I wrote in a previous posting that I have been working with Albert Ames, Senior Book Conservator at the Rijksmuseum to develop a series of unique artists books. Through discussions with Albert and Idelette van Leeuwen, Head of Paper Conservation, the twenty-five works have now been bound with a semi-limp vellum binding. The binding and choice of materials is a response to the examples of 16th century temporary bindings that I documented in the earlier posting. The binding is also the “entry point”, both visual and material, to the various modes of drawing on the pages – and which relate to themes of fragmentation, repetition and states of flux.
Albert has recently retired after some forty years of conserving and binding books at the museum and I am extremely indebted to him for sharing his time and expertise with me in order to develop this part of the project. During a week that I spent with him in the conservation studios I took a series of images which shows the particularity of the work involved in the binding. The overall sense of the works is of great simplicity, which belies the skill and intricacy involved in the process.