The Book Arts Web

All volumes and a complete index online!


  • Please note that the archive starting 1/2019 is accessible to subscribers only. To gain access, click on link above and then using the email you subscribed under register a password towards the right hand side of the page.


  • Subscribers, to post a message send to:
  • Full FAQ with detailed instructions
  • Put ALL commands in body of message and send to:
  • To Subscribe send:
    subscribe Book_Arts-L "Your full real name"
    Leave out the "" . All subscription requests must include the full real name or they will not be approved by the moderator.
  • For daily digest: set Book_Arts-L mail digest
  • To unsubscribe: unsubscribe Book_Arts-L


Welcome to the 2013 Bind-O-Rama

The Book Arts Web annual online exhibition.

Historic Cut-away Binding Structure Models

Cut-away binding structure models are a unique challenge in bookbinding - they call for mastery of a technique, thoughful planning of design to best show the underlying structure, and extreme neatness - all to illustrate the complete essence of a particular binding style. Models may range from historical to proofs-of-concept for experimental bindings (something more binders should do).

Excellent examples can be seen in the University of Iowa Library's digital collection where works created by Anthony and his students form the core of this digital collection, which includes a wide range of binding techniques; historic, modern, wooden board, and monastic binding. Another good reference is a blog post from the Books Department at West Dean in the UK.

These theme was chosen as the 2013 Bind-O-Rama in response to requests from conservators and others among the members of this community. May they be useful and inspiring to all.



Whitney Baker, Lawrence, KS, USA.

Binding Description: "Library style" split board binding; British; 19th century. Morocco spine and corners with marbled paper sides; sewn with a link stitch on linen tapes; red and blue silk sewn endbands on linen cord core; made ends of plain and marbled paper; linings of kizukishi, airplane linen, Permalife, and leather (sanded); split boards constructed from binder's board and 4-ply matboard; when opened, cutaway allows viewer to see the flange sandwiched between the split boards. Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 4 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... Although the library style binding is not elegant, it produces a sturdy book that can withstand frequent use. The unpared leather over the joint, wide groove, and leather corners were designed to last. In some senses it predates conservation bindings we use in modern book conservation by combining a view toward durability with a simple aesthetic. Plus, it's fun to construct the split boards!

Binder's Bio: Whitney Baker is Head of Conservation Services at the University of Kansas Libraries. She holds an MLIS in library science with advanced certificate in library and archives conservation from the University of Texas at Austin. She served her advanced internship at the Library of Congress under Tom Albro.

Kate Barber, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.

Binding Description: Double flexible; English; Modern. Goat leather; marbled paper endsheets; double flexible binding; three color silk endband. Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.6 x 2.8 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I made my first full leather double-flexible binding earlier this year and was drawn to all the hidden work and layering. And so in response, I wanted to make a book where the structure became the focus, where the craft became the content.

Binder's Bio: I am currently a graduate student in The University of Alabama, Book Arts Program, where I am beginning work on my final thesis project. Online at

Anna Embree, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.

Binding Description: Full leather Late Byzantine Binding Model; Byzantine Empire; c. 11-15 centuries. Full goat leather; unsupported link stitch sewing; raised endbands; blind tooling; braided straps with brass clasps. Dimensions: 22.5 x 15 x 6 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I have been researching and working with this structure for several years. I find the form and the materials particularly appealing, and I am intrigued by long history of the structural elements of this binding type. Additionally, I think it is an interesting structure to explore in cutaway form.

Binder's Bio: Anna Embree is an Associate Proessor for the MFA in the Book Arts Pro�gram in the School of Library and Information Studies at The University of Alabama. She teaches courses and workshops in bookbinding, box making, and special topics in book preservation and book history. Anna has a strong interest in the physical and material aspects of book structures. She has collaborated with printers and papermakers on limited edition handmade books, and has exhibited widely.

Gary Frost, Coralville, IA, USA.

Binding Description: Publishers' early cloth, 1830's US. Cut-away reveal showing sewing, cover and attachment of internal structures of cased and laced production binding in these early cloth publishers' bindings. Dimensions: 17.0 x 11.0 x 2.5 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... Important industrial transformation of hand bookbinding.

Binder's Bio: Book arts and book conservation educator, Conservator Emeritus, University of Iowa Libraries. Online at

Karen Hanmer, Glenview, IL, USA.

