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Welcome to the 2012 Bind-O-Rama

The Book Arts Web annual online exhibition.

The Bone Folder by Ernst Collin

Translated by Peter D. Verheyen as The Bone Folder, Der Pressbengel (1922), is Collin’s best-known work, and first republished in 1984 by the Mandragora Verlag and later translated into Italian as Dal Religatore d’Arte (1996). Conceived as a dialogue between a bibliophile and a master bookbinder on all aspects of the bookbinding craft as well as specific techniques, the original German has a charming if somewhat pedantically formal “school primer” tone, in keeping with the time in which it was written. The question-and-answer format has long history in pedagogical texts, whether for religious catechisms or trades, as in Friedrich Friese’s Ceremoniel der Buchbinder (1712), which introduces the reader to all aspects of the bookbinding trade and its traditions.

Throughout the work, Collin himself is very frank in addressing the conflicts between quality and cost, as well as the positive and negative impacts of “machines” throughout the work. In his introduction to the 1984 reprint of Der Pressbengel, Gustav Moessner, author of and contributor to several German bookbinding texts, states that he sees the Collin’s work in part as a reaction to the growing industrialization of the bookbinding trade and the loss of the skills and techniques connected with this industrialization. In many respects this trajectory continues today, accelerated by the decrease in formal bookbinding apprenticeship opportunities, the increasing simplification of structures, changing aesthetics, and ultimately changes in the perceived value of books and the general economic climate of Weimar Germany.

Though often cursed as constraining choice, set book exhibits can also be fun as exemplified by the entries below which largely stayed true to the Germanic nature of the text. High-points for me were the decorated papers and the adoption of more basic structures, including the stiffened paper binding. Sometimes less is more. We hope you will enjoy this exhibition featuring the work of established and nascent binders.

The text can be downloaded in PDF form, laid out in 5 signatures of 16 pages each from the Pressbengel Project from the left menu on that page. Bindings can reflect the typical German trade and fine binding styles described in the text, those of other national traditions, or innovative interpretations of these traditional styles. Tutorials to structures in the German tradition can be found here.




Eric Alstrom, Okemos, MI, USA.

Binding Description: Millimeter-style Bradel binding with maroon leather and painted tyvek; leather endbands; top edge painted; Hahnemühle Ingres endsheets; sewn on three Ramieband tapes. Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 1 cm.

Binder's Bio: Eric Alstrom is head of conservation at Michigan State University Libraries. Besides conservation work, he teaches book arts for MSU’s Residential College for the Arts and Humanities and at Hollander’s School of Book and Paper Arts in Ann Arbor. He has exhibited his artist’s books and fine bindings both nationally and internationally. To see more of his bindings, visit his website. Online at

Amy Borezo, Orange, MA, USA.

Binding Description: Airbrushed Cave paper over boards; tipped on Tiziano endsheets; unsupported link stitch. Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.8 x .8 cm.

In reading the text… I appreciated the discussion of the various kinds of decorated papers. It inspired me to create my own decorated cover paper for this book using a metal bonefolder to score a geometric pattern into the paper, which I then folded, airbrushed, flattened, and attached to the cover.

Binder's Bio: Amy Borezo received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from RISD in 2000. After graduating, she worked both as a bookbinder in a production bindery and as a book mechanic at Daniel Kelm's Wide Awake Garage where she learned that you can reinvent the book each time you make it. Amy is now a contemporary book artist and the proprietor of Shelter Bookworks, an edition binding studio. Online at

Brenda Brown, Lansing, MI, USA.

Binding Description: The book cover is a modernistic, self-made design. It is made of Muslin fabric; green and white acrylic paints mixed with methylcellulose with gold lines shimmering through. The cloth is textured to emphasis the varying shades of green. Green and white were chosen to honor the United States plague to recycle waste materials and to celebrate The Michigan State Spartans mascot colors. End sheets are made of Celadon avocado parchment paper to compliment the case of the book. The spine is compiled of sewing, PVA and muslin. A personal bravura of chain and kettle stitches, and cross catching is best used to connect each signature. Back corners are cut away at the head and tails of the spine to allow the headbands to rest below the board’s edge. There is a bookmarker made of white ribbon inside the book. The end sheet is also used for the front title. Laid board attachments were added to support the spine and add decoration to the book. Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.5 x 1 cm.

