Both images courtesy The Library Company of Philadelphia
Eighteenth and early nineteenth century Pennsylvania German Wood Board Bindings often resemble Gothic bindings. They often have thick wooden boards, bosses, center pieces, corner pieces, and clasps. These bindings also share design elements with other Amish and Mennonite folk art traditions, including Fractur, needlework, carving, etc…. The books pictured above, however, with their studded spine straps and covers, look more like a punk rock wristband or studded motorcycle jacket. Although Amish and punk culture may be at opposite ends of the spectrum, both embrace a locus of identity outside of mainstream culture and use their distinctive clothing styles to visually represent this.
4 Replies to “Amish Punk Books”
Wow, that spine and leather is absolutely exquisite!
Fantastic! Great comparison really. And excellent images. Looking forward to seeing what folks do with these at PBI this year…
Chela and Erin Hammeke will be teaching this structure at the Paper & Book Intensive next summer, 2014.
Thanks for posting this photo Jeff! I have over a dozen of these bindings in my PA Dutch collection, and have been making these “Punk” bindings (in replica) since 1990!! ~ Michael Chrisman