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The Publication of the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers

Pressing Matter

Fall 2013

Message from THE president

Collaboration abounds!

In this issue
Six Questions
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ello DVC Members - I hope that many of you had a chance to see the ABC Collaborative books on exhibit at the Free Library of Philadelphia this summer. I was so happy with how the exhibit came out! The thing I like about it best is that it can be enjoyed by people all ages and from all backgrounds. After all, who can’t relate to the alphabet at some level? If you haven’t made it there yet, the exhibit will be up until September 20th. Many thanks to Karen Lightener for making it happen! In other exciting news about the ABC Collaborative, it will be the cover story for the next GBW newsletter. Jon Snyder designed the cover art and I wrote an article about our collaborative book projects. Watch for that newsletter to arrive in the mail in October. Secondary Colors will be on display at the Library at the Philadelphia Museum of Art October 1, 2013 – FebruJennifer Rosner, Alice Austin, and Karen ary 2, 2014. We will have a Lightener installing The ABC Collaborative gathering at the Museum on exhibition at the Free Library of Philadelphia. October 19 at 10:30 am. This will be a joint program with Philadelphia Center for the Book. Evan Towle, librarian at the PMA, will also show us some books from their collection. Mark your calendars! We are hoping to start another collaborative book project next year. We will have a “call for ideas” and then a vote. So, start thinking about a good idea for a collaborative book. One thing to keep in mind: the past two projects had 26 and 28 people who participated. Lots of fun things coming up this fall! Read this newsletter thoroughly for announcements of workshops and exhibition opportunities. Jennifer Rosner Chapter Chair

Jim Croft Workshop Book Highlights from the Web
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Exhibition Opportunity
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Upcoming Workshops
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A Week in The Netherlands and Belgium
Pages 6-12 Delaware Valley Chapter Officers Jennifer Rosner Chapter Chair Alice Austin Secretary, Treasurer, Exhibitions Denise Carbone Programs Co-chair Jon Snyder Newsletter Valeria Kremser Webmaster

NEW MEMBERS:
Kara Petraglia Philadelphia, PA Amanda Bock, Philadelphia, PA David Twiss, Philadelphia, PA

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Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers

Pressing Matters

Fall 2013

6 Questions - James Engelbart

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How long have you been a member of the GBW? Don’t know. I’ve been a member on and off for over a decade.

Where are you from originally? Even after 20 years in Philadelphia I’m still from Minneapolis.

When did you realize you wanted to learn bookbinding? When I worked at a letterpress studio in Minneapolis and realized that book arts can combine myriad interests.

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What are you working on right now? A book with Susan Weinz (a grad from The University of the Arts) and a broadside with Rosae Reeder (a classmate of mine, also from The University of the Arts).

What is your favorite book structure these days? Simple 2, 3, 5 etc. pamphlet variations. I’ve had it with leather.

James Engelbart’s studio.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. I have worked as a neon sign bender (we’re called ‘benders’ in the trade), I have a collection of over 75 Kurt Weill CD’s (I’ve seen the term ‘Weillaholics’ in print to describe his fans) and I try to translate Latin poetry on public transportation so no one will talk to me (and it works well).

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6 Questions - Rosae Reeder

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When did you realize you wanted to learn bookbinding? I have always been interested in making things. My Undergraduate Degree is in Traditional Printmaking, Lithography and Etching. By the time I graduated I had made many editions of prints and had quite a collection but I felt my work was missing something. I was trying to figure out what that was when I came to the University of the Arts for open house, while looking for Graduate Schools. I met Mary Phelan and we had the most amazing, life changing conversation for me. (not so sure that Mary would think it was so life changing but it was) It was during that conversation that I realized what my work was missing. From that moment on, I was on a bookbinding mission!

Where are you from originally? I am originally from New York. I grew up in White Plains and later moved to Ossining near Tarrytown and Ichabod Crane.

How long have you been a member of the GBW? Just Joined this year and I am so excited!

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What are you working on right now? I am working on a Broadside with James Engelbart and finalizing a book about Gorree' Island in Senegal West Africa.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us. I used to do Archeological Illustration. For two summers, I lived in Greece for 6 weeks and drew artifacts from an Early Minoan Habitation site called Chrysokamino. I am able to take a pottery sherd (broken glass is a shard, broken pottery is a sherd) and create the vessel that the sherd came from in a drawing. I loved every minute of it, it was amazing! AND, I can order an entire meal and ask for the check all in Greek because of it!

