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Our election and Annual Meeting took place this past July without a hitch. I am
very happy to say that we now have an official treasurer! Lisa Scarpello was
nominated, agreed to run, and was elected. We are very happy to have her take
over this important job. Our chapter is very busy, so there is a lot of activity in our
bank account and we need someone to oversee all those pesky details.

The rest of our current officers have agreed to continue for another two years. I
want to take this moment to thank them. I know for sure that our chapter would
not have anywhere near as many fun activities if not for this loyal bunch of
volunteers. If you look to the right on this page you can see the list of our dedicated
officers. I really appreciate the time and effort they have given over the years.

I will be heading Charleston to attend the Standards Seminar in a couple weeks.
You may find this odd, but one of my favorite events is the chapter chair meeting. I
love hearing what other chapters are doing and having the opportunity to share
what has been successful with our chapter. I am also going to make a pitch to get
Standards to Philadelphia! Though many of you are too young to remember, I
organized the Standards Seminar in 1985 when it was only a few years old. I think
it is high time we had it here again. I will keep you posted!

Six questions
Pages 2-3
Islamic Binding
Page 4-5
Page 6
Cloth Reback Workshop
Page 7-8
The Farm
Page 9
Fast Friendly Free
Page 9
Annual Report
Page 10
Notable News
Page 11
Workshop Announcement
Page 12
Jennifer Rosner
Chapter Chair
Alice Austin
Vice Chair
Lisa Scarpello
Rosae Reeder
Denise Carbone
Programs Coordinator
Becky Koch
Jackie Manni
Newsletter Editors
Valeria Kremser
Ruth Scott Blackson
Madeline Lambelet
Exhibitions Co-chairs

Page 2 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


6 Questions: The Philadelphia Edition

Lisa Scarpello

Fall 2016


How long have you been a member of the GBW?

Just over two years, I joined the Guild in July 2014.

Where are you from originally?
I was born in Utica, New York and lived there until I was 10 years old. Even though I love living
in Philadelphia, I still miss the beautiful, quiet snows in the wintertime and swimming in the
lakes of the Adirondacks in the summertime. New York States nighttime sky is pretty amazing

When did you realize you wanted to learn bookbinding?
I have been making artists books and sketchbooks since 1997 out of pure love for the process.
My very first attempt at binding was a leather bound drawing journal for my honeymoon.
Although I have learned so much since that first attempt, I still treasure the naivet of that
journal. Also, I have found that Book Arts compliment my training in oil painting. But I have
gravitated more and more towards the book as my art form. My first official class in book
binding was with Rosae Reeder, at The University of the Arts. Her clear instruction gave me a
solid foundation to move forward. Professor Susan Viguers opened my eyes to the bigger
world of artists books, contemporary and historical. These two women are so important to

What is your favorite book structure these days?
The Crisscross Binding, also known as the Secret Belgian Binding, that I learned from Denise
Carbone at UArts. I love the fact that it opens perfectly flat.

What are you working on right now?
A few things. The first is a memorial of
my father in a modified accordion fold. I
did the first draft of the book about my
dad in that class with Denise. You know,
Sean Connery, who played a writer in the
movie Finding Forrester, said the first
draft is from the heart and the second
one is from the head. I really believe
that. You have to get all those emotions

and feelings out, to give art its soul. But organizing all that stuff is where your training as an
artist/craftsman comes in. Thats the hard part. The second book is much lighter. That project
is in the very beginning draft stages of my summer travel adventures. Also, I plan to print
some Christmas cards on one of the Vandercook Presses at Uarts soon.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
In high school, I played on an all-boys soccer team for one year, threw the discus in Track &
Field and lettered in swimming. How about that?