Binder's Bio: My name is Brenda Brown. I am an employee of the Wallace Conservation Laboratory at Michigan State University, home of the Spartans. I enjoy sewing, cooking, recycling, and restoring or reinventing discarded merchandise. I have acquired many skills bookbinding, repairs, cloth design and mixing of paint, and case making techniques. I enjoy and respect every book and believe that each book has a personality.

Carol Ceraldi, Craftsbury, VT, USA.

Binding Description: Endsheets: Rives/Light/Cream; structure: sewn on tapes (what was I thinking...should have used fine cords...hind-sight!); Endbands: none; Title, laser printed on 24# Strathmore/Laid/Cream; Boards covered in same and overlaid with white Misu; Head edge painted with Iridescent/ Gold/Deep acrylic; Spine: Snake skin. Dimensions: 22.5 x 15 x 1.2 cm.

In reading the text… The discussion of the integration of all materials, relative to the intent of the book, including the actual content of the text and the intended use of the volume.

Binder's Bio: Trained in design at the Cooper Union, bookbinding study with Dorina Parmenter and Peter Verheyen, as well as with Daniel Kelm at the Garage Annex School in Easthampton, MA. Online at

Sue Depoorter, Dimondale, MI, USA.

Binding Description: Hand-sewn, hand bound Braedel binding covered with acrylic and isopropyl resist painted muslin. The second coat was a water-diluted yellow umber, raw sienna mixture with an iIsopropyl alcohol resist. Hahnemühle Ingres endpapers and moriki paper headbands. The DeiGratia font was chosen for what looks like a spine “B” in the “Bone” of the title and the folding “d” in “Folder” to pull the title together. Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.1 x 1.2 cm.

Binder's Bio: Sue Depoorter has been working for nearly 3 years at the Wallace Conservation Lab in the MSU Libraries under the expert tutelage of Conservation Librarian Eric Alstrom. She has taken a variety of Book Arts classes at Hollanders in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is her first exhibition.

Anna Embree, Tuscaloosa, AL, USA.

Binding Description: Full-paper case binding. Cave paper cover material with paste paper decoration; white bugra text paper and grey bugra endsheets; two hole link stitch sewing; two color sewn silk endbands with vellum cores; gold stamped title on label of navy blue goat leather. Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.9 x 1.7 cm.

In reading the text… The discussion about the use of false raised bands in bookbinding and the perceptions of this element in the context of fine craft.

Binder's Bio: Anna Embree is an Assistant Professor for the MFA in the Book Arts Program 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.

Karen Hanmer, Glenview, IL, USA.

Binding Description: Bradel binding using John Demerritt’s technique; Cave paper spine, boards covered in pastepaper by the binder, rolled leather endbands, Burga endsheets; text printed on French Dur-O-Tone Newsprint Aged; English translation interleaved with folios in the original German, typography and page layout based on Der Pressbengel; both titles stamped on spine, right-reading according to national preference. Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 1 cm.

In reading the text… I am intrigued with where structural integrity fits into the tension between luxury and economy.

Binder's Bio: Karen Hanmer’s artists’ books and bindings intertwine cultural and personal memory. The work is often playful in structure or content, and may include social commentary. She exhibits widely, and her work has won numerous awards, including the 2009 DeGolyer Jury Prize for Binding. Hanmer’s work is included in collections ranging from Tate Britain and the Library of Congress to Yale University and Graceland. She served on the editorial board of The Bonefolder, and curated the Guild of Book Workers Marking Time exhibition. She offers workshops and private instruction focusing on a solid foundation in basic binding skills. Online at

Joanne Kluba, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Binding Description: The binding is a German stiffened paper binding with a leather spine. The cover is forest green goat with paste paper, done by the binder. The end papers are forest green Hahnemühle Bugra. The text block is sewn with a link stitch and the title is foil stamped on the spine. Dimensions: 21.2 x 14 x .8 cm.

In reading the text… In using paste paper I agree with Collin about the limitless possibilities of decorative papers … even wild Expressionist papers (laughing ironically).

