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30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Anna Embree

Anna EmbreeAbout the Binding:

William Anthony’s dedication to teaching has greatly influenced the education of generations of bookbinders in the United States. Many Book Artists who create even the most innovative or non-traditional work, received training rooted in traditional craft that can be directly traced to the lineage of William Anthony and his students. My intent with this work was to honor this legacy by creating a binding using the traditional materials and techniques of my craft while pushing the boundaries of conventional book form.

This binding is covered in full goat leather with goat leather onlays and blind tooling. The endsheets are pastepaper on bugra paper and the endbands are sewn with silk thread. The boards are composed of many layers of binders board that have been sanded and shaped for a heavily cushioned and sculptural effect. The board attachment and lining are experimental and were inspired by Gary Frost’s work with sewn board attachments. The colors and design choices are directly correlated with the exhibition catalog and the William Anthony bindings featured therein.

Estimated Value: $2000

embree picAbout the Artist:

Anna Embree is an Asso­ciate 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.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Pamela Spitzmueller

Pam SpitzmuellerAbout the Binding:

I have been making three-dimensional work in book form for over thirty years.

Rare book conservation was my profession that required knowledge of the history of binding and the skills to repair and sometimes rebind rare books.  The book/bound manuscript needed to be meticulously described and photographed, and a treatment proposal approved by the curator before any work would be carried out. The item’s condition dictated what would be done to it and the less the better!  This intimate interaction with a historic object taught me what a book/bound manuscript was and the many techniques used historically. Through this dual career of conservator and artist, I found both parts needed and nourished each other.

My artists’ books have always leaned toward traditional materials and book structures that have evolved over time in different cultures. They are never equal, but ebb and flow as discovery in one finds outlets in the other. This includes book structure as well as content.  Conservation required ethical decisions, but book arts allowed freedom to create strange or unusual things from a wider variety of materials (such as plastic,metal screen and sheets, or feathers/plant materials with ink, pencil and paint media).

Though I do sell works, it is not why I make them. I make them because I have to! Books happen because I’m thinking about something and working with my hands is the outlet. The books I make are meant to be handled,looked into, read, and operated.  I work drawing, painting and sometimes text into these one-of-a-kind books. It is best when all parts come together at once, but sometimes a blank book will be empty for years before being filled. Or the text and images come first and I have to find the right structure for them.

This artist’s binding is an homage to parchment/vellum – a traditional bookbinding material. Several examples of parchment/vellum bindings by Mr. Anthony are illustrated in this catalog. The spine is flush at the tail and a tab is located at the spine head with a thread bookmark attached – a historic technique. The spine is goat vellum with diagonal long stitches attaching it to the textblock. The covers are a vintage, slightly tinted, handmade English water color paper. Samples of new and vintage vellum/parchment are stitched to the covers, like a sampler, to show the variety of this material. The catalog’s paper covers are inserted inside the new cover turn-ins to stiffen the new covers.

Estimated Value: $500

spitzmuellerAbout the Artist:

Spitzmueller, a distinguished conservator and book artist, served as the James W. Needham Chief Conservator for Special Collections, Harvard University and Harvard College. She also has headed the rare book conservation program at the University of Iowa, and served as a conservator for the Library of Congress and the Newberry Library. Recognized for the technical excellence and historical sensitivity of her conservation treatments, her replicas of historical book structures and her artists’ books have been widely exhibited at libraries and art galleries including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, New York Center for Book Arts, the Boston Athenaeum, Grolier Club, Art Institute of Chicago, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt, and the Barbican Centre in London.

After earning a degree with distinction and highest honors at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Spitzmueller began studying bookbinding in 1976 with renowned book conservator Gary Frost. During the course of her career Spitzmueller also trained with Anthony Cains, director of conservation at Trinity College, Dublin; Tom Albro and Barbara Meier-Husby at the Library of Congress; Chicago book conservator William Anthony; and Paul Banks, architect and first director of the only degree-granting graduate program in library preservation and conservation in the U.S. In 1979, she received a National Endowment for the Humanities-sponsored fellowship in preservation and conservation hosted by Yale University. She also has received grants from the Kress Foundation and the National Museum Act to support studies in the U.S. and in England.

