Wooden Book Boards

Our friend Jeff Peachey was just in Boston teaching his sharpening workshop to the students at North Bennet Street School.  Jeff mentioned that there is still space in his upcoming workshop on wooden boards.  It is obviously NOT in New England, but it looks like well worth the trip!

From the description on Jeff Peachey’s blog:

Los Angles, California. (November 8-12, 2010). Week long wooden board workshop at the Huntington. Description Below, contact Justin Johnson for details- jjohnson(at) huntington (dot) org.

WOODEN BOOK BOARDS: THEIR CONSERVATION, HISTORIC CONSTRUCTION AND THE PRAXIS OF WORKING WOOD.

Until around 1500, most books were bound in wooden boards. Books with wooden boards lie somewhat outside the routine treatments book conservators are normally tasked with. Split, and splitting wood boards are a tremendous problem in many institutions–they put many other aspects of a binding, especially intact covering materials, at risk of further damage if not stabilized or otherwise treated. This five day master class will focus on the fundamentals of the treatment of wooden book boards: the basics of using hand tools to shape wood accurately, easily and efficiently; the making a sample set of woods commonly used for wood boards; the examining of historic techniques for fabrication; and the making a sample set of common treatments for split boards. Choosing, tuning, using, sharpening and maintaining woodworking tools will also be taught. Exploring some of the complexities of wood technology and how this impacts treatment, storage and handling options for conservation treatments will also be covered. No previous woodworking experience is necessary. Five days.

GOALS OF THE WORKSHOP

  1. Learn how to evaluate, use and maintain basic hand wood working tools.
  2. Construct a sample set of reference wood commonly encountered in historic book boards.
  3. Construct a specialized jig to plane thin wood boards.
  4. Reproduce historic board shapes, channels, tunnels, chamfering and learn to recognize the tools used to make them.
  5. Construct samples of currently used techniques to repair split and splitting boards, and discuss their applicability in various real world situations.
  6. Make one sample board from a log, by hand, to understand the historic hand technologies– using a maul, froe, and broad axe.
  7. Begin to appreciate some of the complexities of wood technology and how this impacts treatment, storage and handling options for real world books.
  8. Discuss in depth the results of a recent article by Alexis Hagadorn and  Jeffrey S. Peachey  “The use of parchment to reinforce split wooden bookboards, with preliminary observations into the effects of RH cycling on these repairs” Journal of the Institute of Conservation, Volume 33, Issue 1 March 2010 (pp 41 – 63)
  9. Consider storage, housing and display issues unique to wooden board bindings.
  10. Discuss treatment considerations based on documentation that participants supply.

Bookbinding Tools and Equipment

Sam Ellenport of Harcourt Bindery passes along a tip about some used equipment for sale by Mekatronics.  You can check out what they have to offer by scrolling down to the “antiques” section at: http://www.mekatronicsinc.com/machines/used_equipment/index.html

If anyone else has items for sale or wants, feel free to add comments to this post.  We’ll try to draw attention to anything New England GBW members would like to add.

More for June

Our friends at the Letterpress Guild of New England sponsor the 6th annual Printing Arts Fair:

Printing Arts Fair
Sunday, June 21, 2009
10am to 4pm
Museum of Printing
800 Massachusetts Ave
North Andover, MA

The Letterpress Guild of New England will be hosting the 6th Annual Printing Arts Fair on Father’s Day, June 21, 2009 at the Museum of Printing located just across from the town common. The Fair is free to the public and runs from 10am to 4pm. Co-sponsored by the Letterpress Guild of New England and the Museum of Printing, it’s the perfect time to learn about the book arts and printing, with papermaking and bookbinding artisans demonstrating their craft. Also on hand are stone lithography, intaglio and letterpress printing demonstrations. And for the first time the fair will present Steamroller Printing in honor of the 100th anniversary of the beloved Vandercook Proof Press.

On display in the big tent and upstairs in the Museum are artwork, stationery, prints, books, decorative papers, crafts, posters, type and letterpress printing equipment from such vendors as Albertine Press, B Designs, Brookfield Paperworks, Carta Inc., Sea Dog Press, May Day Studio, Swamp Press, Sun Hill Press, and Zoetropa. The Museum has a fantastic selection of letterpress items for sale for those wanting to try their hand at printing. Vendors will also be donating items to the raffle that benefits the Museum.

The New England Chapter of GBW will offer information about the GBW at a table sponsored by North Bennet Street School.  NBSS students will offer basic bookbinding demonstrations throughout the day.  Jeff Altepeter, NEGBW chapter chair, will present short demonstrations of gold tooling in the morning and afternoon.