Binder's Bio: Joanne Kluba’s background in printmaking, painting, photography and calligraphy have contributed to strong expressions of book arts. She has a BFA in Printmaking and an MA in Business from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. She studied traditional bookbinding with conservator Richard Baker in St. Louis, and continues studies with guilds and universities around the country. She teaches at cultural institutions and in her own studio. Her works have been exhibited in the U.S. and Europe. Joanne Kluba has run Paper Birds Studio for 12 years. Paper Birds is a small custom bindery, specializing in hand bookbinding, boxes, portfolios and calligraphy. Online at

Evan Knight, Medford, MA, USA.

Binding Description: Unsupported link stitch for text printed on gold 'vellum' paper, in boards, with a 'bonnet' at the spine covered in alum tawed goat skin. Boards adhered to first and last endleaves and covered in paste paper designed by the binder, and turned in over the edges only. Dimensions: 21.9 x 14.6 x 1.0 cm.

In reading the text… The varieties of bindings he could use for a given text.

Binder's Bio: Book Conservator interested in creating bindings that modify traditional aspects of the craft through innovative designs and structures.

Jill Krase, Winona, MN, USA.

Binding Description: Millimeter binding covered with monoprint by the binder; sewn unsupported with blue thread; endsheets of peach Canson Ingres; endbands of alum-tawed goatskin; goatskin along entire head and tail; paper label. Bound 2012. Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.6 x 1.3 cm.

In reading the text… The aspect of the trade in the text that most spoke to me was the description of decorated paper techniques.

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.

Dana Kull, Hyde Park, MA.

Binding Description: Structure based on "Der Gebrochene Rücken" (P. Verheyen); spine covering of alum-tawed pigskin, toned with acrylics, sealed with Hewit's leather dressing; boards covered in acrylic-toned Tyvek; pastepaper end sheets (Mohawk eggshell, methylcellulose medium); sewn endbands in basic front-bead style using linen thread toned with acrylic; head-edge treatment pigment-based ink and acrylic; title stamped in 18 pt German. Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.5 x 1.3 cm.

In reading the text… Bookbinding as life. Ultimately, if you miss just one stitch while sewing, it will all come apart. , That a firm foundation is critical, is apparent everywhere.

Binder's Bio: I am a recovering lawyer who has been learning bookbinding since 2010 with teachers in Boston and workshops in the Northeast. My family finds my , shop talk, more interesting these days.

Cathryn Miller, Grasswood, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Binding Description: Starch-coated Indian handmade 100% cotton rag paper; 80# acid free text paper (same as text block); French sewing; no endbands; paper spine label and pigskin spine reinforcements. Dimensions: 16.2 x 16.2 x 1 cm.

In reading the text… I was entertained by how little bookbinders and bibliophiles have changed in almost a century.

Binder's Bio: Formerly a theatrical designer and fibre artist, Cathryn Miller switched to the books arts in 1994. Her works have won many awards, and are held in public and private collections in Canada, the United States, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K. and Europe.

Klaus von Mirbach, Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Binding Description: Covering: 1,5 mm boards, several paper tapes woven into each other, endsheets: Hahnemühle paper, single folio tipped onto first signature, sewn on selfmade 2 cm paper tapes. Dimensions: 20.5 x 14 x 0.8 cm.

In reading the text… ..the attempt to convey knowledge in a dialogue form.

Binder's Bio: I grew up in a print office and bindery, studied graphic design at the Folkwang Schule, Essen-Werden, Germany, worked in a publishing house, currently I work as a self-employed artist, bookbinder and restaurator. Online at

Todd Pattison, Andover, MA.

Binding Description: Bound in leather and marbled paper with a printed blue paper inlay for title. The text was printed on blue paper and sewn through the fold. Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 1.2 cm.

In reading the text… The discussion of paper was the element of the text that seemed most fitting to this volume; especially given the thin textblock. I wanted to use a paper that had a strong design element and that most likely would not have been used at the time that this was originally produced.

Binder's Bio: Todd Pattison studied bookbinding with Fred Jordan in western New York state in the late 1970s and early 1980s and went on to study with Hugo Peller and Edwin Heim in Ascona, Switzerland. He is currently Collections Conservator at Harvard Library.

David Peters, Leatherhead, UK.