Page 3 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

David Donahue

How did you get started in the book repair and restoration business?
I sort of backed into it. I left the corporate world after running a
couple of mid-size companies. I started a successful furniture
repair business, because I wanted to work with my hands, but it
turned out to be soulless work and I didn't really like it. One day
I stumbled into a book auction and decided to become a rare
book seller. Very quickly I ran into a problem all used
booksellers encounter; I had many potentially valuable books
that I couldn't sell at any price because they were falling apart
and I couldn't find anybody to repair the books. I found a woman
named Jill Deiss who offered to teach me how to restore books. I
spent almost four years taking

lessons from her and practicing on old books. When I felt I had the required skills it took me another
three years to acquire all the major pieces of equipment you need if you want to be able to handle
anything that comes in the door, and once I had them I started taking in business.

What is the hardest thing to learn as a book restorer?
Without a doubt, finishing, the art of putting gold leaf designs and titles on a book. Fortunately, in
restoration work we are rarely required to produce a full gild fine binding spine. Most of our work is
to replace the gilding in such a way that the finished repair still looks old, so it is actually preferable to
have little pieces of the gilding not quite right. The other high skill needed in book restoration is the
ability to artistically finish the repair in such a way that the casual person handling the book would be
hard pressed to see it was restored.

Do you teach or take on apprentices?
I have taken on apprentices in the past, and I have had a few successes with that, but the need to run a
profitable business stops me from any future apprenticeships, at least for now. I've thought about
having open shop time once a month where a budding binder came come in and rent the use of all my
shop equipment at an flat low hourly rate and I might combine that with some hands on teaching.

What type restoration jobs do you do?

We do anything that comes in the door. We do a lot of large family bible restorations and make a lot of
double wall clamshell boxes for them. Part of the restoration business comes from rare used book
dealers, and we have a fair number of customers who are book collectors. We do a lot books for one
time customers that could be replaced for a fraction of the cost of our repairs; cook books, children's
books, old dictionaries, and photo albums, but the sentimental value is so great the people want that
specific book and not a replacement. Our tag line on the web site is that we restored knowledge and
memories and I think that is pretty accurate.

What is happening for you in the next year?
The big news here is that Madeline Lambelet, who currently works with me is starting her own
business this fall, so I am trying to support her in that venture. Once that is up and running, the shop
is due for a remodel, something I try to do every few years to improve efficiency. After that I have a
whole series of unique Harry Potter Bindings and cases I need to start marketing.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
Back in the 1990's, for about 12 years, I use to run a dog rescue non-profit with my wife. Our rescue
was for Chow Chows. Over the years I guess we help get adopted more than 1000 dogs.
Eventually career and home demands forced me out of it, but that was probably the single most
rewarding thing I have ever done as a human being.


Page 4 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Islamic Binding in Mexico

By Rosae Reeder

In December of 2015, I learned from Lucia Farias Villarreal, a former student and colleague, that she was organizing
a six-day bookbinding intensive in Mexico City, Mexico. The binding of discussion was the Islamic Binding: a
historical binding that dates from the 7th to the 19th centuries. Islamic bindings were crafted in all regions where
the Islamic religion was practiced and were created specifically to house the teachings of the prophet Muhammad,
and the religious texts of the Qu'ran.

I had always wanted to take more workshops in the way of historical bindings and thought that this would be the
perfect opportunity. Additionally, a secondary part of the trip was to go to San Pablito for an Amate' Paper making
workshop. Amate' Paper is an indigenous paper made from "Amate," a type of bark that is cooked and then pounded
into large sheets that are dried in the sun. I have made paper many times but never in this way, and was eager to
learn this process to include in my final project.

So the question was, how was I going to organize going on this trip? In February of 2016, I decided to apply for a
Faculty Development Grant from the University of the Arts, and was honored and excited to receive this grant. My
grant proposal outlined my interest in historical bindings, described my practice as a Book Artist, Printmaker, and
Educator, and introduced the book project ("Herstory revisited") that would be created from the knowledge and
inspiration gained from the workshop and trip.

