Montefiascone Conservation Project 2012

Very raw sienna, which I picked up in a parking lot outside of Sienna, Italy in 2009.

I’m teaching my 18th century French class in Montefiascone, Italy, August 20-24, 2012.  Needless to say I’m thrilled. All the classes look really great. In the first week, Cheryl Porter is teaching her Re-creating the Medieval Palette.  I attended the lecture portion of this class when she taught it here in NYC, and it really opened my eyes.  But it seems taking the class in Italy would be exceptional by soaking in the local pigments and colors — the blue of Lake Bolsena, the red of montepulciano d’abruzzo — bellissimo!  The second week is Julia Miller’s The Glazier Codex.  I was fortunate enough to sit in on a small portion of this class when Julia visited the Morgan Library & Museum while teaching in NYC. The class had the opportunity to spend a morning with the actual Glazier, arguably one of the most important books in the world.  Julia’s scholarly knowledge of this book was impressive.  Ana Beny’s The Mudehar Book looked interesting enough to me to register for it as a student.  I don’t know much about Spanish binding from this pivotal time, and look forward to learning more.  And in week four, I will be teaching my Eighteenth Century French Class, for the first time incorporating a lot of new research — and many powerpoint presentations —  from when I was a fellow at the Morgan last fall.

I think every book conservator should attend Monte at least once in their career. It generally proves to be an unforgettable experience: concentrated learning, the opportunity to forge friendships with international colleagues, and enjoying the hedonistic pleasures that Italy offers.

For further information or to register for one week or more, please contact Cheryl Porter: chezzaporter (at) yahoo.com.

The Monte website.

Check out the Monte Facebook page.

In case you are a little short of funds, consider applying here for Conservation by Design’s Nicholas Hadgraft Scholarship worth 1,500.00 Euros.

.

MONTEFIASCONE   SUMMER  2012  

July 30 – August 3

Re-creating the Medieval Palette

Course Tutor: Cheryl Porter

This class will study the colours (made from rocks, minerals, metals, insects and plants) that were processed to produce the colours used by artists throughout the medieval era. The focus will mostly (though not exclusively) be on manuscript art (Islamic and European) and participants will re-create the colours using original recipes. Illustrated lectures, will address the history, geography, chemistry, iconography and conservation issues. Practical making and painting sessions will follow these lectures.

August 6 – 10

The Glazier Codex

Course Tutur: Julia Miller

The Glazier Codex contains a parchment manuscript of the first half of the Acts of the Apostles, written in Coptic and illuminated.  The manuscript and its binding are thought to date from the late 5th  /early 6th century.

The workshop goal is to make a full size model of the original binding.  The original text consists of 15 gatherings of vellum sheets, 4 sheets (a quaternion) of vellum per gathering; we will be substituting paper.  The sewing is a link style variation, and we will be adding simple link style endbands. The Glazier Codex has a decorated leather spine piece that extends beyond the head edge of the spine, nearly covering (and thus protecting) the head edge of the text block.  One theory is that the tail edge of the spine piece extended in a similar fashion to protect the tail edge of the text block.  The Codex has bare wooden boards with two wrapping bands, one extending from the top edge of the upper cover, and one from the fore edge of the upper cover.  Each wrapping band is finished with a decorated bone slip used to anchor the wrapped bands.  There is evidence that the codex had a bookmark attached to the outer corner of the lower board.

Workshop lecture and discussion will compare early codex book formats found in Egypt using images and models of early structures to illustrate structural changes in the codex. Study of the binding of the Glazier Codex will be supported through extensive images of the original. Handouts, including a reading list, will be included in the workshop materials. Basic bookbinding skills are required; we will be doing very minimal paring the leather we use for the binding but we will be sanding wood and bone so please bring a face mask if you prefer.  You may also wish to bring your own supplies of materials (wood, leather, paper) to make additional models and samplers in your free time (!) from the teaching model collection, which ranges from wooden tablets and papyrus notebooks to a late-Coptic full-size model of a Hamuli cover.

August 13 – 17

The Mudejar Binding

Course Tutor: Ana Beny

From Christian Spain, in the 14-16th centuries, as part of the heritage of al-Andalus, came the so-called “Mudejar” binding style – many with Gothic wooden boards and strong Islamic influences in the decoration.

