While in New Zealand recently I was able to attend part of a workshop held by Elizabeth Steiner at the ABC bindery at MOTAT (Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology). The workshop made two Crossed Structure Bindings (CSB) using paper bags and because I only flew in on the evening of the first day, Elizabeth and the participants kindly allowed me to join them for the remainder of the class. I had brought my bone folder and a knife but apart from that I was empty handed so instead of paper bags I cut and folded old calendars into sections, and for my covers used an interestingly patterned piece of cardboard from an old avocado box.
I didn't manage to finish in the remaining time because we had to pack up for the ABC (Association of Book Crafts) Annual General Meeting, which I think was only the second I've managed to be in NZ for in my 15 years of being a member. It was wonderful to see old friends and I really appreciate the ABC for the great support they give their members, even those overseas, like me.
I did finish the book with Elizabeth's help and while it's not exactly a glamorous item, it is a good example of this particular style of CSB.
I think I first came across crossed structure bindings when staying with Barbara Schmelzer, a very experienced book binder, then based in Wellington New Zealand, and now in Sydney Australia. Barbara had made some very desirable paper bag books, and was only too happy to share this with me.
Through Barbara, I also became aware of Carmencho Arregui, who developed the crossed structure binding (CSB), and I recommend her website for more information and instruction. I made this book from some glitzy paper bags I'd been hoarding with the odd heavy quality plastic bag thrown in, one in this case used as part of the binding.
Some time later I decided to try the CSB on a book of photographs taken in New Zealand's beautiful Marlborough Sounds at the Portage Resort and combined them with examples of my marbling. I called this Blue as the Marlborough Sounds and did some tricky placement of wording to almost get the name on the inside front binding strips. This book is mainly useful as an example of what I hope to master some day when I devote some serious time to CSB but at the moment I'm still dabbling.
I think CSB is a great structure for the artist's book and I have my head full of plans as always. So many books and so little time...
As a book binder trained in Sydney and Auckland, I am currently interested in drawing, print making, and all aspects of the artist’s book. My lifelong passions have always revolved around books, both making and reading, and natural history. From 1980 until retirement in 2004 (and later on contract)I worked in the Research Library of the Australian Museum and was privileged to work with the Rare Book Collection. My interest in the marine animals depicted in the 16th and 17th century natural history books has led to a series of hand made books I am working on, featuring my re-drawings of these animals. Wamberal, on the beautiful NSW Central Coast, is where I live and work, in easy reach of 7 beaches and lagoons.