive-Bound Parchment Bindings”
– Betsy Palmer Eldridge gave a workshop on “Endbands”
– guest instructor from Sweden, Adam Larsson, taught a workshop on the “Cross Structure Binding” at NBSS
During the second decade, the Chapter continued to thrive and stay active with lots of programming. The following is a list of lectures given during 1990 – 1999, all sourced from the GBW Newsletter.
– Nicholas Pickwoad gave a slide lecture on “Stained Decoration of 17th and 18thc. Bookbinding” at the Boston Public Library – this lecture was co-sponsored with North Bennet Street School
– Dr. Sydney Berger (Curator of Manuscripts and Archives at the American Antiquarian Society) spoke during the NEGBW General Meeting on the Antiquarian book trade and the perils of evaluating books
– Roger Stoddard (from the Houghton Library at Harvard University) gave a lecture on William Gowans, a 19thc. Antiquarian Bookseller – this lecture was co-sponsored as an annual lecture series with the Friends of the Wellesley College Library
– talk at the Easthampton Public Library with Nancy Jacoby (from the Japanese Paper Place) on “The Varnishing World of Japanese Handmade Papers”
– given at the Harcourt Bindery, Scott Vile, proprietor of Ascensius Press presented a slide lecture on the history and predecessors of his press: Southworth, Authoenson, Shagbark and Ascensius Presses
– as part of the Wellesley College Library lecture series: David Esselmont, proprietor of Gregynog Press spoke
– during the annual meeting held the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Sherelyn Ogden, Director of Book Conservation at NEDCC, spoke on “Preservation Options for Scrapbook and Album Formats”
1992 – a lecture and demonstration by Frank Mowery on “Form and Function, the Logic of German Bookbinding” – Harry Duncan of the Cummington Press was invited to speak on an exhibition of Cummington Press books in the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College – this lecture was co-sponsored with the Letterpress Guild
– during the annual meeting held at Acme Bindery, David Bourbeau repeated his Standard’s presentation on “Mastering the refinements of case bookbindings”
– during the annual meeting at NEDCC, Brian Allen gave a slide lecture on “Letterforms: From Stonecut to Computer – an illustrated journey through the history of written communication in western culture”
– during a meeting held at the Carriage House Handmade Paper Works, Elaine Koretsky spoke about Chinese papermaking and demonstrated techniques she learned during a trip to China
– presentation by Robert Hauser on “Preservation of Collections: Programs and Disasters” given at the New Bedford Whaling Museum
– during a meeting at the Harvard Law School Library, David Ferris, Curator of Rare Books, spoke about notable bindings from the collection
– Monona Rossol, an Industrial Hygienist, spoke on “Hazardous Materials – Health and Safety in your Studio” at the American Antiquarian Society
– another lecture at AAS was given by Sue Allen on “Connoisseurship of 19thc. Bookbindings”
– Joe Newman gave a talk on Mary Crease Sears, the first American master-bookbinder of the Arts and Crafts Movement in Boston
– during a meeting at NEDCC a panel discussion on “Ethics and Standards in Bookbinding” included the following panelists: Nancy Schrock (Conservator and Consultant to major libraries), Nancy Southworth (edition and fine binder), Paul Parisi (President of Acme Bookbinding Co.) and Karl Eberth (binder in private practice) with Sam Ellenport as moderator
– Bill Streeter gave a presentation of his research on copy presses, beginning with James Watt’s 1780 letterpress copying machine and ending with Chester Carlson’s copying machine of 1938 – this was held at Wide Awake Garage in Easthampton
– Carol Barton gave a slide lecture on historical antecedents of tunnel books
– during a visit to the Providence Public Library, Dr. Philip Maddock, a private collector, spoke on Irish bookbinding along with a viewing of decorative bindings from the collection
– at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, members heard a lecture from Scott Kehoe on how to photograph books
– Rick Cavasin gave a presentation at NBSS on his production of parchment and vellum
– Roger Barleee, Director of J. Hewit & Sons Tannery, in Edinburgh, Scotland gave two talks on leather production (one at Harvard University and one at Smith College)
– during a visit to the Burns Library at Boston College, Sally Key, Instructor of NBSS, discussed the construction of model historic bindings and Dr. Bernard Meaghan, Keeper of the Manuscripts at Trinity College, talked about the materials used in the manufacture of the Book of Kells
– during a joint chapter meeting with the Letterpress Guild and NEGBW at the Quercus Press, Johnny Carerra demonstrated the use of his Linotype and showed his work as both printer and binder
– during a meeting held at Goldsmith 3 (a custom design and hand-crafted jewelry business), proprietor, Vincent Ferrini, demonstrated making and applying metal to books in his talk “Metal Book Hinges, Clasps, Hasps and Escutcheons”
– Nancy Leavitt gave a slide lecture on her three-week trip to Northumbria titled “From Landscape to Manuscript Book: a tour of Iona and Holy Island” where she discussed the Gospel Book produced in the great religious centers of Iona, Scotland and Holy Island, England from 650 through 1000CE
– Stuart Walker, Head of Book Conservation, spoke about the exhibit “Five Centuries of Bookbindings at the Boston Public Library: an exhibit of bookbinding from the collection of the Rare Book and Manuscript Department”
– an additional lecture at the Boston Public Library was given by Christopher Clarkson on “Conservation of Early Books”
Books have always been a vessel for storing and spreading information. As bookbinders we can use our skills right now to help disseminate information for the Black Lives Matter movement and introduce all types of people to the facts about police brutality.