The workshop taken with Rodriqo Ortega of Umbligo del Libro, a very busy Bookbinding studio in Mexico City
Mexico, was amazing. I haven't made many leather books in all of my years as a Book Artist and Binder, but lately I
have been very interested in learning more about leather and historical bindings. Rodrigo was practicing his English
and was a bit shy about it, so Lucia acted as our translator. There is so much terminology that is different in Spanish
than in English in regard to making books, and Lucia did a wonderful job of explaining it all to us. There were a total
of six of us who took the workshop and what a diverse group we were. We had many different professions but were
brought together by our love and interest in bookbinding. It took a total of six days to complete the binding from
start to finish which included sewing the traditional chevron headbands, to cutting out our filigree' patterns for the
end flap, to finally pressing a design into the front, back, and flap of our books. We also visited a leather shop where
we were able to purchase leather at cost as well as have the leather separated for best use. This means that the suede
is removed from the leather to change the thickness and make the leather easier to use for making books.

I was in Mexico for 10 days, and six of those days were spent in the workshop every day. They were long days but for
me, but the time flew, as I was so engrossed in the process. We took lunch breaks most days for local treats such as
street tacos, of which the blue corn with chicken and zucchini flowers were my favorite. We ate some delicious
Huaraches, with Chicken, Black Beans and Avocado. There was delicious food every day.

Page 5 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Boiling bark for Amate paper

The first weekend before the workshop we took a trip to the mountains of Mexico to a
little town called San Pablito to learn about how Amate' Paper is made. The Amate' paper
makers were a family who had been making this paper for many generations. Trees are
planted and cultivated to shade the coffee plants that are grown. The bark then is
harvested and then boiled, sometimes with additives to soften it up and make it supple
enough to pound into the large sheets of paper that are then laid out and dried in the sun.

The paper makers of San Pablito Puebla believe that Amate' paper has mystical powers
and will sometimes include paper cut outs of Gods as decoration to honor them and bring
good luck. I chose to ask for the Tamarind God because Tamarind is one of my favorite
flavors. If you haven't tried it, you should! The skill with which these cut outs were done
was amazing; there was no guide or pattern used, just a colored piece of paper and
scissors. We also got to make a couple of sheets ourselves. Pounding and pounding and
pounding all day long is what it takes to make a few very large sheets of this paper. It was
surely a family affair.

Cutting a god from Amate paper

After our visit to San Pablito, we stopped off at Teotihuacan, to see the ruins of the
pyramids of Mexico. I have been to many archeological sites before but this one was
so vast and just plain huge! We arrived back in Mexico City on Sunday, just in time
for our first day of the workshop.

Although I was only there for 10 days and six of those were spent in the studio, we saw so much. Lucia arranged for
us to see the rare book collection at Biblioteca Nacional de Mexico at UNAM. We also visited the Museo Universario
de Arte Contemporaneo, The Frida Kahlo Museum in Coyoacan, Pahuatlan, the little puebla before San Pablito, the
Palacio de Bellas Artes, which is the first museum in Mexico with Murals by Jose Clemente Orozco and Diego Rivera,
and finally the Franz Mayer Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. We even went to an Artist Book fair that was
being held by a group of local Bookbinders.

The trip was packed with art, books and food! We ate at one of the most popular restaurants in
Mexico City proper, Azul y Oro and was visited by the Chef Ricardo Munoz Zurita. The food was
delicious, and I was in heaven (it also helps that Mexican is one of my most favorite types of cuisine).
We tasted a Mexican delicacy, Chapulines which are fried Grasshoppers - we had them on top of
the creamiest Guacomole' ever. I however did not like them, but I can always say that I tried them.
What could be better than mixing great bookbinding with great food and culture?

Chapulines with

As part of the grant, I was required to create a piece of art in response to my experience. The one of a kind Artist
Book Project "Herstory revisited will be my response to the knowledge gained while making the Islamic binding.
Herstory revisited is a response to the passing of my mother last May. I thought a Historical binding would be the
proper vehicle to express the culmination of that experience. I am currently working on the completion of Herstory
and hope to be finished by the end of October.

Overall, this trip was inspiring, fulfilling, cathartic, rejuvenating, energizing, interesting, satisfying, and just plain
great. Many thanks to Lucia for organizing this trip and introducing us to such an amazing binder in Rodrigo. I hope
to visit Mexico again soon, and have the opportunity to take another workshop with Rodrigo, and not to mention eat
some more delicious food!