While at the University of Iowa in the Libraries Conservation Department, she secured a major grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to direct two, four-year apprenticeships in rare book conservation and taught a series of advanced conservation workshops that attracted conservators from throughout the United States.

In the School of Art and Art History at Iowa, Spitzmueller taught semester-long courses in historical book structure and other subjects. She also served as guest lecturer for the University of Iowa Center for the Book, School of Library and Information Science, and Museum Studies program.

She has lectured on a broad range of topics having to do with book history and conservation, ranging from theoretical (the aesthetics, ethics, and mechanics of book conservation) to historical and technical (book- and paper-making and conservation).

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Emily Martin

Emily MartinAbout the Binding:

The binding of the catalog is a long stitch sewing of the text block with a soft cover attached using Saltire and transverse twisted tackets. The corners of the covers also have twisted tackets. The cover paper is natural UICB flax case paper. The original covers of the printed catalog are inserted as end sheets and anchored by the corner tackets. A window is cut in the front cover to reveal the catalog title. Cover case paper was joined at the spine to create a reinforced double thickness and to make a sheet long enough to form the cover as one piece. The binding itself is completely non-adhesive.

Estimated Value: $150

Emily Martin 2About the Artist:

Emily Martin has been making movable and/or sculptural artists books since the late 1970’s. Her books are narrative sometimes autobiographical and make use of format as a metaphor for content. Currently she is exploring Shakespeare’s tragedies. Emily Martin lives in Iowa City, Iowa, USA where she has her studio and also teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Her work is in public and private collections throughout the United States and internationally, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago; The Marvin and Ruth Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry, Miami Beach, Florida; The Library of Congress and others.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Larry Yerkes


About the Bindings:

When Bill Anthony died in 1989, he left me well prepared to do conservation work, but we had not yet undertaken design bindings, though we had discussed them. So, when asked to take part in this project, I decided that, rather than do one full-leather design binding, I would do three quarter-leather bindings with a cumulative value similar to that of a single design binding.

Bill and I had discussed the problem that he had faced in binding an artist’s book (was it Picasso?). He felt that a binder was obligated to use the artist’s work in some way in the design. I didn’t feel I could find a design from Bill’s work that would “stand for” him. However, I could represent some of Bill’s favorite elements for fine bindings.

Bill loved quarter-leather bindings. He loved paste papers. He loved hidden corners. He loved leather hinges. Now he also—at the end of his career—loved small endbands and their consequent small squares, which I decided not to emulate. Rather, I chose to honor the beautiful, if large, endbands he had made on his earlier bindings.

The three bindings vary most obviously in the spine treatment. The leather is the same, but the titling varies. The paste papers—which I made with the same brush Bill used when he made paste papers—are subtly different. The color is always black, but over three different colors of paper and with different brush strokes. The corners are either vellum or leather, with the paper cut slightly differently in each case. One endband is on a velum core, the other two on glued cord—one with single-color silk (like Bill’s later endbands), the other with two-color silk.

Estimated Value: $350 per binding

Larry Yerkes 2About the Artist:

I was trained at the Conservation Department of The University of Iowa Libraries under Bill Anthony and Pam Spitzmuller. Since 1991 I have worked on my own as a conservation binder and fine binder, first in Iowa City and, beginning in 2013, in Portland, Oregon.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Mark Esser

Mark Esser

About the Binding:

William Anthony’s work and, particularly, his fine bindings were both a model and an inspiration for me. The bindings illustrated in this exhibition catalog represented my personal horizons as an apprentice and an aspiring craftsman.