Sarah Bryant, Big Jump Press, has shared her book Read This Out Loud as a free downloadable PDF that can be easily bound. On her blog, you can find the link to the PDF, plus some video tutorials for how to bind it.
Read This Out Loud is meant to be distributed for free or if sold, all proceeds should go toward Black Lives Matter or a similar organization.
The book was designed in June 2020 in a response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and includes the names of people who have died by police brutality. Check out Sarah’s blog for more information about the book itself and how this information was compiled.
The first decade of the New England Chapter was filled with social gatherings at various institutions and member’s studios. The following is a list of events during 1980 – 1989, all sourced from the GBW Newsletter.
– Timothy Barrett spoke about his research in Japanese and Western paper at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA
– after a tour of the conservation lab at Sterling Memorial Library at Yale University members walked through the exhibit Eccentric Books, which included antiquarian and modern work with movable parts, revolving discs, cut-outs, flaps, pull-tabs, “pop-up” books
– Sue Baughman hosted a meeting at Clark University’s Goddard Library, where Dorothy Minkowski spoke about the collection in the rare book room including examples of fore edge painting
– Peter Geraty gave a workshop on Oriental book strucutres
– two workshops with Hugo Peller: “Pop-Up Boxes” and “Gold Tooling & Leather Decoration Techniques”
– John Dreyfus, a British typographical historian spoke about the connection between printing and the invention of spectacles
– a teacher at the Rhode Island School of Design, Janet Sweig, talked about contemporary artists’ books
– during a meeting at the New Bedford Whaling Museum, members were given a tour of the storage facilities and conservation lab to view an extensive conservation project of 1,000 logbooks treated by Robert Hauser
– members Carol Blinn, Suzanne Moore, Joe Newman and Don Glaister participated in a panel discussion at the reception for the National Guild’s Exhibit Eighty Years Later
– North Bennet Street School hosted a meeting for members, where Mark Esser gave a tour of the new bindery facilities and special guests Don Glaister and Fritz Eberhart discussed their approach to design binding with a slide show presentation
– a film viewing of Robert Baart’s “Gold Beating: The Making of Gold Leaf” was screened at Harcourt Bindery followed by several demonstrations by Daniel Kelm (presentation on the “Mythology, Alchemy and Magic of gold”), Joe Newman (different techniques for gold tooling on trade and fine bindings), Peter Geraty (edge gilding) and Suzanne Moore (laying gold for illumination)
– tour of Carriage House Handmade Papers studio followed by a slide show presentation by Elaine and Donna Koretsky on making paper in Burma
– Third Annual Book Workers Olympics
– Mr. Niyazi Sayin gave a lecture on Turkish Ebru
– Daniel and Babetta Gehnrich gave a talk on the German apprenticeship system with examples of their work at the Boston Public Library
– Hugo Peller offered two workshops, one on edge decoration at the Northeast Document Conservation Center and a second on vellum techniques at the Creative Arts Workshop
– Ole Olson taught a workshop on paste paper techniques at David Bourbeau’s studio in Easthampton
– members met at the American Antiquarian Society to critique and discuss bindings from an exhibit
– Roderick “Rocky” Stinehour, Chairman of Meridan-Stinehour Press and a well-known printer in New England, gave a lecture on the history of printing at Wellesley College (co-sponsored by Wellesley College, The Society of Printers, The Letterpress Guild of New England and the New England Chapter of the American Printing History Association)
– the Boston Athenaeum hosted a meeting with 38 members with a tour followed by a special viewing of an exhibit at the Houghton Library Harvard University on the work of Arno Werner
– Sue Allen gave a slide show presentation on Victorian Publisher’s Bindings
– Kathryn Gerlach hosted a meeting with 28 members at The Old Mill in Shaftsbury, Vermont. She set up her studio with a display of bindings in various stages of completion and showed several books that had been bound by her and her husband, Gerhard. Kathryn gave a short slide show of work they had completed discussing their experiences as binders.
