Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Another day....

Today was a typical Wednesday. I gathered the few order and made my post office run. I also had to clean the museum and gallery area, in preparation for the New Year's event. Several of the presses were getting dusty during construction, and a few of the framed works for the auction had fingerprints on the glass. Once that was all sorted, I folded some new letterpress cards and put them into plastic sleeves for the shop. My last task was to copy information from the 2010 petty cash receipts into an Excel spreadsheet, so it could be used for the year end accounts.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Window Display Stage 2

Today we added Christmas lights to the display. More lights will be going up in the window displays soon.
I also prepared several post office orders and made the usual run down. I also arranged books and priced prints for the shop, in preparation for the Holiday sale and the New Years event. With the Beyond In exhibit gone, and the gallery walls are hanging pieces donated for the New Year's silent auction. I helped to hang some of the donated images.
My other task for the day was working on the Spring workshop series. I compiled a list of details for each workshop including the instructor, date, cost, and description. This list will be used to add the information to the website via Dreamweaver. I also created the registration form using Google Docs.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Window Display Stage 1

More books to come...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Workshop and New Exhibit

Today started with a workshop in the print studio. There was a group of high school seniors in for a field trip, and they were making prints using 5 different presses and various printing techniques. I helped demonstrate how to use the presses and ink the plates using different brayers.
My next task was to help check and log the condition of books for the next exhibit, MIMB: Monumental Ideas in Miniature books. There was 140+ books to check. During this process we also sorted out the damaged books and the books we didn't like enough to display. It was fun to see all the different books for the show.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Altered Book Window Display

Today at WNYBAC consisted of the usual, post office run, mopping the floors (the salt was making them nasty) and pricing some items for the shop. I also rearranged the books on our shop display table, and tacked some book bags on the wall by another shelving area. People haven't really been looking in the second shelving area because it's so close to the elevator construction. Hopefully hanging the bags will help draw people back in that direction... and sell a few bags!
I spent most of the day folding books. It's funny because when I was working on my little folded books for the exhibition, I suggested doing a window display to Jessica. But the Beyond In exhibit had just gone up, meaning nothing would move for a while, and I forgot all about it. Well, the exhibit is coming down now so Chris and Amy (independently) decided to do an altered book window display. Imagine my surprise when I came in and Chris asked if I would fold books! So I folded a few diamonds and a couple other different types, trying to add some diversity. They are planning to run cord through the books to help spread out the pages. I'm interested to see how that comes out. I always tried to use the best folding style for the spine thickness, so I'm not sure what the end result will look like with cord. I'll be sure to post some pictures.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alone with the Press

After taking last week off for feasting, I was back at WNYBAC today and therefore am back online.
It started out with the usual, getting some online orders ready to ship. I did not have to do the post office run today because one of the outgoing packages was 40+ pounds of leads and slugs. Needless to say that would be difficult to walk with (in addition to other packages), so Rick brought them down in the car.
While he was away, I got to play... but not for very long. For those of you who don't know, Buffalo has it's own ball drop for New Year's at the electric tower. The electric tower is only a block away from WNYBAC, so the upstairs Literary Center has an excellent and exclusive view. Capitalizing on this, WNYBAC hosts a New Year's Party as a fundraiser. Providing those who buy tickets with food, drinks, music and a nice, WARM view of the ball drop. Rich letterpress prints the invitations to the event. He purchased special stamps of the electric tower and some fireworks to use for the cover and to make posters with. There is a lot of work to be done on these, and while he was out I was manning the letterpress machine alone (!!!) to put down the first plate (blue fireworks). I will say that the stamp was already in place and the machine inked when I took over. But still... I printed at least 50 sheets.
Then I worked on a list of consignment sales. WNYBAC does some consignment in the shop (my books are there!), and pays out on sales quarterly. Being a not-for-profit, WNYBAC needs to keep a record over all money they bring in. Jessica does this using an Excel spreadsheet, which records the date, item sold, price and consignment number when applicable. I used this spreadsheet to compile a list of sales for each consignment number, which Jessica will then use to calculate the money owed and send out checks. In doing this I noticed that we sell Amos Kennedy's prints on consignment. That is pretty cool.
The rest of the day was spent helping to clean up in the studio for a school tour tomorrow, filing invoices, and teaching Jessica how to long stitch. A good day I think.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Book Binding Kits

This week I cut materials for and assembled the "Basic Bookbinding Kits," sold in the shop. Each kit included the materials necessary to make three case bindings, with text blocks sewn on tapes. I had to cut the book cloth, print and assemble the instruction booklets, re-create the sewing template, and heat/mold the beeswax. This took a while. Rich cut the paper and boards using the print studio's guillotine. This is an assembled kit (without beeswax because it was not sufficiently cooled).

