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A Bind-O-Rama celebrating a distinctive technique
Long threatened with extinction, the organizers of Spring[binding]
Hath Sprung, an informal Bind-O-Rama, hope to help revive the springback
style and promote its use as a canvas for creative binding. While the title,
timing, and play on words may not seem serious, rest assured, we are serious
about promoting this style of binding.
As a style, the springback is firmly rooted in the ‘trade’
binding tradition. The springback’s robustness, and ability to lie flat
and open for extended periods of time without stressing the spine unduly, make
the structure ideal for use as account and record books. These same qualities
make it suitable for guestbooks, lectern Bibles, and similarly used books. Regrettably
the structure has not seen much use on fine bindings or in contemporary book
art, especially as the structure would be a suitable platform for many elements
of design bindings. For instance, the thick boards would provide a canvas for
more sculptural or inset designs. With some minor modification it could also
serve as a means of presenting pop-up constructions.
Recently, workshops and presentations have been given on the springback
in the United States for the Austin Book Workers, at Minnesota Center for Book
Arts, for the New England and Mid-west Chapters of the Guild of Book Workers
and at the Guild’s Standards of Excellence seminar, and most recently
in Los Angles. The style is also still required learning for apprentices in
Germany. Articles on the style have appeared in the New Bookbinder and will
soon appear in the Guild of Book Workers’ Journal. A bibliography
of tutorials was included on the exhibition announcement page.
Participants in the Bind-O-Rama were challenged to produce in
either the English or German style a creative springback binding. The book could
be bound in any workable material (cloth, leather, paper, ...) and incorporate
any number of decorative techniques, including edge treatments, visible structure
and cut-outs, inlays and onlays... The main intent of this exhibition was to
have fun reviving the technique. While we had hoped for a greater response,
we hope that binders will continue to rediscover this technique and experiment
with it. Many thanks to all those who participated. The entry
guidelines remain online.
A show and tell of some of these works will occur at that the
Guild of Book Workers Seminar on Standards of Excellence in Providence, RI,
USA, in mid-November.
Peter Verheyen & Donia Conn
This exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Peter S. Graham,
University Librarian at Syracuse University, who unwittingly gave this exhibition
its name and took great delight in all the book arts.
Eric Alstrom, Okemos, Michigan, USA
“Springtime in England, or Maps of England: Illuminated,
Enhanced and Generally Made More Useful... for the Purpose of Finding Ones Way
about the English Countryside... during the Most Glorious of Seasons.”
German-style springback with pages of Mohawk Superfine painted with acrylics
and photocopied with reproduction maps of England (found online at <http://www.old-maps.co.uk>),
then illuminated with Pilot metallic markers. Hahnemülle, Ingres, and Moriki
endpapers. Headcaps of maroon denim around braided core. Sewn on three linen
tapes. Acrylic-dyed canvas spine with Claire Maziarczyk paste paper panels and
a laser-printed acrylic-dyed paper label. 16.5 x 14.5 x 4 cm. Bound 2004.
Technique learned from Peter Verheyen’s and Donia Conn’s
online instructions originally published in “The New Bookbinder,”
Alice Austin, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
English-style springback covered in ¼ green leather with
pastepaper sides. 50 x 29 x 4 cm. Bound 2004.
Technique learned from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book Workers
Seminar on Standards of Excellence, 2003.
Pamela Barrios, Orem, Utah, USA
The mechanics of this springback reflect Richard Bakers demonstration
at the Guild of Book Workers Seminar on Standards of Excellence in Hand Bookbinding
in Denver CO, with a few references to Vaughans 1929 classic, Modern Bookbinding.
The new purpose of this springback is to pop up the pop-up. The book measures
5.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 1.5 inches. Bound 2004.
Jana Brubaker, Pendleton, Oregon, USA
The English-style springback was the perfect binding for my next
bookwork, which examines our valuing of little girls, both in our society overall
and, more closely, within our families. Working title: “Isn’t She
Precious.” The textblock interweaves Hahnemuhle Bugra with cheap, recycled
ledger paper. The text will intersperse photocopied prose with letterpress-printed
“grocery lists” of words related to the de/valuing of little girls.
Imagery will combine/layer cyanotype printing with halftones. Covered in a Lycra/cotton
fabric of the sort typically associated with bathing suit bottoms forever in
need of tugging down, the horizontal stripe in the fabric harks back to the
horizontal banding frequently used in the spring-back’s original purpose
as a ledger binding. Robust boards house a dandelion (yellow in the front cover;
at its wish stage in back) pressed between layers of Plexi: Is she a weed, or
a flower? 21.5 x 20 x 6 cm. Bound 2004.
The springback, with its ability to lay flat when open and allowing
writing access into a narrow spine margin, makes an ideal choice for a guestbook,
particularly for a Victorian-themed wedding. I’ve accented with hand-sewn
headbands and an inset in the front cover revealing the wedding tissue. An extravagantly
oversized grosgrain ribbon bookmark leads guests to the next blank page. Covered
in Saikou Echizen washi on its ‘reverse’ side, the “plain
brown wrapper” feel of this book opens to fiery orange fibers: endsheets
of the right side of the same paper. The happy couple poses in Victorian period
costume on a second set of endsheets in Magnani Pescia. 15.5 x 15 x 4 cm. Bound
Technique learned from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book Workers
Seminar on Standards of Excellence, 2003.