What is your favorite book structure these days? This is a hard one. I have always said that my favorite book structure is the Coptic binding, however, the Secret Belgian and then the Expandable Album - combination Pamphlet and Accordion are a close second and third. Honestly, any book structure that I am making at a particular time seems to be my favorite one!

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Rosae Reeder’s studio.

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Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers

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Fall 2013

Jim Croft workshop
Bone tools
his past spring, I had a wonderful opportunity to take Jim Croft’s bone tool-making workshop through the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers. In addition to meeting Jim (a treat in itself ) and hearing about his Old Ways book arts and toolmaking workshops at his home in Idaho, we spent the day learning how to pick the best, most appropriate bones to make the various tools bookbinders reach for at their benches. Jim, in his jovial and relaxed way, showed us how to use axes to hew and shape the bones and really utilize their natural contours and ridges to create unique, useful, and beautiful tools. After the bones were hewn, we smoothed them with metal files and fine grit sandpaper. This painstaking task is only completed when all of the tool surfaces are perfected and polished. The hands-on, tactile quality of this workshop was a happy break from stressful thesis work and now I’m the proud owner of the biggest, baddest bone folder you ever did see.  Katherine Pulido

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Longstitch
was lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in Jim Croft’s longstitch binding workshop, held at the University of the Arts. Jim had prepared the covers for the course in advance—a cloth spine piece glued to two beautiful wooden boards, 100% made from scratch, of course—while the participants brought in their own text blocks. Jim explained the whole process of creating the cover piece for the book, we were even able to try to split the wooden boards ourselves. But the majority of the workshop was dedicated to the long stitch sewing, and instruction on how to sculpt the flexible, rounded spine of this structure. The course was a wonderful experience, and I very much enjoyed learning this binding. I was even able to shop for a fantastic new bone folder too! Kara Devine

Katherine Pulido working on her bone folder.

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Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers

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The Page Illuminates: Book Highlights from the Internet
his adventure through the inter-tubes brings us to The Devil’s Tale: Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. This blog highlights gems from the RBML and discusses the challenges many special collections face including moves and large scale digitization projects. Some of the posts have shared new acquisitions, items of historical relevance, holidays past, and recipes. The great thing about university collection blogs is the accessibility to items that one might no be able to get to experience in person, or even think to ask to see. Some of my favorite posts are the Mad Men Mondays where the curators find vintage advertisements that had been discussed on the Mad Men episode the day before. You can visit the Rebenstein blog over at http://blogs.library.duke.edu/ rubenstein/

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Advertisement from the blog.

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One Week in The Netherlands and Belgium; a Taste of Half a Millennium
By Nancy H. Nitzberg
Photos by the author

he Netherlands is located in a region of the world that has so many wonderful museums, historical collections, architecture and other fascinating venues. Creating an itinerary for one week was both a wonderful task, and a difficult challenge. What to include and what to exclude, balancing that one of us (my partner, Don) had been once, briefly, and one of us (Nancy) had been there three times, the first time being a semester long stay in Amsterdam, while in college. What I worked to plan was a week balanced with fine art, history, old books and printing history pursuits, a concert or two, international cuisine and lots of walking. This summary was written in response to the request of our Chapter’s President and others; I appreciate their interest!

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Amsterdam We decided to make Amsterdam our home base for the duration, and taking day trips by train (and by bus, in one instance) to travel through the region. We stayed in a quiet but central location on the Singel Canal where we could access many places in Amsterdam and also walk to the train station for day trips. It was a happy surprise (!) to find, upon arrival, that we were in the heart of a rare and used book and print shop neighborhood (near Spui, pronounced “spou” as in “spout.”) In addition to the shops, there is a book fair every Friday with booksellers from many regions in the Netherlands. We weren’t on a shopping trip, but it was certainly nice to peruse the offerings. Many of the local shops were in 17th and 18th century buildings, but there Continued on next page

Detail from Frans Hals’ portrait of Maritge Vooght, 1639.