Friday, November 12, 2010

Card Inventory

This week at WNYBAC, I folded and organized letterpress cards. I put cards/envelopes into plastic sleeves for sale. This was the start of an inventory on the letterpress cards currently in the gift shop. WNYBAC sells cards at consignment in various places in Buffalo. Doing inventory will show which cards should be for sale at other locations (what we have the most of) and what style of cards we need to print (Thank You, Happy Birthday, HI!, etc). I really enjoyed this task. Speaking as a Virgo, the cluster of cards and envelopes, randomly assorted in a few drawers, was enough to make me cringe.

I spent some time in the print studio. Rich showed me where the slugs, leads, and furniture were kept. We set type for a poster he was designing. He inked the press and I helped him to pull about 60 prints. Because I was bouncing back and forth between upstairs and down, Rich said that we could make a letterpress card sometime. That way I can see the whole process from beginning to end and have something tangible to show for it. Hopefully sometime is soon.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Long Stitch Journals For Sale

I apologize for the crappy pictures. This was my project... long stitch journals to sell at WNYBAC. I lined the leather with a decorative paper, which contrasts the white text paper really beautifully. I made four long stitch journals in two different styles. The flowers are the inside of the brown/purple, and the green is the red/black. They are currently living in a cubbyhole at the WNYBAC gift shop.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Book Fest

Yesterday at WNYBAC was Book Fest. This means the space is open with tables for demonstrations and different neat things. The tables included marbling paper, pop-up accordion books, stab sewn books, making buttons, and open studio in the print studio. There were a lot of people there. I started out drifting, then stayed behind the desk/register and finished packaging my fundraiser "thank you" gifts. Then I spent some time helping at the stab binding station. The books at that table were made from recycled materials (cereal boxes, envelopes, etc) and were drawing a lot of attention. I taught 4 people how to sew their book. It was great.
And when every body left... I got to marble some paper. My sheets came out a little crappy, but it was still neat to learn.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tube Cities

 This week at WNYBAC, I had to gather materials to be mailed out to donors. There was recently a fund raiser for a ventilation system to be installed in the basement print studio, and $5000 was raised. Depending on the level of donation, individuals receive 3 letterpress cards, a poster, 5 pieces of ephemera, a free workshop, and a free one year membership. I collected all these materials and sorted them into piles (based on donation level). The posters needed to be rolled, so I had to cut down some 4' tubes to fit. After I started stacking them, I realized it looked like I was building little cities, so I took pictures. (Sorry about quality... I used my phone camera).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

New Projects

Since I'm out of construction paper and my little folded books have been shipped off, I am starting a new minor project. I am going to make some long stitch journals to sell at WNYBAC. Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

WNYBAC- with pictures

This week started with the usual, pricing items for the gift shop, filling online orders and a run to the post office. Then I redesigned a sheet to be used for tracking funds raised at special events, and checked the membership list for upcoming renewals. I also helped out down in the print studio. I organized spacers for the letterpress machine and helped move prints from the press to the drying rack.
I also took pictures of WNYBAC, to show the space layout.

 Exhibition space - with removable walls from the Albright-Knox.
Work space and register for the gift shop.
  Permanent press collection and minor exhibition space.
 Basement print studio, where they make awesome letter press
 posters and cards like this....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Little Altered Books

So, since I have been interning at WNYBAC, I haven't been doing book conservation on a consistent basis. My duties for the last few weeks have consisted of painting walls for the exhibition space, folding letterpress cards for the gift shop, updating the events calendar and adding books to the library's catalog through Library Thing.
In a few weeks, WNYBAC is putting on Bookfest. This will be an all day event with different demonstration tables. It brings a good amount of people to the center, and usually results in new memberships, workshop sign-ups and donations. I am going to be demonstrating a simple structure, sometimes called the origami book or snake book. I will make a sample and post pictures of it.
In an effort to keep my hands busy, I have been making little altered books. Some of them I plan to give away as ornaments for the holidays. Most of them will be donated to an exhibition at the Children's Hospital in Syracuse. I have also been giving them to a friend for her yoga studio.
For the smaller ones with text, I cut old books down to size. The colorful ones were made by cutting construction paper into small squares, and fan adhesive binding them. This is a little peak at the growing pile.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Poe - Design Binding

This was a project for my book binding class. I had one of the Border's Classics Edgar Allen Poe books, and decided to design a binding for it. The book was bound in full leather, with cloth onlays. The cloth was pasted out and crumpled for texture. Than dried and painted on with acrylics. The theme was The Mask of Red Death. This is the end result.
Also, these are some mighty fine end bands if I do say so.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Leather Reback - PC4 Paper

This particular book originally had laced on boards. The board were now detached, but were important to keep. Since the original leather was delaminating from the boards, I decided to remove it and attach it to new boards. 
The first step was to clean and line the spine. Then I sewed on end bands, constructed end papers, and cut new boards. I attached the boards and put the book in a finishing press, where I molded a damp strip PC4 paper over the spine. This dried over night.
I was able to remove the original leather from the boards gently with a spatula. I also removed and kept the turn-ins. I glued down and turned in the new PC4 spine piece, infilled the boards, and glued down the original leather and turn-ins. Where sections of the turn-ins were missing, I glued down PC4 strips. I lined the board edges and missing areas with Japanese tissue. Then glued down the end papers, and toned the tissue to match. This was then end result.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Paper Reback