The design is meant to suggest the curved fore edges of text blocks tamed by the bone folders entering from around the edges. Bill loved chess and the checkerboard pattern recalls that, as well as his brilliant and creative mind. This is a traditional laced board, full leather binding with full gilt edges, double core silk endbands, leather onlays and inlays, blind and gold tooling and blind tooled edge to edge leather doublures.

Estimated Value: $5,000

Mark Esser

About the Artist:

Mark Esser began his training in bookbinding in 1979 at the Harcourt Bindery in Boston. He then worked in the Conservation Bindery at the Newberry Library in Chicago while studying privately with David Brock. Esser apprenticed with William Anthony from 1982 to 1986, first at Anthony & Associates in Chicago and then at the Conservation Department of the University of Iowa Libraries. He developed the curriculum and was the first instructor for the hand bookbinding program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, remaining there until 1994. He was the Rare Book Conservator at the John J. Burns Library at Boston College until 2008 and now works privately.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: William Minter

William Minter

About the Binding:

Everyone who knew Bill Anthony would say he was a gentle Irishman with a love of his country. Since the BOOK OF KELLS is one of the beloved treasures of Ireland, Bill bound his own facsimile copy during my apprenticeship. That binding is one of my favorites, so I followed his example in the binding of his catalog. At the same time, I had observed Bill bind in vellum-over-boards, a style that he used at F.G. Marshalls in England. I had always been reluctant to bind in this manner. With the help of a recent workshop, this book is covered in vellum, in memory of Bill and his wonderful leadership.

The signatures are sewn on four vellum thongs that are exposed through the green leather spine; the sides are covered in vellum-over-boards. The title is gold stamped and the green leather lacework design – inspired from the BOOK OF KELLS – is blind stamped. The head has been colored with acrylic paint; hand-sewn silk endbands; marbled paper endsheets.

Estimated Value: $5,000

Bill Minter

About the Artist:

William “Bill” Minter was recently named senior book conservator by Penn State University in a newly created position. Prior to that appointment Bill was in private practice.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology from Stout State University, Menomonie, Wisconsin and completed a seven-year book conservation apprenticeship under William Anthony in Chicago, Illinois.  In 1978, he opened his book conservation practice in Chicago and in 1994 relocated it to Woodbury, Pennsylvania. In addition to his work at the conservation bench, he has served the field through (1) leadership in professional organizations including the AIC Book and Paper Group (Chair 1984-86) and Conservators in Private Practice (Chair 1989-91); (2) development of technologies for book and paper conservation, including the ultrasonic welder for polyester film encapsulation with over 200 installations worldwide; (3) participation in academic research as Senior Project Conservator in the Heritage Science for Conservation program, Department of Conservation and Preservation, Johns Hopkins University (2009-2012).

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Bill Voss

Bill VossAbout the Binding:

Red leather onlays with gold foil tooling on full green goatskin, with leather hinges and endbands tooled in red and gold.  The design is modeled on a pattern used by Bill Anthony on Hollinshed’s Irish Cronicle.

Estimated Value: $1,000

Bill VossAbout the Artist:

Bill Voss is a Conservation Techncian at the University of Iowa Libraries, where he has worked since 1999.  He has an BA in Russian from Lawrence University, a MA in Slavic Linguistics from The University of Washington and a Certificate in Book Studies from the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Caitlin Moore

Caitlin MooreAbout the Binding:

This binding is a paper case made from Zaansch bord, a heavy weight dutch windmill paper. The design was hand stenciled in watercolor using the pochoir technique.

I chose the paper case because it is the book structure I most associate with my time in the UI conservation lab. The design I chose because corn is such an iconic part of the landscape and my favorite view in Iowa.

Estimated Value: $250

Caitlin Moore

About the Artist:

Caitlin Moore holds an undergraduate degree in studio art and art history from Albion College in Albion, MI. She graduated from the UICB program in 2008. She worked at the University of Iowa conservation lab from 2006-2011. She is currently a bookbinder in the conservation lab at Cornell University. She is also the owner/operator of the Black Finch Bindery in Ithaca, NY.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Shanna Leino

Shanna LeinoAbout the Tools:

While working on books, I found myself needing simple but special tools to carry out the work on leather, wood, and bone. That set me on the road to making folders, awls, punches, and hooks. It is satisfying to me to see others making skillful use of the tools I have made.