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was no lack of modern technology. Upon responding to questions regarding what we were looking for, and usually responding with “books on books,” we were shown the shelves that had multi-lingual selections on the subject. While perusing, we were handed a freshly printed inventory of what was also available at the shop’s warehouse. My purchased souvenir was an imprint in a printed paper wrapper by an early 20th century publisher on laid paper of Michelangelo’s poetry translated into Dutch. A souvenir of beautiful Netherlands printing and paper conveying a subject related to my art history studies, for the equivalent of $3 (USD). I was told that the publication was very unusual for the publisher who otherwise specialized in theological text books. At another bookshop, we found a meaningful souvenir on the subject of paper making in a bin of posters: A 19th century lithograph by a Netherlands printer illustrating the paper making process during the early machine era. We were told that the publisher provided images of various subjects for use in schools. This explained why the lithograph was mounted on a stiff board that had grommets through the upper edge and a cord from which it could be hung on a wall. The price was modest, this time because the print had water damage from a flood in the warehouse. The lithograph was partially detached and had tidelines; the board was warped. That was not a deterrent; the condition of the lithograph has since been improved.

Haarlem The inspiration for a day trip to Haarlem was to see Dirck de Bray’s original illustrated 1658 manuscript (A Short Instruction on Bookbinding), housed at the Noord Hollands Archief. This historical research center is located in a former 14th century church with a modern wing that houses a state-of-the-art research center. The exhibition space is in the former nave of the former small church. I made an appointment to see the manuscript in advance, and it was a great thrill to be able to look at the original, located here because the author was from Haarlem. The contents of this parchment bound manuscript has been most recently reprinted in 2012, and was the theme of an exhibition at the Noord Hollands Archief in December of 2012, sponsored by the Stichting Handboekbinden (Society of Hand Bookbinders). As part of the exhibition, a 17th century bookbindery was re-recreated, based on Dirck de Bray’s bookbinding manual. Bookbinding demonstrations were among the events scheduled to bring to life this tiny, but exquisite, little instructional book. The entire text of the recent reprint is available on a pdf which provides a wonderful opportunity to peruse this 1658 bound and illustrated manuscript: http:// www.ganzenweide.nl/Home/De_Bray_files/De%20Bray%20spreads%20lowres. pdf Continued on next page

A lithograph showing the papermaking process.  As found.  (H. van Lummel.  Lith. Versluys & Scherjon, Utrecht.)

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Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers

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Fall 2013

(Copies, in sheets, are still available!: http://www.ganzenweide.nl/Home/De_Bray.html With only a few hours left, there were three places we would have like to go: The Frans Hals Museum, the Corrie ten Boom Museum (a historic site where a devout Christian family hid Jews during the Nazi occupation), and the Teylers Museum, with important collections of fine art, natural history, and science. It was not an easy decision. We opted for the Teylers Museum and upon arrival understood why it was considered such a treasure. The Teylers museum was established in 1778 and was opened in 1784 adjacent to the residence of the founder, Pieter Teyler. http://www.teylersmuseum.eu/ index.php?lang=en It is the oldest museum in the Netherlands. The original portion of the museum provides a beautiful historical setting for its rare and varied collections. The mineral collections are remarkable, and even the mosaic floors are elegant and worthy of notice. There were exhibition cases outside of the library and the current exhibition consisted of illustrated books from the collection, with representations of printed methods through the centuries. We had originally planned to take this trip in December and spend half the week in Haarlem. That would not have been a bad decision, although spending half a week in any city in this country would be a wonderful experience for those

Pigments used in paint-making demonstrations at the Rembrandthuis, Amsterdam.

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with an interest in books and history, in my humble opinion.

Back to Amsterdam The Portuguese Synagogue, via Rickshaw We took the train back to Amsterdam but despite our fast walking pace, we were likely going to miss a portion of a concert by the Israeli Brass Quintet at the Portuguese Synagogue. The synagogue was built in the 17th century by a community of Portuguese Jews who were descended by those who fled the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition. Amsterdam was a location that was hospitable to this refugee population. We splurged on a bicycle driven rickshaw, a vehicle great for navigating the narrow streets and alleys of historic Amsterdam, although we felt awkward at being conveyed by a vehicle that put the driver in an especially subservient role. However, the energetic young man who had presented us with this option of transportation (after cheerfully asking us if we needed directions) got us to our destination on time and was quite happy to have had the job. Attending the concert was a rare opportunity to both hear this wonderful brass quintet perform live, with an international repertoire of Jewish music through the centuries, but also to experience this historic synagogue as dusk, lit by candles, with the setting sun filtering through the windows. (The unexpected rickshaw ride was also memorable.) Upon leaving the synagogue, the on site library was visible through a glass door. A beautiful sight.