Through the use of Powerpoint and other resources, the course will give an over-view of Gothic binding structures and examine previous influences on its evolution and how it, in turn, influenced later bindings. Special attention will be focused on the characteristics of Spanish bindings throughout this period.

Participants will construct a full-scale model in order to understand the unique features – especially those constructions that control the functioning of the spine and its movement. Students will sew the text-block, prepare the wooden boards and parchment spine lining, make end-bands, board attachment, leather covering, anchor clasps and decorate the cover. There will also be opportunity to practice the blind-tooled decoration with damp and/or heat techniques.

All materials needed to construct the book can be provided, though participants will need to bring basic bookbinding tools. Some knowledge of binding is essential as is the motivation to work longer hours than is usual for the programme.

August 20 – 24

Eighteenth Century French Binding

Course Tutor: Jeff Peachey

Participants will construct a typical full calf late eighteenth century French binding. In some respects, this structure is the end of 1,200 years of hand leather binding; by the mid nineteenth century the mechanized publisher’s cloth case begins to predominate.  Particular attention will be given to the techniques originally used to make these books, informed by close readings of multiple contemporaneous technical descriptions—Gauffecourt’s 1763 Traité de la Relieure des Livres, Diderot’s 1765 Encyclopedié and Dudin’s 1772 L’Art du Relieur-doreur de Livres—the examination of extant bindings, and the use of antique and reproduction tools.  Typical features of this binding style include a hand beaten textblock, edges ploughed in-boards and colored; single or double core endbands, vellum spine liners, and several methods of leather decoration. Several presentations will contextualize the bindings and historic equipment. The numerous problems these structures pose for conservators will also be discussed. This workshop is constantly updated, incorporating ongoing research. Basic bookbinding skills are a prerequisite.

More information: https://jeffpeachey.wordpress.com/workshops-with-peachey/

TEACHERS:

Cheryl Porter has been Director of the Montefiascone Project since its inception in 1988. After graduating from Camberwell College (University of the Arts, London) she worked at University College London Paintings Analysis Unit, analysing the use of pigments in paintings and manuscripts. From 1992-2006 she worked as a freelance conservator, mostly for universities and learned institutions. She was Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the Dar al-Kutub (National Library and Archives

of Egypt) and Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation 2007-2010 and is currently employed as a Consultant for a number of institutions with book, papyrus and manuscript collections in Egypt. She has published many articles concerning colour in manuscripts and has lectured in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia and throughout

Europe.

Julia Miller is a bench-trained conservator who in recent years has turned her focus to the study and teaching of historical binding structure and style, with a special emphasis on early Coptic book structures.  Julia has taught a variety of early structures around the U.S. and beyond, and has traveled to Cairo twice, in part to study the bindings that originally sparked her interest in early bindings, the fourth century single-quire bindings known as the Nag Hammadi codices.  In 2008 Julia received a Kress Foundation/FAIC conservation publication fellowship to write a book on historical structure and style titled Books Will Speak Plain: A handbook for identifying and describing historical bindings, published by The Legacy Press and released in December 2010 (thelegacypress.com).  The book is directed toward curators, collectors, and conservators, and will be of interest to book artists who draw on historical structure as a platform for their own work.  Julia is currently editing a collection of essays on the history of binding and will be a contributor on the subject of American scaleboard bindings growing out of a research fellowship at the Library Company of Philadelphia in the fall of 2010; the collected essays will be published in fall of 2012. She will be lecturing or teaching in 2012 for Rare Book School in Virginia, the North Bennet Street School in Boston, the Rare Books and Manuscript program at the University of Illinois, the Oregon College of Arts and Crafts in Portland, and the Montefiascone program in Italy.

Ana Beny is a freelance conservator and consultant, with her own workshop in Madrid. Since 1984, when she graduated from the “Conservatori de les Arts del Llibre” of Barcelona, she has worked on the conservation of artifacts on paper, papyrus and parchment, with special dedication to historical bookbinding. She has conducted workshops and lectured in the Montefiascone Project, Italy, Spain, Greece, Brazil, Philippines and Egypt. Currently she collaborates with various institutions, including the Polytechnic University of Madrid and with Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation & Dar Al-Kutub Manuscript Conservation Project in Cairo.