Tool making itself satisfies a need I have to keep my hands moving. I like the focus it provides.

Make beautiful work with good tools!

Hand-Built Tools by Shanna Leino
– Leather tool roll
– 2 leather polka dot paper weights
– Elk bone awl –for blind tooling leather
– Double ended steel awl – for marking, scribing, hole punching
– Elk bone folder – for general folding and burnishing
– Old stock Japanese snips – etched and dipped by Shanna
– Fine elk bone folder – for tighter, delicate work
– Steel micro-chisel – for punching and chiseling wood, board, and paper
– Elk bone and steel pin awl – for piercing paper
– Kelm stainless steel folder – for heavy duty scoring

Steel Tools: The steel tools are made from high carbon steel and have been heat treated for strength and durability. The steel tools are patterned by hammer blows or embellished with hand-cut steel stamps.

Carved Elk Bone Tools: The shape, size, and feel of the bone tools are in part determined by the bone it comes from. Each is unique. All of the folders I make are from elk bone, an exceptionally dense, white bone that carves wonderfully and polishes well. I receive clean, whole leg bones (an otherwise unused by-product of hunting) and spend a lot of time working it to shape with a band saw, sander and numerous hand tools. The shaped bone is then ornamented with hand carving, either a pattern made up with lines and dots, or carved flower. Hand sanding and buffing polish and complete the tools.

Estimated Value: $425

Shanna Leino

About the Artist:

Shanna grew up in Harrisville, New Hampshire. She returned after completing her BFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spending a number of invaluable years of learning with the good book people in Iowa City, Iowa.

She continues to travel in search of conferences, seminars, and teaching opportunities to continue/enrich her own learning.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.

30th Anniversary Benefit Auction: Penny McKean

Penny McKean

About the Binding:

I approached the binding of this catalog of William Anthony’s work with great respect and admiration for William Anthony. It was an honor to study with Bill, not only because he was an excellent bookbinder and craftsman. He was generous and kind, warm and funny, a gentleman of the old school. I wanted to create a binding that reflected something of Bill’s character and Bill’s interests. I felt the binding should be understated and thoughtful, and it should have a masculine quality. For me, a visible sewing can be beautiful as well as suggesting strength. I chose muted tones of browns, greens, and rusts. I added some small in-laid squares and “dots” of leather for contrast and visual interest. The in-lays are just a small gesture, one that I hope Bill would have enjoyed, since he taught me how to do it.

This binding is an exposed spine binding. It employs a packed sewing over double raised flax cords, with the endbands sewn along with the sections. The text was sewn through a leather-lined concertina and then rounded and backed. Endbands and sewing cords lace through the boards and remain visible on the spine. The boards are covered with a medium brown vegetable-dyed goatskin. Contrasting the brown leather on the boards, black leather inlays with rust-colored “dots,” or circles, punctuate the entry of the sewing cords into the boards.

Estimated Value: $1200

Penny McKean

About the Artist:

Penny McKean has an MA in Design and an MFA in Design from the University of Iowa. She began binding books in 1985 at the Mills College Book Arts Program and was a student of William Anthony’s at the University of Iowa Conservation Lab from 1986 until his death in 1989. She has studied with David Brock, Louise Geneste, Don Glaister, Monique Lallier, Tini Muira and Pamela Spitzmueller. In 1992, Penny began working as an independent binder at her studio in Iowa City, Blackbird Bindery. From 2005 to 2012 she taught bookbinding classes at the UI Center for the Book. Her bookbinding interests include book conservation, fine binding, and fine editions. She continues to live and work in Iowa City.

To bid on any of the bindings, please email us at Bids will be accepted until the end of the silent auction, 7 pm CST on Thursday November 13th.