– a meeting was held at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut with host Mother Agnes Shaw. Members were gathered to hear the Office of Sext (5th century Gregorian chant) followed by a presentation by Mother Agnes on cut leather, a technique dating back to the 12th century.
– Don Glaister and Suzanne Moore hosted the 2nd Annual Book Workers Olympics in Westhampton
– a talk on the history of binding from the 19th century to the present was given by Julie Stackpole using slides images on collections from the Bodleian Library
– Bill and Elaine Streeter of Heraldry Bindery host the 1st Annual Bookbinding Olympics in Easthampton
– at a summer meeting Don Glaister spoke about his bindings
– Northeast Document Conservation Center hosted 30 members for a meeting where Sherelyn Ogden gave a slide presentation on a book treatment done at the center followed by a tour of the facilities
– a meeting in the fall took place at the Rare Book Room of Smith College
– a meeting at One Cottage Street included slide shows and tours from Carol Blinn, Claudia Cohen, Daniel Kelm, Gray Parrot and Alan Robinson
– Don Glaister hosted a pot luck dinner for members to meet with Danish Ole Olsen who gave a slide show presentation
In June 1990, the chapter took part in a celebration for Arno Werner’s 91st birthday at his studio in Hadlyme, Connecticut.
In her book, A Binding Love, Carol Blinn reflects on her apprenticeship and friendship with Arno. In 1975, Carol interviewed Arno about his early life in Germany, fifty years after he came to the United States with just $25 in his pocket and a cigar box which held his small binding tools.
Arno was born in Mylau, Saxony in 1899 (or as he put it “I yust got under the wire!”) to a large family. As one of ten, it was encouraged that the younger kids stand on the table during meals to make room for everyone. At age 13, Arno intended to begin an apprenticeship as a baker, however the work was too physically demanding for his physique. His doctor recommended entering the bookbinding trade instead.
His apprenticeship lasted for 3 years under the tutelage of Louis Herold. As the youngest apprentice, he woke at 6:00 a.m. to prepare a fire in the stove to warm up the shop, made sure all the glue pots were ready and refilled water buckets so the workers could wash their hands. Each day ended at 7:00 p.m. with lots of clean up including the hand tools and machinery.
His training then led him to work with the famous master binder Ignatz Wiemeler in Leipzig. Arno returned to the United States in 1939, when war broke out and settled in Pittsfield, Massachusetts where he maintained his own bindery until 1977.
In 1981, the Houghton Library at Harvard University celebrated Arno Werner’s work and legacy with a 40-year retrospective, where he delivered a lecture to a gathering of friends and colleagues. In Arno Werner/One Man’s Work, Carol prints Arno’s thoughts on his life in the bookbinding trade for the first time. It also highlights twelve of his bindings in full color and includes the lecture he gave at the Houghton Library.
As Carol describes, his workshop became a home to many as Arno taught how to bind books well and that he freely shared his knowledge and techniques. Over six decades of bookbinding, Arno maintained the highest of standards, placing him among the most celebrated binders.
In 1990, the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven paired up with the New England and New York Chapters of the Guild of Book Workers to build an exhibit to honor Polly Lada-Mocarski and celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the bindery at CAW.
Gisela Noack, Chairman of the Exhibition, noted the exhibit was a tribute to Polly, who was a “bookbinder and conservator, a teacher and mentor, a fundraiser, sponsor and inventor, but most of all a friend.”
Book Arts Exhibition 1990 — Polychrome — Polytechnique went on display from April 22 – June 3. During the opening reception attendees were entertained by Susan Joy Share and Geoffrey Morrow as they performed excerpts of their performance “Unfolded World” (click on the link above and scroll down to find images of this work).
The following workshop is not sponsored by the New England Chapter, but may interest our members.
Laser Cutting Boot Camp for Printmakers
June 12 – 15, 2020
Laser Cutting Boot Camp for Artist Books
June 26 – 29, 2020
North Adams, MA
Learn how to:
– operate a laser cutter
– make laser-ready files
– test innovative laser cutting & engraving applications
– produce a material sample book
– combine traditional techniques with new technology
– take advantage of tips & tricks
– identify laser safe materials
– recognize problems and solve them
– incorporate best practices and optimize work-flow efficiency
– make the most of connecting with faculty and brainstorming curriculum development
– laser cutting techniques for artists
Louise Imogen Guiney (1861 – 1920), one of only two women represented in Bapst Library’s stained glass portraits of American authors, may have faded from the canon, yet she continues to offer a unique window into the multifaceted literary establishment of late 19th-century Boston. Guiney’s family and friends connected her to Boston’s literary circles where her own drive to write—first poetry, and later, stories and biographical essays—earned her acclaim, if not the financial independence she sought.