Binding Description: The text block of this book is printed on Zerkall 100gsm White Smooth paper in seven signatures of eight pages using an Epson Inkjet printer and archival inks. The sewing is link stitched over four frayed out linen tapes. Endpapers are double folio sand coloured 130gsm Hahnemuhle Bugra Butta, Ingres surface, with a tipped on single folio and an acid free Japanese tissue paper hinge attached to the first and last sections to serve as re-enforcing strips. Stuck-on made headbands. The spine is covered in blue woven cloth on tissue backing and the “in-boards” are constructed using 3 + 2 laminations of Arches Velin 250gsm (thick layer) and Saunders Waterford CP NOT 190gsm watercolour paper (thin layer). The top edge and paste paper covers are hand-worked in blue acrylic paint and the printed paper label in a complementary Prussian Blue ( Berliner Blau) uses a reverse image from the title page. Dimensions: 21.75 x 15.25 x 1 cm.

Binder's Bio: I have been engaged with books since teenage, some many years ago. I studied fine binding with Jen Lindsay in London and have benefited by attending many workshops and demonstrations of legendary binders and conservators during the last 10 years. A member of the Society of Bookbinders in the UK, I enjoy creative design, printing and binding, as well as simple, (if there is such a thing) conservation and repair work.

Jana Pullman, Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Binding Description: Three piece Bradel binding with leather spine and fore edges. The cover boards are wrapped in hand marbled paper with leather inlays. On the spine is a hand tooled foil image of a bone folder with the title and authors names on the front board. The book was linked stitch sewn and Ingres endpapers were tipped on. Dimensions: 21.5 x 14.2 x 1.2 cm.

In reading the text… Gold tooling “it’s almost like a game of chess in that there are nearly limitless combinations that can be used to move the pieces.”

Binder's Bio: Jana Pulman received a MFA in printmaking from UW-Madison, She has had a varied career in bookarts as a printer, illustrator. bookbinder and owner of a small press and bindery, Western Slope, Jana teaches papermaking and binding workshop. Online at

Kathy Strother, Greenville, SC, USA.

Binding Description: Bradel binding; black linen cover material; magnetic flap closure; removable bone folder attached to front with elastic band; Italian marbled endsheets; sewing on ramie tapes; lightly rounded spine. Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.5 x 1.2 cm.

In reading the text… It is appropriate and often vital to have an open line of communication between binder and client.

Binder's Bio: Kathy is a professional bookbinder, artist and teacher. Her work includes unique one-of-a-kind bindings, small editions, and book restoration and repair.

Peter Verheyen, Syracuse, NY, USA.

Binding Description: Stiffened paper binding; plain endpapers; sewn on two tapes; covered in pastepaper with title stamped in gold. Dimensions: 21 x 14 x .7 cm.

In reading the text… The stiffened paper binding (steiffbroschure) was one of the few German binding structures NOT mentioned in the text, another being the springback. Perhaps too mundane and utilitarian for our Master – both are models of an efficient and utilitarian melding of structure and function.

Binder's Bio: Formal apprenticeship at the Buchbinderei Klein in Gelsenkirchen, Germany; internships at the Germanisches Nationalmusum in Nuremberg, Germany, and at the Folger Shakespeare Library with Frank Mowery; worked with Heinke Pensky-Adam and William Minter, and at the Yale and Cornell university libraries. He is past Head of Preservation and Conservation at Syracuse University Library. Past Exhibitions and Publicity Chair for the Guild of Book Workers, publisher of The Bonefolder, Book Arts Web, and Book_Arts-L. Online at

Leslie Walthers, Chicago, IL, USA.

Binding Description: Millimeter binding with cloth trim; paste paper covers made by binder; title inkjet-printed on cloth; cream-colored endsheets; sewn on ramieband supports; endbands of cloth around thread core oversewn with silk Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 1.2 cm.

In reading the text… The discussion of decorated papers - their importance to the feel of a binding, and their variety and adaptability to both traditional and contemporary designs,

Binder's Bio: Leslie Walthers studies bookbinding in Chicago, IL. She is interested in many aspects of the book arts including binding, papermaking, and making decorative papers.

 link to Bonefolder Extras & link to Bonefolder


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