Binding Description: Contemporary Anglo-Franco-American full-leather fine binding. Goatskin fine binding sewn on flattened cords, hand sewn silk headbands, head edge sponged acrylic and sprinkled with gold leaf. Marbled endpapers with leather hinge. Tooling in blind and 23 kt gold foil emphasizes location of sewing supports and lacing-on, turn-ins, fills, sanding of boards, and formation of corners. Dimensions: 26 x 19 x 4 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... Cutaway models are an interesting engineering problem, and very useful for teaching. I�ve made cut-away or partially-finished models of most of the structures I use, and this binding was the next challenge in the progression. The tooling further illuminates aspects of structure and process. What I left finished and unfinished is based on Mark Esser�s fine binding cut-away models in the University of Iowa Libraries Bookbinding Models collection.

Binder's Bio: Karen Hanmer�s artists� books and design bindings intertwine cultural and personal memory, and are often playful in structure or content. She exhibits internationally, and her work has won numerous awards. Hanmer�s work is included in collections ranging from The Getty Museum and the Library of Congress to Yale University and Graceland. She is a leader in the book arts community, having served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, as Guild of Book Workers Exhibitions Chair, and juror for the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild Art of the Book 2013. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in basic binding skills. Online at

Jill Krase, Winona, MN, USA.

Binding Description: Bradel binding. Black endpapers; sewn on 4 ramieband supports; sewn silk endbands; spine covered in grey goatskin; boards covered in marbled paper; label from original dust jacket with onlay of Japanese tissue. Dimensions: 28 x 26 x 2 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... Cut-away binding models remind me of anatomical flap books, the ones that mimic the act of human dissection by revealing layer after layer of the body. Included in "Hidden Treasure" are images of several such books. I chose this binding structure because I wanted to use paper on the boards but leather on the spine. The paper looks like dyed cells under a microscope.

Binder's Bio: Jill Krase is a bookbinder in private practice in Winona, Minnesota, where she also teaches binding workshops for kids and adults. She studied binding at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. She has an MA in English from Illinois State University.

Roberta Lavadour, Pendleton, OR, USA.

Binding Description: Flexible sewing over 12 ply linen cords; Nigerian Goat; sewn endband; cords (both laced into davey board covers and loose) demonstrating various states of construction. Dimensions 30 x 21 x 3 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I selected this structure because the evolution of the 12-ply cords as the binding progresses has always fascinated me. They morph from a uniform state to wild and fluffy to firmly controlled again.

Binding Description: Sewn Board Binding, perfected by Gary Frost; 20th century. Reclaimed book cloth; Canson Ingres endsheets; French sewing; inset panels in cover. Dimensions: 20 cm x 11 cm x 2 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I teach this binding quite a lot and it's nice to have a model to show students the different parts of the structure and why they are important to the proper functioning of the binding. Plus, I just love this binding for its simplicity, elegance and adaptability.

Binding Description: Binding Sampler; various sewings from 11-20th c; plexiglas, cardstock; Herringbone stitch on alum-tawed pig, single needle link stitch, packed flexible sewing on double 12-ply linen cords, long stitch, French sewing over tapes, packed flexible sewing on split alum tawed pig; letterpress label; brass brads. Dimensions: 22 x 12 x 2 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... It was a great way to show students a selection of historic sewing patterns on one book.

Binder's Bio: "Roberta Lavadour lives and works in Pendleton, Oregon and has been exhibiting her artist's books and sculptural pieces since the mid 1990's. Her work is fueled by her rampant curiosity and explores everything from found objects and thrift store finds to personal family history to current events. She's been recognized with awards at several exhibit venues and received an Oregon Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artist Fellowship. She publishes her artist�s books and bindings under the Mission Creek Press imprint." Online at

Chela Metzger, Winterthur, DE, USA.

Binding Description: Springback with laced double straight bands; English; 19/20th century.Covered in full chrome-tanned leather; bands of indigo Barret cover weight paper; sewn-on made endsheets incorporating a cloth hinge; decorative/structural lacings from strips of Barret cover weight paper. Dimensions: 14.3 x 11.8 x 3.4 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I love Springback bindings. They are such a wild combination of structure combined with the echos of older record-keeping book features like lacing. They can be hard to explain, so I keep this cut-away to show the layers of board attachment. The use of chrome-tanned leather and Barret paper is simply experimental.

