Eye Candy: Gabrielle Fox and Leonard Seastone

RBMS 18 Showcase ProspectusLast month I went to New Orleans to take part in the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA) “Booksellers Showcase” at the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) conference. I was fortunate enough to be one of 40 ABAA booksellers participating. For more about the conference, and upcoming ABAA events, just follow the link below.

https://www.abaa.org/blog/post/2018-rbms

While there I featured an eclectic selection of contemporary art bookbindings, artist’s books, fine press, and pop-ups. Click here for my recent catalogs, including what I brought to RBMS.

Among the artists I showcased at RBMS were bookbinder Gabrielle Fox  and printer Leonard Seastone of Tideline Press. Definitions in the book arts can be fuzzy: Fox sometimes prints and Seastone personally binds most of his Tideline Press work.

Fox’s miniature, Haiku and Other Poems , a limited edition printed by her in gold on Japanese tissue, is one of only three copies specially bound by Fox and happens to be her personal copy. The book is housed in a matching box decorated with a triangular “button” made from Kentucky agate adorned with a pink topaz set in gold. Signed by both Fox and the jeweler, Dennis Meade, it is a precious gem itself.

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The lovely recent collaboration on Ann Muir, Master Marbler is also a miniature. Printed by Seastone, the book was designed by Fox, Seastone, and collector/publisher Neale Albert. This tiny treasure was bound in a unique binding by Gabrielle Fox exclusively for Abby Schoolman Books and is a rare opportunity to own a collaboration by two contemporary book arts masters.

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Leonard Seastone’s interpretation of Ronald Baatz’s poem The Invisible Fly buzzes with interpretive interest, and has been lauded in Parenthesis 33 (the journal of the Fine Press Book Association) by David Esselmont, who said it “simply sizzles.”

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The collection of poems The Delicate Work of Song, also by Ronald Baatz, features ideograms by Guyang Chen. Michael McClintock, President of the United Haiku and Tanka Society, calls Ronald Baatz a “master…in the high art of the short poem.” Seastone’s printing and binding is just as masterful. The boards of Seastone’s binding are quarter sewn old growth Red Cedar, hand fashioned by him to accept the visible leather sewing supports. Lovingly beveled, waxed, and varnished, the boards glow with warmth.

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Seastone’s MFA thesis project, Good Movies, was prominently displayed, too. Seastone describes Good Movies in cinematic terms; its large size mirrors the silver screen, and the reader participates in creating a film noir by turning the page. This oversized book was bound for Seastone by Jack Fitterer in 1988 using Seastone’s prints as the board covering material.

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Sofia Mendizabal Eye Candy

 

Gil Jouanard 2
Gil Jouanard – Savoir où Ediciones Fata Morgana Estructura francesa / encartonado Pleno cuero box beige. Decoración con técnica de mosaico. cuero impreso y lijado. 22,2 x 14,7 cm

My exposure to and familiarity with bookbinding did not happen very long ago. I majored in art history at UBA (Universidad de Buenos Aires), and I had always worked in the plastic arts. It was at the end of 2011 that, encouraged by a friend, I enrolled in an intensive course that art bookbinder Sol Rébora was giving in her studio. It was there that I discovered a world that I had absolutely known nothing about, that of artistic bookbinding. This combination of “savoir faire” of the profession, and the artistic design, captured me completely. Since then, I have devoted myself to my professional development: taking whatever course I could, attending all through 2012 the classes taught by Sol, and attending the regular workshops of Eduardo Tarrico as well. And then planning what was, for me, the most relevant experience I had in relation to my professional growth: my trip to Paris.

Continue reading “Sofia Mendizabal Eye Candy”

Donald Glaister Eye Candy

Van der Marck catalog cover

Oak Knoll are my crack dealers. They brought Jan van der Marck’s The Art of Contemporary Bookbinding to the Boston Antiquarian Book Fair for me and, of course, I bought it. This is not your average vanity exhibition catalog. Jan van der Marck (1929-2010) was an art historian, both a university professor and probably the most frequently fired museum curator in modern history.

What really sets this exhibit catalog apart from most in my collection is not just the breadth of van der Marck’s taste, which is significant, but his introduction, his essay on each binder, and his brief commentary on each binding. As an art historian, his point of reference is significantly different from that of a librarian, a binder, or a collector who is not an art historian (most of us).

Donald Glaister was one of van der Marck favorite binders. He selected eight examples from his collection for this exhibition. Below are images of all eight, complete with van der Marck’s commentary. Continue reading “Donald Glaister Eye Candy”