Printing presses at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp.

Antwerp The Plantin-Moretus Museum The Plantin-Moretus Museum was incentive enough to travel to Antwerp for the day. A printing house, established in the early 1500s, is now a renowned historic site. The City of Antwerp became the owner in 1876. Upon entering the printing room, one sees two historic presses on a raised area of the floor, as though on an altar. The sign says they are the two oldest know printing presses in existence. Wonderful daylight falls into the room along a windowed wall where presses are aligned as though waiting for the day to begin. On the other side of the room is the compositors’ area, with drawers of type and counters on which the type was set. Further back in the same large, well-light room is an exhibition case, with examples of moveable music type, Hebrew type, to name a few, that were used Continued on next page

The library at the Portuguese Synagogue, Amsterdam.

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Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers

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at this location. A cabinet in the next room contained type that was never used, some of it wrapped in printers waste! These sheets would be very bibliographically interesting now. The proofreaders’ room had a table and benches, built into a niche by a window. In the center of the room was an exhibition case with an early printed sheet marked with symbols that designated the many corrections needed. The marks were made in red ink. The same editing symbols used then are still in use today. In another area of the museum, the family’s residence is preserved. Included in this area is the family library, a breathtaking sight. A list of books would certainly make for a fascinating study. Another room had an exhibition of bookbinding history, from the collection of Max Rooses, who began work as the museum’s first curator of the museum in 1876. Further along, there was another exhibition of selected materials from the museum’s collection. Among the many wonderful exhibits were original carved woodblocks that were displayed along with examples of their printed images. The thick blocks were very, very deeply carved (perhaps as much as 2 inches) and achieved the very fine and precise lines that one might think were made by a copper plate engraving. One of the last rooms we saw was the historic bookstore of the printing house, complete with a balance used to weigh payments by customers. A historic copy of books banned by the Vatican was posted on the wall, but we learned that it was not adhered to. The cabinets included books in various bindings: Paper-covered, full leather and more, implying that books were sold, at least during a phase of the existence of this printing establishment with a choice of bindings (as well as in sheets). Unfortunately, no detailed information was available and I hope that future reading (or visits) will answer some of these questions. Continued on next page

The historic book shop at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp.

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Back in Amsterdam The Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum reopened in April of this year, after being renovated over the course of 10 years. It was a very popular destination, but not unpleasantly crowded. We indulged in seeing the 17th century Netherlands paintings, (the inspirations for my studies in art history). In addition to the humanity and symbolic content of many of the images, the beautiful depictions of Dutch homes and their details (carpets, books) captured the material culture of the time period. A historic paint box was displayed in the center of this large gallery. In a smaller gallery adjacent to the large hall where the 17th century masterpieces were displayed were small exhibition cases with historic artifacts. One case contained about 7 knit caps that were discovered during an archeological excavation. The caps belonged to fisherman who perished in a storm. The caps were knitted in different color combinations, perhaps from scraps of yarn and textiles, all in very fine gauges. The information described how, due to the cold weather, the fisherman almost completely covered their faces and how the individuality of their hats identified them to each other. It was a very moving remembrance of the individuals to whom these hats belonged. I believe they dated from the 1500s. The Amsterdam Museum Although generally less renowned for its collections, our visit to The Amsterdam Museum was very worthwhile in that it conveyed the history of the city and showed items from archeological digs to more recent objects to illustrate the information in a tangible way. Among the items displayed to convey information Continued on next page

The compositors’ area at the Plantin-Moretus Museum, Antwerp.