Page 6 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Movables in a Book Format A Workshop with Emily Martin for the DVC

By Kristin Balmer

Movables in the book arts have great potential for visual interplay of ideas
that engage participation with the reader. They are an exciting, interactive
way of sharing information. The DVC offered a movables workshop with
book artist Emily Martin in a one-day workshop on June 4.
Emily Martin teaches at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and runs
Naughty Dog Press. When asked which is her favorite movable form, Emily
says, Volvelle, because it is the most versatile. Ive always been interested in
movables and their sculptural aspect and potential for added elements,
added surprises. Movables are a way to get
people to interact with a book beyond
passive reading. She adds, I started out as
a painter, no big plan of becoming a book maker. I just wanted to make a
sketchbook that wouldnt fall apart.
Emily Martins workshop started with an introduction to historical
examples and uses of the volvelle, a wheel-like structure. Next we looked
at artist interpretations of various
movables; volvelles, turning wheels,
Victorian wheels, slides, and
dissolves. One especially intriguing
piece had a magic window that made
various transformations, like water
into wine.
Emily provided card stock templates of the multiple moving paper
pieces we had to assemble. The structures were so complex that
written instructions were not enough for assembly, so Emily showed
us by doing a sleight of hand jive, a now you see it, now you dont
carnie trick, a magicians abracadabra ta-da! Please do it again,
Emily! Show us again!
Please visit her website for information on
future classes with this fantastic instructor.

Page 7 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

19th Century Cloth Reback with Board Reattachment

or The Cloth Reback Reimagined
By Mary Wootton

This was a workshop given at the Library Company of

Philadelphia on April 23rd, 2016 by Todd Pattison,
Book Conservator from the Northeast Document
Conservation Center in Andover, Massachusetts. Todd
has long had an interest in 19th century publishers'
bindings and he adapted this approach to make their
repair simple and efficient. His view is that simplifying
the repair of these bindings makes their repair a viable
option for production-oriented general collections
conservation labs. This approach can be used on books
that have one or both detached boards. And it can be
done with books bound with leather or paper as well as
The initial steps are to remove the spine material and clean off the old linings. Todd demonstrated
separating the spine, then he used methyl cellulose to loosen the old spine linings and glue. After cleaning,
while the spine was soft with the methyl cellulose, he gently shaped it, with his fingers and a bone folder to
reinforce the round. For the purposes of this workshop the participants had brought books to repair that
had in tact sewing. However, if a book would require paper repair and sewing, this could all be done prior
to repairing the binding.
Once he had the spine cleaned and rounded,
Todd proceeded to prepare the covers. The
volume Todd was repairing had one detached
cover and one cover that was still attached. He
did not separate the detached cover. Using a
lifting knife he lifted the cloth on the outside of
both covers. He saved all of the cloth material
including all of the material in the joint. He
recommended lifting the cloth as far back as
possible so that the lifted cloth would not crease
in the process of repair. Todd did not add any
interior joint or lift the paper on the inside of the
covers. He feels that it is often difficult and
damaging to try to lift the pastedown to insert a
joint and he has determined that for this repair it
is not necessary. However he did lift enough of
the cloth and paper on the inside of the covers to allow for turn-ins.
With the volume in a press and the boards positioned in place Todd
attached a Japanese paper lining which would serve to reinforce the
spine and act as a primary board attachment. This lining, which was
cut slightly shorter than the height of the book, was attached with
wheat paste, across the spine and onto the boards approximately one
inch on each board. The weight of the Japanese paper used for this
lining is determined by what is required for the book, but Todd used a
medium Japanese paper.

