Cathy Adelman Eye Candy

It’s MINE!!!

I won the drawing for the book I wanted in the InsideOUT exhibit: Cathy Adelman‘s binding of The Bicycle Diaries, text by Richard Goodman, color wood engravings by Gaylord Schanilec, published by Midnight Paper Sales, 2011.

Everything about it is right for me: American binder, American press, American artist, meaningful New York topic, and drop-dead gorgeous binding. Plus, my husband is an avid cyclist.

Leather spine with wooden boards covered with grey bird's-eye maple veneer inland with aluminum rods. The rods are arranged in the spoke pattern of a bicycle wheel. Grey Fabriano 'Roma' enpapers. 238 x 150 x 20mm
Leather spine with wooden boards covered with grey bird’s-eye maple veneer inland with aluminum rods. The rods are arranged in the spoke pattern of a bicycle wheel. Grey Fabriano ‘Roma’ endpapers. 238 x 150 x 20mm

 

Detail
Detail

 

In celebration of my first acquisition (commissions not yet delivered don’t count), we are going to have a little Cathy Adelman fest. Make sure you take a look at her stunning portfolio on her website as well. I’m hoping to avoid duplication.

 

Stone Eye.  Multi-colored silk endbands, marbled end sheets, graphite edges. Covered in full black oasis goatskin with leather hinges. Onlays of variously colored leathers. Blind tooled, title tooled in gold. Created by Richard Taylor, Kentucky's former poet laureate, and Gray Zeitz, letterpress printer and publisher of Larkspur Press. Wood engravings by Canadian artist Wesley Bates. Minnesota Guild of Book Workers exhibit 2002.
Stone Eye.
Multi-colored silk endbands, marbled end sheets, graphite edges. Covered in full black oasis goatskin with leather hinges. Onlays of variously colored leathers. Blind tooled, title tooled in gold. Created by Richard Taylor, Kentucky’s former poet laureate, and Gray Zeitz, letterpress printer and publisher of Larkspur Press. Wood engravings by Canadian artist Wesley Bates. Minnesota Guild of Book Workers exhibit 2002.

 

Oasis goatskin binding with raised bands, blind and gold tooling, silk endbands, graphite edge; matching chemise and slipcase; marbled paper by Karli Frigge. 26.5 x 19 x 3 cm. Bound in 2002 for CBBAG The Art of the Book exhibit 2003
Recollections.
Oasis goatskin binding with raised bands, blind and gold tooling, silk endbands, graphite edge; matching chemise and slipcase; marbled paper by Karli Frigge.
26.5 x 19 x 3 cm.
Bound in 2002 for CBBAG The Art of the Book exhibit 2003

 

 

Franz Kafka, Josephine the Singer, Press Intermezzo. This millimeter binding is covered in paper designed by the binder, with leather trim at the head and tail of spine. Leather endbands, graphite edge, leather label, titled with foil. 20cm x 16 x 1cm. Edelpappband Bind-o-Rama 2005.
Franz Kafka, Josephine the Singer, Press Intermezzo.
This millimeter binding is covered in paper designed by the binder, with leather trim at the head and tail of spine. Leather endbands, graphite edge, leather label, titled with foil.
20cm x 16 x 1cm.
Edelpappband Bind-o-Rama 2005.

 

Estonian children, The Best Thing in the World, 2005. Poems and fairytales written by Estonian children, bound in a bradel style binding with a gray leather spine, gray bird’s eye maple boards, graphite edge, leather endbands, paladium title. The endpapers and slip case cover are original drawings by the binder. 26.4 x 20.5 x 2 centimeters. Created 2005. Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary exhibit, 2006
Estonian children, The Best Thing in the World, 2005.
Poems and fairytales written by Estonian children, bound in a bradel style binding with a gray leather spine, gray bird’s eye maple boards, graphite edge, leather endbands, paladium title. The endpapers and slip case cover are original drawings by the binder. 26.4 x 20.5 x 2 centimeters.
Created 2005.
Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary exhibit, 2006

 

Edward Lear, Another Nonsense Story, The Old Stile Press, GB, 1990; Dos-a-Dos structure, marbled paper binding with leather endbands. Hand Bookbinders of California exhibit 2006.
Edward Lear, Another Nonsense Story, The Old Stile Press, GB, 1990; Dos-a-Dos structure, marbled paper binding with leather endbands. Hand Bookbinders of California exhibit 2006.