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regarding 17th century Amsterdam was the “Staatsbibel,” a protestant imprint open to a very beautifully hand-colored illustration of Solomon’s palace. Unfortunately, there was no information regarding the publisher and date. Another memorable display was that of a painting of the Regents of the Workhouse showing them examining lace made by the inmates. (Some of the women who were imprisoned were taught to make lace, and the Regents are shown examining their work and making notes in a ledger book.) Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt’s House) by way of the historic Booksellers’ Stalls at the University of Amsterdam On our final afternoon in Amsterdam, we went to the Rembrandthuis. We walked east and intentionally made our way through the University of Amsterdam’s campus, and saw the historic booksellers’ stalls of past centuries. Only two were opened at the time, but enough to convey a sense of what it was like when a new term began. Upon arriving at the Rembrandthuis, we experienced a feeling of awe to be in the actual building where the artist lived and worked, from 1639 until 1658, when he went bankrupt and was forced to move. His financial crisis led to a detailed inventory of his belongings, so they could be sold to pay those to whom he owed money. While it is stunning that a productive artist, famous in his own time and since, had such financial difficulties, this inventory has been provided wonderful information in regard to what Rembrandt had in this house. Rembrandt’s own artwork also informs us on how the house was arranged. The “attic” where he stored his collection of props used in his paintings was recreated from the 1658 inventory; if one knows his artwork, he or she will recognize some of the items that have been gathered to represent the original props that appeared in his paintings. Two demonstrations were provided by multilingual employees which added much to the appreciation of Rembrandt’s printing and painting methods. One staff member described the process of engraving and printed from plates, showing how the inking among other factors could influence the individual qualities of each image. Another staff member, upstairs in what had been the painting studio, described the sources of the pigments used by Rembrandt, and the geographic regions (southern France and Turkey, for example) where they were obtained during his time. The employee ground the pigments and mixed them with linseed oil. She explained that turpentine would have been added, but skipped that step “due to the smell.” Possibly health and safety regulations were a factor, too. Visitors were given an opportunity to participate. The building next door houses a modern exhibition space. There is a vast display of original matted and framed Rembrandt prints, each with scholarly descriptions. In some instances, various states of the same print are exhibited and the information discussions the reasoning that may have been behind the alterations that Rembrandt made. As at the Teylers Museum in Haarlem, it was only because the Rembrandthuis was closing that we could get ourselves to leave that informative and extraordinary place, with the hope of returning someday. We arrived at Schiphol Airport the next morning, and while on a moving sidewalk with not much time left until our departure, we saw a satellite branch of the Rijkmuseum (complete with gift shop, of course) and the Schiphol Airport Library. Next time. n

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Workshops and Exhibitions
Gold Tooling with Jamie Kamph
November 2-3, 2013 (Saturday and Sunday) 10 am to 5 p.m. The Library Company of Philadelphia 1314 Locust Street $200 DVC members $250 non-members Materials fee not to exceed $30

Fast, Friendly, Free Workshop
Jennifer Rosner will teach how to turn the ugly composition book into a beautiful hand-bound paper-covered journal.
Saturday September 21, 1-4 p.m. The Library Company of Philadelphia 1314 Locust Street All materials provided. Please RSVP: dvcgbw@verizon.net

  In this gold tooling workshop Jamie Kamph will provide stepby-step instructions in the process of gold tooling and review principles of blind tooling and designing for gold work.  If time permits, she will demonstrate some techniques for repairing and restoring old gold tooling. Participants should bring 4" x 6" sections of book board, covered in leather appropriate for tooling (goatskin is easier to work than calf—instructions to follow) and gold tooling implements, if you have them. We will provide gold in both book and ribbon form, finishing stoves, Fixor, and a selection of tools. Jamie Kamph is a bookbinder/conservator who lives and works at her farm in Lambertville, NJ.  Her design bindings are in major public and private collections.  She has taught bookbinding workshops at Princeton University, University of Texas at Austin, Mt. Holyoke College, Anderson Ranch, and SMU.  She has published A Collector's Guide to Bookbinding and is working on another book, Tricks of the Trade.

 

Upcoming Exhibition Opportunity!

Small Wonders: Books from the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers

We are excited to announce that the Clarence Ward Art Library at Oberlin College has offered to host an exhibition of miniature books by the DVC chapter March 2014. Current members are invited to submit one miniature book. (Miniature books are defined in the U.S. as no more than three inches in height, width, or thickness.) Additionally, there will be a purchase prize and the selected book will become part of the Clarence Ward Art Library’s collection. Look for an intent-to-enter form in your email in the coming weeks.