Jeffrey Peachey

Jeffrey S. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for the conservation of books and the inventor of conservation tools and machines. He is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation and for more than 20 years has specialized in the conservation of books for institutions and individuals.  He was the 2011 Sherman Fairchild Conservation Research Fellow at the Morgan Library & Museum, studying the structures, tools and techniques of 18th century French bookbinding. More information: https://jeffpeachey.wordpress.com/about/

The cost of the classes is: 445 British pounds  ($700 US, 550 Euro) per week and includes all tuition (which is in English) and (most) materials. The Montefiascone Project is a not-for-profit organization, and all extra monies are used to finance the cataloguing and the conservation and preservation of the collection.

For further information or to register for one week or more, please contact Cheryl Porter: chezzaporter (at) yahoo.com.

Montefiascone Project 2009

Yours truly is teaching Week 3, Aug. 10-14.
Flights are fairly reasonable right now....
Hope to see you there!

MONTEFIASCONE PROJECT
SUMMER 2009

Montefiascone is a small medieval walled city about 100 k (80 miles)
north of Rome, on Lake Bolsena. Since 1988 conservators and others
interested in books and their history have come together to work, to
learn and to enjoy this special place. The summer 2009 programme is as
follows:

Week 1:  July 27th-31st
Re-creating the medieval Palette
Through illustrated lectures, participants will examine the story of
colour in medieval times. The class will address the history, geography,
chemistry and iconographic importance, and the actual techniques of
colour manufacture, with special reference to manuscript painting. Using
original recipes, participants will make and paint out the colours. No
previous experience is necessary.
Course tutor: Cheryl Porter

Week 2: August 3rd-7th
Multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt
The multi-quire, wooden boarded codex from Egypt is a small family of
bindings that structurally predate the familiar sewn through the fold,
laced on wooden board, leather covered binding of later eras. The model
made in this class is based on a reconstruction by Charles Lamacraft,
restorer at the British Museum in the early decades of the 20th c. In
1925, a ceramic jar was uncovered in Egypt containing 5 parchment
codices dating to the 6th c. AD.  Two of the five had bare wood boards,
stamped leather spines and multiple leather slips laced through the
boards (with no connection to the unsupported  sewing) leather wrapping
bands terminating in large, decorated bone slips to secure the bands and
a large decorative bookmarker.
Charles Lamacraft studied these early bindings and published an early
analysis and photographs of them.  He made at least 2 models of the book
structure based on the fairly complete but fragmented pieces of the
bindings.  One was for Chester Beatty, who purchased 3 of the ancient
books, and now resides in the Chester Beatty Library and another for
Prof. Kelsey of the University of Michigan who
purchased the other 2 remaining manuscripts in the jar. Kelsey's model
resides in the Rare Book Room of the University of Michigan Library.
Course tutor: Pamela Spitzmueller

Week 3: August 10th-14th
Late 18th century French Binding Structures
Apart from the French Revolution, one of the most exciting aspects of
late 18th C. French culture is the existence of two full-length
bookbinding manuals. This workshop will focus on reconstructing a
typical full calf French structure of this time period, by comparing and
contrasting the descriptions in these manuals and examining extant
bindings.  In some respects, this structure is the end of 1,200 years of
utilitarian leather binding- 50 years later the cloth case begins to
predominate. Some of the interesting features of this style include:
sewing on thin double cords; edges trimmed with a plough in-boards and
colored; double core endbands, vellum “comb” spine liners and
sprinkled cover decoration. Special emphasis will be placed on using
reproductions of period tools, constructed from Dudin and  Diderot’s
Encylopedie (1751-1780).  Participants will learn to use and maintain a
plough, and become fluent in translating written descriptions of
bookbinding into the construction of a model.  Extensive notations (in
English) on Gauffecourt’s Traite de la Relieure des Livres (1763) and
Dudin’s L’Art du Relieur-doreur de Livres (1772) will be provided.
Basic bookbinding skills are a prerequisite and materials will be
supplied at a nominal cost.
Course tutor: Jeff Peachey