Guiney’s choice of subjects was informed by her Catholic beliefs, her admiration for Jesuits, and her sojourns in Ireland and England. This retrospective exhibit focuses on her relationships with Catholic religious leaders, fellow writers, and publishers in Boston. Of special interest to book artists, there are notable book cover designs and printing examples in the exhibit.
The venue for the workshop is on the shore of Lake Damariscotta, Jefferson, Maine (about 2 hours north of Portland). The lodge was once an old fish camp built in the early 1900s. After being renovated it has served as a space for creative writing and bookbinding.
These workshops are not sponsored by the New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers.
In 1989, the New England Chapter put together an exhibition of member work, which showcased the scope and skill of the members at the time. This regional show highlighted the exuberance of book work in the Northeast, with many of the exhibitor’s reputations spanning across the nation and even internationally.
With the year 2020, our Chapter celebrates its 40th year! We will be posting on past events throughout the year in a series called A Look Back. In our first post, I asked three exhibitors to speak about their work and their place in the bookbinding community at the time.
Barbara Blumenthal: Chinese Decorated Papers was the first of the five limited editions which I bound for Henry Morris and his Bird & Bull Press. I’ve been thinking about Henry from time to time since his death in May 2019.
In the 1970s, Henry’s exclusive bookbinder was Gray Parrot. In 1987 Henry decided not to keep all of his binding eggs in one basket, so he hired me to bind 325 copies of the Schmoller book in quarter leather with his printed paper sides. I also designed and created a deluxe copy, bound in leather leather with a design that featured some of the metallic papers tipped into the book. Henry and I (and his wife Pearl) remained good friends even after he abandoned me, and other hand bookbinders, to have his Bird & Bull books bound by the larger Campbell-Logan Bindery. Henry inscribed the binder’s copy of one of his publications to me, “Massachusetts’ finest bookbinder;” hyperbole, of course, but evidence of Henry’s sense of humor and our mutual fondness and esteem.
Julia Ferrari: I was an artist, engaged in a career (vocation) of typography within the book arts, co-running Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press with partner, Dan Carr, in Ashuelot, New Hampshire. Besides creating our own books as artist (myself) and poet (Dan Carr) we had been designing, setting and printing – in metal monotype, full size books for limited edition publishers for 7 years.
When we moved to New Hampshire from Boston we were in our 20’s and we wanted to work doing the craft we so loved. We decided to run a monotype print shop, so we could continue to expand and develop our skills with letterpress printing and typesetting equipment to the country. We were also part of the Four Zoas Press, a literary small press, that was started in Hardwick, Massachusetts, publishing unknown poets. In Boston I had begun writing poetry which led me to Dan Carr and his literary print shop on the Charlestown/Somerville border. I was a practicing artist, and so brought those skills to the press, teaching myself woodcut and lino-cuts (these got used in the chapbooks we were producing), bookbinding, and later in 1989 making abstract paste-papers as original art be used on book covers (very possibly one of, if not the first person to do that.)
All was opening up as the traditional craft was being discovered by my generation, partly because the printing machines were being discarded by the commercial industry. I continue to run the press, even though my partner has passed away, and feel a responsibility to energetically pass on the craft to the next generation by offering residencies and internships yearly.
Julie B. Stackpole:
Since I live down in mid-coast Maine and don’t have many opportunities to gather with fellow bookbinders and book collectors, I have always tried to enter as many exhibitions of bookbinding as possible, to keep my name and work familiar to the public.
In 1989, I was trying an idea to expand my client possibilities by appealing to interior decorators to commission a guest book that ties in with the design of their project that they would give to their client at the end, a symbol of the interior’s new life. My mother, Mary Ann Beinecke, had a textile design business that produced luxury throws, yarns, fabrics, and needlework rugs made for her in Portugal. To demonstrate the possibilities of my idea, I chose one of her room-sized rugs made with this butterfly design as the inspiration for a blank book that I could also enter in the NEGBW exhibit; then she could sell it along with the rug afterwards.
I used a finishing technique that I am very fond of: linoleum-cut blind embossing over onlays of leather. The butterfly lino-cuts also were used in making the endpapers with gum arabic resist. All the colours reflect those of the rug.
My mother never sold the rug but kept it for her own personal use, and so I gifted her the guest book also. Thus, it came back to me after she died (age 87) and so I am able to see and photograph it in its 30 year old condition. I am pleased to note that the structure of the book and wrapper are in good shape, but the aqua blue Niger goatskin has browned on the spine and near the edges of the boards, despite the book being kept in its wrapper. This is why I almost always make clamshell boxes for my fine leather bindings, especially light blue or green ones! (But guest books are easier to sign if they have a padded wrapper to rest on.)
Thanks to Barbara, Julie and Julia for their contribution to our community and this blog series.