Donia Conn, Skaneateles, New York, USA
German style springback “Mini.” Leather with leather
and alum-tawed on-lays. 6.5 x 4.8 x 1.7 cm. Bound 2004.
Technique learned from Peter Verheyen.
Willi Egger, Sambeek, The Netherlands
German-style springback. I got a pile of old original prints for
a register used for the registration of persons from the teacher with whom I
bound my springback. From these sheets the underlaying book was made. The design
is kept very simple: half-leather binding with leather covered edges, natural-bookbinders
cloth. The binding is built following the German-style springback. The spine
carries a built-in label-field, where a black-goat-skiver label is placed. The
front of the book is decorated with simple gold-tooling. 36.5 x 24.0 x 3.6 cm.
Technique learned in the P. van Daalen, Handbookbindery Bronsgeest,
Leidschendam, The Netherlands in 2002.
Karen Hanmer, Glenview, Illinois, USA
English-style, text block documents Keith Smiths “200 Books”;
covered in ¼ tan goatskin with paper sides in material documenting 15
Italian pastries. 25 x 18 x 4 cm. Bound 2004.
English style, blank book, spine covered in ¼ salmon colored
goatskin with embossed paper sides. 20 x 17 x 2.5 cm. Bound 2004.
English-style, dos-à-dos; spines covered in ¼ red
leather with paper sides depicting photos of dancing couples courtesy of the
Library of Congress. 24.5 x 19 x 7.5 cm. Bound 2004.
Learned basic structure from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book
Workers Midwest Annual Meeting workshop in St. Louis, 2002.
Robert Hanmer, Glenview, Illinois, USA
English-style, text block from laboratory notebook; covered in
¼ dark green goatskin with raised bands on spine and marbled paper. 24.5
x 19.5 x 2.25 cm. Bound 2004.
English-style, text block from inexpensive Chinese ruled notebook;
covered in ¼ green goatskin with printed paper sides. 17.5 x 13 x 1.5
cm. Bound 2004.
Instruction from Richard Baker at the Guild of Book Workers Midwest
Annual Meeting workshop in St. Louis, 2002.
Roberta Lavadour, Pendleton, Oregon, USA
“A Counting” – English-style springback, leather
cover with double straight bands laced with deer vellum. 600 pages of 9 lb.
Canary paper with painted edges. Inscription notes the multiplier for each of
the 300 page spreads needed to equal the number of dead and wounded American
soldiers and Iraqi civilians since March 2003. 7.5 x 7 x 2.5 cm. Bound 2004.
Technique learned from Alex J. Vaughan’s “Modern Bookbinding”
and Peter Verheyen’s on-line draft of “The Springback in the English
Linda Newbown, Canberra, Australia
“Keeping account of a Purple-dyed life.” German-style
springback account book. Cover papers, text papers and thread hand-dyed purple.
Purple bookcloth spine, corners and headbands. Designed to be a journal for
a vegetarian eccentric, so no animal products were used. 18 x 14 x 3.5 cm. Bound
Technique learned from Sally Rose.
Gregory Santos, New York, New York, USA
German-style account binding covered in pastepaper by Donia Conn
and Strathmore paper with handmade paper endsheets. 7 x 8.5 x 2.5 cm. Bound
Technique learned from Peter Verheyen and Donia Conn at the Garage
Annex School for Book Arts.
Cara Schlesinger, Faenwyl Bindery, Brooklyn, NY and Youngsville,
“SpringBark,” a 366-page year-round gardener’s
journal, incorporates natural material found in the woods around our house in
the Catskills. Black cherry bark from a fallen branch covers the spine, its
curve perfectly suited that of the springback’s deep rounding. The cherry
bark is sewn to Davie board covered with hand-peeled, cured white birch bark,
with headcaps formed of a layer of birch covering the spring itself. Because
of the split-board construction, the birch covering the boards was first turned
in at the spine edge so the covered boards could be sewn to the cherry, then
the stiff card was inserted in the split boards and the bark turned in on the
other three edges. The endsheets and flyleaves are made of white birch bark
laminated first on paper covered with gold leaf, and then on the 1-ply Bristol
used for the text block.
“SpringBark” is a prototype extrapolated from the
English style, as described in Peter Verheyen. I have also read as many other
descriptions of the style as I can. I have no formal training, though I have
learned much at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, particularly from
Barbara Mauriello, Carolyn Chadwick, and Emily Martin.
Laura J. Thomson, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
English-style springback covered in ¼ deep purple Nigerian
goatskin and Japanese handprinted Chiyogami papers. Blind tooled with three
raised bands. Text of Rives light weight white paper. 24.4 x 17.4 x 3.8 cm.
Technique learned from Bernard Houlton, Central Metropolitan College
of TAFE, Perth, Western Australia.
Peter Verheyen, Syracuse, New York, USA
“L’Infinito,” exhibition catalog to the Mostre
Internationale Di Rilegatura D’Arte held in Italy, 1999. German-style;
sewn on three tapes with endsheets of Roma paper; graphite top edge; red leather
wrapped endband; covered with two veined calf vellum panels at top and bottom
with center panel painted with textured acrylic; spine and sewing exposed in
center panel and painted with textured acrylics; title stamped in gold. 28 x
25.5 x 6.5 cm. Bound 2004.
Technique learned during apprenticeship at the Buchbinderei Klein,