This book was originally bound in marbled paper. The spine had delaminated and pieces were missing. The corners were also badly bumped.
Rather than reconstructing the spine and attempting to tone to match, I decided to attach a new spine piece made from linen lined Morike.  First I removed the remaining spine piece, and cleaned and lined the spine. Then I attempted to re-round it gently with a hammer. I lifted the paper on the boards, and trimmed it back slightly. I also lifted the end papers to make room for the turn ins. I attached the new spine piece, turned it in and pressed the book with jointed boards. This was the end result.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Leather Reback - Wooden Boards

This was a book from the Ranke collection at Syracuse. The spine was deteriorating and the boards were detached. It was not a good candidate for rebinding because of the level of tooling on the boards. The boards were also wooden, which is not common, and therefore should be preserved. This was the original condition of the book.
I cleaned the spine with methyl cellulose and lined it with Japanese tissue and linen. I made some page repairs with heat set tissue, and resewed the end bands. I lifted the original leather at the spine and corners, attached new, and repaired missing areas or cracks with Japanese tissue. Finally, I toned the tissue to match and applied a coat of SC 6000. This is the end result.
Note: For this particular book, the SC 6000 was a mistake. It caused the tissue areas to shine more than the original leather surface, even after a coating of Klucel G. I would advise against the use of SC 6000 if the original material had lost sheen or if the repaired area is very large.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


These are two batches of rebinds I worked on. I toned some PC4 paper lightly with acrylics and wanted to use it for quarter rebinds.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


I have recently moved to the Buffalo area as part of my efforts to get into graduate school (now for library science). In looking for ways to keep my hands in the book arts, I came across the Western New York Book Arts Collaborative. I am going to start interning there next week and the focus of my blog will shift slightly from conservation. I still have some images from Syracuse University to post, and I plan to post occasional conservation work. However, my duties at the WNYBAC will focus more on cataloging the organization's library, zine collection and type face. I will also be helping with exhibitions and possibly assisting in the print studio. This internship will allow me to take courses at a discounted rate and gain access to the tools, paper, etc. I will also have the opportunity to teach workshops in the spring.
I am really excited about this. And because my posts will be including more variety, I am changing the title of my blog to "Book In Hand." It's vague, but I think that kind of title works better for a blog that will now encompass several areas of the book arts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Limp Leather Binding - Black

This was another sewing variation I tried. This technique requires signatures in multiples of three. Rather than adding an additional piece of leather to wrap around, I added a leather button.
This is the end result.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Limp Leather Binding - Teal

This summer I have been working on hand outs to use for teaching workshops. One of which, is for a limp binding. I researched some new sewing variations for the hand outs. This particular variation requires the number of signatures to be in multiples of three.
 As can be seen from my sewing card, you need access to all three signatures at the same time. To achieve this, I used clips to keep the two outer signatures in position, and rubber bands to secure the middle signature.
This is the end result.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Altered Book Workshop

This past Saturday, I was able to attend an altered book workshop at Syracuse University. It was a lot of fun, and I have to confess that I have been folding pages ever since. I wanted to post a couple pictures. First is me with the book I folded at S.U.
And these are some of the books I have folded since.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ranke Rebind

I found this book in the Ranke collection, in Special Collections at Syracuse University. Both joints were broken and the boards loose. The leather was missing at the corners and what remained appeared to be only the flesh side. 
I soaked the front board in a warm water bath to float off the original book plates. While that soaked, I scraped the old leather off the spine with a cobbler's knife. I covered the spine with methyl cellulose to remove excess glue or linings. Then I lined the spine with Japanese tissue and linen, and added new end bands and end papers.
I cut new boards, and sanded them down to fit against the shoulder. I attached them to the text block with the linen lining. Then I cut a new piece of leather for the spine, and parred the edges. I attached this leather to the spine with paste, as a tight back. After gluing down the turn-ins, I constructed head caps and pressed the book overnight.
Once the new leather was set, I trimmed what overlapped onto the boards and then infilled the board with 10 pt. Next, I covered the board with paste paper, overlapping slightly on the leather. When the paste paper was dry, I trimmed the turn-ins and infilled the inside of the boards. Finally, I glued down the end papers and reattached the original book plates with paste. This was the end result.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Bone Folder

The Bone Folder is a recorded conversation between a bibliophile and master book binder from 1920"s Germany. My book binding instructor translated the text from it's original German, and gave me a copy for binding. I chose to covering it in a paper case because the text block was small, and this binding style is briefly discussed in the text.
The text block was sewn with two pieces of card for end sheets. The paste paper is folded around the card for support. This is an adhesive free binding, so the paper could be easily removed and the text block rebound if desired. If the cover was folded out, this is how the book would look.