Wantage, England: Black Swan Press, . Chicago binder, book, and installation artist Karen Hanmer’s intimate, playful works fragment and layer text and image to intertwine memory, cultural history, and the history of science. Her work weds the ancient art of book binding with the high tech use of the computer to aid her process. The intimate scale and the gestures of exploration required to travel through each piece evoke the experience of looking through an album, a diary, or the belongings of a loved one. However, her works often take the forms of games or puzzles, and many include witty text. A splendidly crafted unique designer binding by well-known book artist and bookbinder Karen Hanmer.
The text is a reproduction of an early 20th century manual on bookbinding tools and techniques, which Karen has altered by adding multiple full page pop-ups based on illustrations found within the manual. The editor, Paul N. Hasluck (1854 – 1931) was one of the first authors to write in the do-it-yourself genre. Born in Australia, he wrote mainly technical manuals ranging in subject from beekeeping to taxidermy to motorcycle construction to bookbinding.
Karen’s binding design is inspired by the text’s charming vintage illustrations, originally published in 1902, many of which feature disembodied hands performing common binding tasks. Karen has created an exquisite binding in full teal goatskin with laced-in boards, titled in blind and tooled with acrylic pochoir. It features several goatskin onlays with illustrations from the text printed directly onto the leather. Includes hand sewn silk headbands, three speckled edges, and marbled endpapers by Pamela Smith. The pop-up illustrations were scanned from the text and inkjet printed onto Mohawk Superfine cover, then hand cut into pop-ups, and sewn into each signature. Housed in a green cloth clamshell box with gilt and leather title label to spine. In fine condition. Book Size: 8.5 x 5.5 x 2 inches; Box is 9.5 x 6.25 x 2 inches. (#31261).