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Re: [BKARTS] craft standards, poor books



I think a distinction can be made between more "formal" type bindings and less formal ones. A few days ago I was in a very fancy crafts shop owned by a guild that prides itself on fine American crafts, and I saw there a group of absolutely dreadful books. The leather used was scarred and ugly; the sewing was through the spine of the signatures and then through the leather, and it was done with multicolored threads that appeared to be cotton; and each signature was wrapped in a figured, not very attractive Japanese type tissue, the character of which seemed to be very much out of character with the materials and structure used for the rest of the book. I would characterize the craftsmanship of these books as absolutely terrible, --but I've seen other books with the same or similar structure that, while not "fine" binding , were nevertheless done in a careful way with good care/ better craftsmanship and similar but better materials and they were not without charm.
Virginia
----- Original Message ----- From: "Margie McCarty" <elefsus@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, January 01, 2008 11:05 AM
Subject: Re: craft standards, poor books



I find this a really interesting topic. If you find more sources, I hope you will post them. Also, could you say more about what you are trying to do? Are you thinking in terms of editions or unique books? Text, images, both? Structures?

Margie


Charles Brownson wrote:
I am trying to master a style of artists book I might call 'rustic' -- to step outside the fine printing tradition of craft perfection. Think of the Zen tea masters' preference for a bowl a little misshapen, with a glaze which has dripped or crackled in firing. So the question is how to tell such a thing from a book which is just badly made. I understand this is a question freighted with Zen, equivalent to the master's uncanny ability to assess the supplicant's degree of enlightenment, knowing when you've captured the qi of a thing -- if you know it, then you know how, and until you know it you can't find out how. I'm reasonably conversant with the literature of aesthetics -- or I thought I was... The issue seems to be related also to this unease with the limited reach of the medium of artists books, that well-made equals decorous and that the expressive range and power of the best painting and literature has not been captured and won't be until we open
ourselves to a much rougher, brawling, bigger style.


So -- does anyone know who has written about this? I mean when is a thing 'rough-hewn' and not just bad workmanship. The solitary source I can cite is David Pye, The Nature and Art of Workmanship (Cambridge University Press, 1968) in which he distinguishes the workmanship of risk from the workmanship of certainty. And some very remote material such as de Kooning's struggle to paint Woman 1 and how we've never felt quite comfortable with it.

Charles
ocotilloarts.com





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*********************************************** The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2007 is Now Online at <http://http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>

For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************


***********************************************
The Bonefolder, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2007 is Now Online at
<http://http://www.philobiblon.com/bonefolder>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
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