This interview is a part of a series produced by Anna Markova, book bindings' historian and rare book librarian at the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow.) The series is dedicated to book artisans of different kinds.
These are paste papers from an early 20th-century edition of the German translation of Le déserteur, an opéra comique by the French composer Pierre-Alexandre Monsigny. Book from the collection of Leon Laserson.
These two volumes were standing out among other tomes at the book market in the Hague. But what most impressed me wasn't visible while the volumes were tucked between other books. Just check the marbled paper!
Just a couple of weeks ago I saw a post from Simon Beattie about an 18th-century Russian book with "marbled" endpapers that were in reality hand-printed. Imagine my surprise when I found something similar just a few days later!
Among other exciting things, I found in the last volume of the Dutch Printers Yearbook from 1911, was an article by Reinier Willem Petrus de Vries Jr. about a technique that "recently" attracted the attention of some bookbinders — starch marbling.
I wanted to share this with you for several weeks already, but some other things always intervened. I received a lot of nice bookish presents from all over the world this past holiday season. But these pieces of marbled velour paper were the most gratifying by far!
Right opposite the entrance to our quarter in Leiden there's an old books shop. In the window passers by can see lots of book-earrings with marbled covers.
As temperatures fall below the freezing point in some regions, it may become risky to order white glue. Or even to buy it at a local store. Like many other water emulsion glues, PVA may lose its gluing properties after freezing/thawing. Especially, if that process is repeated several times (e.g. while glue is in transit). Continue reading →
I know that methylcellulose is often used in paper and cloth conservation processes. I also know that a PVA-mix with methylcellulose is in use by bookbinders — that mix allows lengthening of the time of drying of the PVA glue. I’ve even used the mix myself while I was studying at the American Academy of Bookbinding. However, since the time of my study I still haven’t bought any methylcellulose here in Moscow. Continue reading →