See www.museumofprinting.org for maps and information about this event.

printing arts fair poster

 More on June 21st

If you plan to be in New York instead of North Andover on June 21st Jeff Peachey will present a talk sponsord by the University of Trash titled “The Obsolete Man and the Obsolete Book.”  The lecture takes place June 21 at 3:00 pm at SculptureCenter in Long Island City, NYC.  See complete information on Jeff’s blog: http://jeffpeachey.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/the-university-of-trash/

Book Arts Market

More on the supply market coming up next Sunday:

We have confirmed more vendors for the event.  The list currently includes:
Jeff Peachey with knives and other tools.
Pergamena with leather and parchment
Chena River Marblers with marbled paper
Keith Uram with wooden bookbinding equipment
Harcourt Bindery with bookbinding supplies and equipment
Valerie Wells with decorated paper
Shanna Leino with more tools

We will have an information table for flyers and brochures regarding New England book arts events, workshops, organizations, etc.  Please feel free to bring items for that table to the event.

The event is open to the public.  Please invite your friends!

Annual Meeting and Shopping

The New England Chapter Annual Meeting will take place on June 7th in conjunction with a stimulus package for our own New England book arts economic community.

Book Arts Supply Market
June 7th, 2009
12:30-4:30
Arlington Center for the Arts
41 Foster Street
Arlington, MA

Regional suppliers have been invited and will offer items including tools, equipment, decorative paper, parchment and leather.  The event will be open to the public– please invite your friends!

A few examples of the suppliers joining us:  Jeff Peachey will be offering knives and tools, Pergamena will bring parchment and leather, and Chena River Marblers will bring a wide selection of their hand marbled papers.  Other suppliers are being confirmed and a full list will be posted on the blog closer to the event.

New England Chapter GBW members will take a break from the shopping for a brief business meeting at 1:30pm.

Can’t Get Engough of Shanna Leino

 North Bennet Street School invites GBW:

Artist Talk With Shanna Leino

Thursday, April 9, 2009. 6-8 PM
North Bennet Street School

“I love the structural challenge of building a book to fit the content. The words and stories can come from a country song scrap heap, but they primarily come from experiences roving around the South with my friend Lindsay, to Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, and over to Texas. Heat and sparks and thunder, finding another good night’s sleep in the car, it all gives you a rash, but you can’t get enough.” — Artist Statement

FREE but RSVP.  To register, please call (617) 227-0155 or email workshop @ nbss.org

And if it gives you a rash but you can’t get enough:

Bone Toolmaking Workshop with Shanna Leino
Fri & Sat, Apr 10-11, 2009, 10:00am-4:00pm
North Bennet Street School

Smooth, polished to a shine, and fitting perfectly in your hand – there is nothing like the feel of a bone folder you’ve made with your own hands. During this two-day workshop you will be introduced to the tools and techniques needed to form and finish bone folders of your own design. Simple methods of adding adornment to your tools will also be demonstrated. No previous experience is necessary. Bring some elbow grease and expect to leave with two to three bone folders that will be beautiful to look at and wonderful to use! Please bring a notebook, pencil, and ruler to class. If you have the following items, please bring them as well: needle files and jeweler’s saw frame.

$375.  You can register online or email workshop @ nbss.org

The Plane on the Bindery Floor

 

The Bookbinder by Jost Amman
The Bookbinder by Jost Amman

The Plane on the Bindery Floor

Woodworking Tools in Jost Amman’s Woodcut of “The Bookbinder” (1568)
Lecture/Demonstration by Tom Conroy
March 10, 2009.  6 PM
North Bennet Street School
Boston, MA

In the first known drawing of a binder’s studio, half the tools are for working wood. Making the wooden boards of a Medieval or Renaissance book took a great deal of skill and time, but this aspect of historical binding technique is often glossed over. In this talk the tools shown in Jost Amman’s drawing will be demonstrated and discussed, with emphasis on the tools used for working wood, the marks they leave, how they differ from modern tools, and related topics like the advantages and disadvantages of wooden boards and how modern sawmill practice results in inferior boards for books. 

The New England Chapter is proud to co-sponsor this event with North Bennet Street School.  For planning purposes RSVP to Jourdan Abel at 617-227-0155 extension 102, or by email at workshop@nbss.org

About the Presenter
Tom Conroy is a book restorer, binding historian, fine binder, and toolmaker specializing in the making and repair of wooden presses. His main benchwork training, after two decades as a self-taught amateur binder, was with Anne and Theodore Kahle at Capricornus from 1981 to 1988. He holds an MLIS from the University of California at Berkeley, and did work there toward and MS in Wood Science and Technology. He has published extensively on the history, materials, tools, and techniques of bookbinding and book conservation, and he has taught workshops all over the country. He is currently affiliated with the Museum of the American Bookbinder  in San Francisco, where he describes his position as “one of the exhibits.”