Week 4: August 17th-21st
Ethiopian Bindings Workshop
This five day course is aimed at conservators interested in the history
of the book. The course will give an introduction to the history of
Ethiopian Bindings. Through a series of practical demonstrations and
exercises, participants will gain an understanding of the construction
of an Ethiopian binding within a cultural and historical context.
There will be an introductory lecture on Ethiopian Bindings, placing
them in the context of the history and development of book structures.
This will be followed by practical workshops focusing on:
Preparation of text block and wooden boards.
Sewing the text block and boards.
Endband construction and covering in leather.
Embossing leather with replica tools
The making of a traditional leather carrying pouch with camel skin
Participants will be required to bring some hand tools, a list will be
provided following registration. All materials will be supplied at a
nominal cost. Some knowledge of the history of bookbinding would be
desirable but is not essential.
Tutors: John Mumford / Caroline Checkley-Scott

Cheryl Porter is Manager of Conservation and Preservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation and Deputy Director of the Project.  She
has been Director of the Montefiascone Project since its inception in
1988. After graduating from Camberwell College of Arts and Crafts, she
worked with the Paintings Analysis Unit at University College London
analysing the use of pigments in manuscripts. From 1992 to 2007 she
worked as a freelance conservator. She has published many articles
concerning colour in manuscripts and has lectured in the USA, Australia
and throughout Europe. 

Pamela Spitzmueller is Needham Chief Conservator for Special
Collections at the Weissman Preservation Center in the Harvard
University Libraries.  Pam previously headed Rare Book Conservation at
the University of Iowa Libraries, worked as Book Conservator at the
Library of Congress, and the Newberry Library in Chicago.   She
specializes in historical book structures and book sewing techniques,
and incorporates what she learns into conservation treatments of rare
books and creation of one of a kind artists' books. She has taught many
workshops on these topics.

Jeffrey S. Peachey is the owner of a New York City-based studio for the
conservation of books the maker of conservation tools and machines. He
is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation
and chair emeritus of the Conservators In Private Practice. For more
than 15 years, he has specialized in the conservation of books and paper
artifacts for institutions and individuals. A consultant to major
libraries and university collections in the New York City region and
nationally, he has been the recipient of numerous grants to support his
work. A well-known teacher, Peachey also provides conservation-focused
guidance to students in art, archives, and bookbinding programs.  

John Mumford is the currently head of Manuscript Conservation at the
Thesaurus Islamicus Foundation. He was formally Head of Book
Conservation at the British Library.  John served a five year
apprenticeship at the British Museum and subsequently helped establish
the Rare and Early Book Conservation Studio at the British Library. In
1992 he was appointed manager of the Oriental and India Office Book
Conservation Studio, furthering his study of early Oriental and Eastern
binding structures. In 1998 he became manager of the Oriental and
Eastern Book Conservation Studio at the new British Library at St
Pancras. He has taught frequently in Montefiascone and lectured and run
workshops throughout the UK, Argentina, Patmos and many other European
locations.

Caroline Checkley-Scott is currently head of Collection Care at the
John Ryland’s Library. Caroline, studied printing and bookbinding in
Dublin, Ireland. She was appointed trainee book conservator at the
British Library, London in 1991, where she worked at the House of Lords
in the Palace of Westminster, and the Oriental and India Office Library
and Records. Here she specialised in the conservation of early Christian
manuscripts from the Middle East. Caroline was formally head of
Conservation at the Wellcome Library and organised the planning and
design of the new Wellcome Conservation Studios. She is an accredited
member of the Institute of Paper Conservation. She has lectured both
nationally and internationally in Italy, Slovenia, Argentina and
Brazil.

The cost of the classes is: 445 British pounds  ($640 US, 500 Euro) per
week and includes all tuition(which is in English) and (most) materials.
The Montefiascone Project is a not-for-profit organization, and all
extra monies are used to finance the cataloguing and the conservation
and preservation of the collection.
For further information or to register for one week or more, please
contact Cheryl Porter: chezzaporter(at)yahoo(dot)com . More information is on
the website: www.monteproject.com