Page 8 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Once the initial spine was dry another spine lining was then cut, using Western handmade paper that was
the width of the spine and the height of the boards. This spine piece would ultimately create the hollow
and was not intended to be adhered, but for now, was adhered by small spots of PVA near the head and tail
of the book.
After this, one more lining, similar to the first lining, except
longer at the head and tail to allow for turn-ins, was adhered
over the Western paper spine and onto the boards. For this
Todd used a heavy Japanese paper. It is important that the two
Japanese paper linings that come onto the boards are graduated
so that they don't make for a bump once the cloth is readhered
to the boards. This lining was attached with PVA and the head
and tail were turned in, under the Western paper spine piece
and the lifted areas of the interiors of the boards.
Once the coverings were dry Todd readhered the cloth that he
had lifted on the boards including all of the joint material. He
adhered the cloth sides by gluing off a strip of mylar, inserting it
under the lifted area of the cloth, pressing the cloth down to
come in contact with the PVA, then carefully pulling out the
mylar strip and pressing down the side. By gluing this way he
got a light, even coat of glue. He reattached the spine piece (that
he had cleaned, removing previous spine lining material).
Todd used acrylic paints to tone the areas where the previous materials did not cover the Japanese paper.
He usually doesn't tone the Japanese paper before he covers, but he said that we could do that if we
preferred. In some cases Todd says that he repairs the interior hinges with a strip of thin, toned, Japanese
paper. He demonstrated this also.
The workshop gave all
participants a fresh look at the
process of cloth rebacking. We
were each able to complete two
rebacks in this one-day
workshop. It was a very
worhwhile day. I know I will
be incorporating Todd's
techniques into my work.
For additional images of books
in the process of repair Todd
has photos on Flickr and they
can be found at:

Page 9 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

The Farm DVG Exhibit Opening

By Lisa Scarpello

In the Spring of 2016, Jennifer Rosner, the President of the Delaware Valley Chapter of
the Guild of Book Workers, arranged for purchase by DVC members unbound
signatures of Wendell Berrys The Farm from Larkspur Press. In response, twenty-
four artists created new and innovative artists bindings and altered books for the
poem, now on view outside the Art and Literature Department at the Free Library of
Some of the artists in the exhibition explore the notion of place, landscape and
environment using materials associated with farming, such as vintage tools, dried
flowers, hay and composted matter. These treatments beautifully correspond to Berrys
idea of the economy of farming, using everything available and wasting nothing. Also on
display are masterfully crafted book covers with gold tooling, soldered metal and
carved wood. Images of farm animals, landscapes or the seasons are illustrated through
intricate inlayed and onlayed leather. Several artists explore memory in which the book
is a keepsake to be safeguarded from time. Augmenting the exhibition are books about and by Wendell Berry,
provided by the Library Staff.
DVCs exhibition has been very well received, as evident in the glowing observations recorded in the guest book.
Images can be found at The Farm is on view from June 11 through
September 9, 2016, 2nd floor hallway, Parkway Central Branch, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street.

Fast, Friendly Free Workshop with Rosae Reeder

By Becky Koch

On April 2, 2016 a group of DVG members came together at the Library
Company for coffee, snacks, and a Fast, Friendly, Free workshop with Rosae
Reeder. Rosae shared with us how to make an Amazing Expandable Album.
This structure, in brief, is a combination of an accordion and a pamphlet
stitch binding. It lends itself not only to photographs, as the title "album"
might suggest, but its versatility is
suitable for artists books as well as
for housing a variety of unique

The most appealing thing about the expandable album is its adaptability. It's
easy to add different papers and materials into the structure. During the
workshop Rosae even showed us how to create our own envelopes, which we
incorporated into our bindings.

The album itself is also
exceptionally beautiful. Not only does the structure allow for the use of a
variety of decorative papers, but Rosae pointed out that flipping the
album upside down makes for an interesting, sculptural piece.

Thank you, Rosae, for teaching us this appealing and ingenious structure!