Binder's Bio: "Chela Metzger currently works as conservator of library collections for the Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library in Delaware. She also serves as adjunct assistant professor for the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. Chela enjoys books, libraries and archives in a mostly unreasonable fashion, and considers herself very lucky that others do as well. Online at

Ursula Mitra, New York, NY, USA.

Binding Description: Quarter goat Italian Wooden Board Binding of ca 1500. Quarter goat over beech boards, beveled on the inside; sewn all along onto split alum tawed goat thongs, which are laced into the boards through tunnels and secured in channels on the outside of the board with hardwood trenails handmade by the binder; the text spine was lined with transverse parchment liners; the endbands were sewn using unbleached linen threads with back beads onto alum tawed goat cores, through the parchment spine liners and secured in channels on the outside of the board with hardwood trenails. Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.2 x 3.8 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I like the construction process and how the book handles and feels. It is a very strong and sturdy binding.

Binder's Bio: Ursula Mitra graduated from the School of Library Service at Columbia University in 1992 with a Master of Science in Library Service and an Advanced Certificate in Library & Archives Conservation. During the degree program she interned at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenb�ttel, Germany, and at the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. Subsequently she worked as a conservator at the Frick Art Reference Library from 1992-97, followed by two years as Conservator at NYU�s Bobst Library in New York City. Since 1999 she has been conservator in private practice at her own studio Mitra Library Conservation LLC in New York City.

Jana Pullman, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Binding Description: Bradel binding (also called a bonnet binding, a German Case binding, or in French as Cartonnage � la Bradel or en gist). The binding may be traced to 18th century Germany and the name comes from a French binder working in Germany, Alexis-Pierre Bradel. The book was sewn on two linen tapes and has a hand sewn silk headband; endsheets are made with custard Ingres paper tipped on. The spine is lined in cloth and Japanese paper with a strip of Stonehenge paper for the spine stiffener; the spine is covered in a rust goatskin and the cover boards are wrapped in a tiger pattern marble paper. Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.5 x 1.7 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I selected this structure and design because this variation of a three-piece Bradel is a structure I am using more often now. I like the way it allows for the spine to be covered separately from the boards as s design element.

Binder's Bio: Jana Pullman is a Bookbinder and Book Arts Instructor. She is the owner of Western Slope Bindery in Minneapolis, specializing in custom binding and repair of books. Jana earned her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and in thirty years of book arts experience, she has worked as a printer, papermaker, bookbinder, illustrator, conservator, and instructor in the book arts. Online at

Cara Schlesinger, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Binding Description: Simplified binding developed by Sun Evrard. Late 20th century France. Pergamena goat over boards laminated with one-ply bristol, relief of ailanthus leaf silhouettes and inlaid with inlaid ailanthus leaves; Harmatan morocco on spine with onlaid London planetree bark lined with Stonehenge and sekishu; herringbone-sewn text block with double folio sewn-on endsheets strengthened with sekishu; spine lined with sekishu, two layers of airplane cotton, and Harmatan morocco to match outer spine leather; linen sewn endbands over rolled leather core; pastepaper pastedowns of gingko leaves by Deena Schnitman. Dimensions 20.5 x 16.5 x 4 cm.

I selected this structure and design because... I selected this structure and design because I wanted to the spine to be based on a curl of bark shed by a London planetree. The bark's curved, irregular shape and interrupted surface lends itself singularly well to use on a cutaway spine. A simplified binding allowed for the spine to be constructed separately, and the way it holds its round preserves the fragile bark while allowing the book to open smoothly. The design pays homage to the text, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, in which an ailanthus tree serves as a central metaphor; the leaves inlaid on the cover of this book were taken from a tree in my neighborhood growing, touchingly, from a crack in the cement behind some trash cans and reaching up to the fire escape above.

Binder's Bio: Cara Schlesinger is the proprietor of Faenwyl Bindery and the editor of the Guild of Book Workers Journal.

 link to Bonefolder Extras & link to Bonefolder


The Book Arts Web 1995-
Contact the Book Arts Web
Last Modified: Tuesday, 04-Mar-2014 17:12:47 EST
URL: /bindorama13/index.html
Creative Commons License