 

John Muir. Heaven on Earth. Illustrated by Charles D. Jones. Austin: Press Intermezzo, 1998. A French style binding with laced-on boards. The top edge is graphite with red silk hand sewn endbands. The book is covered in black goatskin with black emery paper and black morocco onlays, enclosed in a traditional chemise and slipcase. The shape and texture of the onlays suggest the mountain ranges dear to John Muir in his exploration of Yosemite. Sample binding submitted to the 2009 DeGolyer competition
John Muir. Heaven on Earth. Illustrated by Charles D. Jones. Austin: Press Intermezzo, 1998.
A French style binding with laced-on boards. The top edge is graphite with red silk hand sewn endbands. The book is covered in black goatskin with black emery paper and black morocco onlays, traditional chemise and slipcase. 
Sample binding submitted to the 2009 DeGolyer competition

 

 

Letter of Elizabeth, Lady Chandos, to Francis Bacon. French Style binding in full box calf leather with box calf doublures, fly leaves and onlays 20.3 x 15.5 x 1.4 cm Philadelphia Guild of Bookworkers show at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, June, 2011 and Venice Italy, October, 2011
Letter of Elizabeth, Lady Chandos, to Francis Bacon. French style binding in full box calf leather with box calf doublures, fly leaves and onlays 20.3 x 15.5 x 1.4 cm Philadelphia Guild of Bookworkers show at the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, June, 2011 and Venice Italy, October, 2011

 

Dires Erotiques Haikus. Society of Bookbinders exhibit 2011
Dires Erotiques Haikus. Society of Bookbinders exhibit 2011

 

La couleur du vent. Full leather. Mosaic décor set with dark red box. Bound ca. 2013 for ARA exhibit 2013-2014
Gilles Vigneualt. La couleur du vent. Full leather. Mosaic décor set with dark red box. Bound ca. 2013 for ARA exhibit 2013-2014

 

 

 

I Was Wrong. Ish.

In early December, I wrote a post that generated the most comment activity on this blog…so far.

I created a set of rules; guidelines for what a binder should bind if left to his or her own devices. I’ll reproduce the list below for easy reference, embarrassing though it is.

The Rules

  • Bind books in English if you live in an Anglophone country
  • Follow the flag: an axiom in the book trade with few exceptions. Ex. US author, book must be published in the US.
  • Is the author still in print? You’re on the right track.
  • Were you forced to read the book in school? This is a good sign.
  • Is the author or illustrator alive? Don’t risk it.
  • Do not bind books on books, collecting, reference books, or anything of the sort.
  • Avoid Franklin Library and Easton Press.
  • Is the book signed or inscribed by the author? Do not bind.
  • Does the book have the original dust jacket? Do not bind.
  • Is the book collectible in original condition?

I was wrong.

At the time, I had the collecting market in 20th and 21st century first editions on my brain. That’s been part of my day job for 14 years so far, so you’ll have to forgive me. It’s a kind of brainwashing. Forget first editions (not ALWAYS, but for the moment). I know design binders love fine press books. I am aware that binders love to sink a needle into fresh signatures of quality paper. Certainly, that is one reason to love fine press books. But what about the content? I’m fussy.

Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about the upcoming InsideOUT exhibit (thank you for changing the name!). In order to do that, I have spent quite a bit of time looking at fine press books, including a painfully brief visit to the Fine Press Book Fair. I have concluded that I should toss out most of the above. I still think Franklin Library and Easton Press should be shunned. I still believe you should not bind books on books, binding, printers, typographers, and the like, unless for your personal collection. I still think you should bind books in the language of the country where you practice. I’ll add that if any of you bind yet another copy of Fleurs de Mal, I’m going to puke. Binding that title isn’t a requirement for becoming a binder, is it? It sure seems like it. Please stop.

Anyway, contemporary fine press books; I think I’m starting to “get” them. I’m still pretty opinionated (stay tuned for the inevitable I Was Wrong, part 2 post). There still has to be a magical marriage of typography, layout, art, and text to make me care. If the binding is just right in design and craftsmanship, I’ll melt. One book in the InsideOUT catalog hit me just right. I’ve entered the lottery for purchase of the bindings, which occurs on May 14th.

I’m pretty excited about the lottery. I’ve commissioned bindings (which aren’t ready yet), but I’ve never purchased one. A lottery may seem like a weird way to make my first purchase, if I am so lucky as to have my request for that binding drawn before anyone else’s. I feel like I’m going about my entry into collecting backwards. Don’t most collectors start with buying bindings from a dealer? Maybe I’ll do that one day, too.

 

InsideOUT: Contemporary Bindings of Private Press Books

InsideOUT

 

Lucky me! I got my catalogue early. Another example of my motto: You Don’t Ask; You Don’t Get. To tell the truth, I asked for something totally outrageous and impossible. Sayaka Fakuda, who is doing much of the administrative work for the exhibit on behalf of Designer Bookbinders, let me down gently and offered some nice consolation prizes. One was an advance copy of the exhibit catalogue. I cannot thank her enough. It is delicious. I can’t stop looking at it. These bindings are sexy. I want to fondle them.

So I took a leap of faith. Even though I cannot be at the collector’s preview at St. Bride’s on May 14th from 4:30-5:45, when the books can be fondled, sorry, examined, I have submitted a lottery form for a binding. That’s right. Just based on the book that was bound, two photos of the binding, and a description, I am attempting to purchase a binding by a binder whose work I have never seen in person. When I say “attempting,” I mean that it’s a lottery. If my form requesting this binding is picked out of a hat first, I get to purchase it. If another collector’s form is pulled first, with the same binding listed as first choice, I lose. Keep your fingers crossed for me. It’s the only one I want.