Page 10 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Annual Report - Delaware Valley Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers

July 1 2015 - June 30, 2016

General - Chapter Officers were: Jennifer Rosner, Chair; Alice Austin, Vice Chair and Treasurer; Denise Carbone,
Programs Chair; Ruth Scott Blackson and Madeline Lambelet, Exhibition Co-Chairs; Rosae Reeder, Secretary; Becky
Koch and Jackie Manni, Newsletter, Val Kremser, Webmaster. At the time of this report we have 83 members.
In order to have better access to files and to make the transition of new officers more streamlined, the DVC set up its
own Dropbox account. We have also set up a DVC gmail account that we will begin using sometime soon. Members
will get lots of warning when that happens.
We are going to have online registration for workshops this coming year. We have had online registration for
exhibits and it has been very successful. It is a much more efficient way to gather the information needed for the
online exhibits and also to make exhibition labels.
Workshops Lots of interesting workshops this past year!
July 2015: Historical Paper Bindings with Bill Hanscom
January 2016: Paper Marbling with Chena River Marblers
February 2016: Tunnel Books with Alice Austin
April 2016: Conservation of 19th Century Cloth Publishers' Bindings with Todd Pattison
April 2016: Amazing Expandable Album Structure with Rosae Reeder (Fast, Friendly Free Workshop)
June 2016: Movables in a Book Format with Emily Martin.
Newsletter - We sent out three newsletters this year. The Spring 2016 issue was printed and mailed to members.
We may continue this because it was so well received.
Upcycled: Bound Journals Transformed opened at the Scott Memorial Library at Thomas Jefferson University. The
Library contacted the DVC and offered some journals Hygeia and Scientific American that we could take and make
into books and other artworks. We had 15 participants and the exhibit was at the Scott Memorial Library from
October to December 2015.
During Fall 2015, thirty-seven members purchase The Farm, by Wendell Berry in sheets. Twenty-four members
finished binding the book and the exhibit opened at the Free Library of Philadelphia on June 11. This exhibit will be
up until September 9, 2016.
We had a valentine mail art exchange in February. Twenty members participated and it was a lot of fun! We plan to
do this again next year.
Web Both of the exhibits listed above can also be seen as online exhibits on our website.
Fun In January, 2016, we hosted our third bowling party in South Philadelphia.

A busy year! Many thanks to everyone who contributed their time and energy to our chapter.
Respectfully submitted,
Jennifer Rosner
Chapter Chair
Delaware Valley Chapter
Guild of Book Workers

Page 11 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

Notable News
Andrea Krupp has an upcoming exhibition of drawings and collages made during
her recent residency at the Snorrastofa Library and Museum in Iceland. To learn
more about her residency, you can visit her blog:

Thomas Parker Williams work is featured in the exhibit Making Sense of the
Senses, which can be seen at The Center For Book Arts, 28 W 27th St, NYC until
September 24th. Mary Agnes Williams has a solo exhibition, Pinhole Photographs,
running until September 28th at Center on the Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue,
Philadelphia, PA, 19118. Hours are Monday through Friday 9am 4:30pm, or by
appointment (by contacting
Luminice Press, owned by Thomas and Mary Agnes, will be participating in the
Lancaster Letterpress Printers Fair on September 18th in Lancaster PA, as well as
Oak Knoll Fest XIX between September 30 October 2 in New Castle, DE.

The Art Department of the Free

Library of Philadelphia and the
Philadelphia Center for the Book are
co-sponsoring a series of monthly
book and paper workshops for
adults, September through May, at
the Parkway Central Library. Each
workshop will be announced
through and signups
will be through that site. If you
would like to be put on the Art
Department mailing list to be
informed when each announcement
goes live, please contact Karen

Ruth Scott Blackson, (co exhibition
coordinator) has had a busy
Spring/Summer. In April she
welcomed a baby girl, (Betsy) into
her family. Betsy is now 4 months
and doing well.
In July Ruth launched her new book
Over the last year Ruth has been
doing freelance book restoration
work for a number of institutions in
Philadelphia. Check out the website
for the range of work she has done.

Madeline Lambelet has opened her
own book restoration in South
Philadelphia named Vellum and
Twine. The studio is adjacent to
David Donahue Restorations at 13th
and Carpenter, where she was
bench-trained. Visit her website at She
handles restoration work, archival
box requests, and new bindings.

Page 12 Delaware Valley Guild of Bookworkers


Fall 2016

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