Atelier Bindery’s Florian Bieschke has been featured on Wisconsin Life this month! Read Trevor Keller’s article and watch the video here: Arbor Vitae Bookbinder Keeping Centuries Old Tradition Alive.
Atelier Bindery now has additional rebound books for sale; all volumes were originally published in the late 19th or early 20th century. Each volume has been meticulously cleaned and restored with a new binding, using original cover material and illustrations whenever possible. New book cloth, leather and all new materials used coordinate with original color schemes of books and are acid-free to ensure longevity. All volumes are sold complete with a custom flannel-lined slipcase to prevent dust and wear.
Shipping available at cost. Please view web galleries for each volume available and call 715.358.5470 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further inquiries.
Join us for an evening exploring the traditional art of fine leather binding and restoration! There will be a presentation followed by a question and answer/ show and tell period where the public will have the opportunity to see and handle some of the fine bindings produced during the apprenticeship and the tools and materials used in the process. Please call the CVA at 715.842.4545 with any questions at and feel free to download/ forward the flyer below.
Of the many techniques to be learned in fine bookbinding, gold tooling is one of the most challenging. Not only does the binder have to contend with the tools and materials themselves (gold leaf is so fine, small pieces will float away in a draft and will absorb upon contact with skin) but the process is so exact, and requires a number of smaller skills to properly execute, that rarely does an impression come off perfectly.
As Florian, head of Atelier Bindery, so often states, however, small imperfection is the mark of an authentically crafted book; complete perfection is something that only a machine can achieve. Imperfections are especially likely when, as at Atelier, one uses vintage brass tooling implements which have seen a century or more of use and are far from perfect in and of themselves. Especially on restoration bindings where a worn look is desired, vintage tools are always preferred to newly-minted ones.
For this re-binding of a volume of Tennyson’s The Princess, the book was first bound on raised cords in hand-dyed calfskin.
Atelier Bindery’s Florian Bieschke and apprentice Emily Umentum are one of ten teams statewide awarded the Wisconsin Art Board’s Folk Arts Apprenticeship Grant for Fiscal Year 2014. For a full listing of those awarded, please see the Wisconsin Arts Board website.
Starting August 1, the two will begin working to complete a series of custom restorations and re-bindings in leather, with a focus on honing traditional skills in gold tooling, inlay and onlay leather work. The books featured will be historic volumes, so the apprenticeship will also require attention to higher-level conservation techniques such as corner and edge replacement, resizing and encapsulation.
In the summer of 2014, a special installation of the final work created during the apprenticeship will be on display in a Northern Wisconsin art venue.
“We hope to use the exhibit as an opportunity to educate the public and create dialogue around the preservation of the traditional craft of leather bookbinding. We plan to feature an opening night of the exhibit that includes a lecture and presentation on the apprenticeship as well as a question and answer session for the attendants. We will feature both conservation of pre-existing bindings as well as the creation of new bindings using traditional techniques.” (WAB Folk Arts Apprenticeship FY14 Grant Application).
Binding has received increasing attention in both the contemporary art world and in the more tradition-focused folk schools in the US. Perhaps because of the resurgence in scrap booking , or the simple desire in today’s digital, pre-formatted world to create something solid, functional and truly original, bookbinding as a modern art form has enjoyed a renaissance.
While there are hundreds of individuals teaching and producing basic cloth-bound,non-adhesive or contemporary nonfunctional bindings, however, there are few teaching traditional leather bookbinding. The high cost of binding materials and meticulous and lengthy nature of the work have made leather bookbinding a rare art.
Atelier will be documenting the progress of the apprenticeship; visitors are welcome to follow along as books are diagnosed, repaired and embellished over the course of the following year.
This apprenticeship is supported in part by funding from the Wisconsin Arts Board and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Click here to see the latest summer newsletter!
Class participants will construct a cloth-covered book suitable for use as a journal, sketchbook or 4 x 6” photo album. Each completed project will reflect the character of its creator through the selection of materials used. Participants will also have the opportunity to create a custom dimensional cover design.
This class will cover scoring and folding, adhesives, the properties of paper and board, measuring techniques, cutting, drilling and punching of varied materials and working with decorative papers and fine book cloth.
Each book will use only acid-free binder’s papers, glassine, book cloth and board, ensuring that this project will last for generations to come. Book cloth and marbled papers in many colors are available to choose from; all other tools and materials are furnished at the bindery. All you need to bring are your ideas and enthusiasm to the workbench for this beautiful and unique summer class.
Please call Emily Umentum at 920-360-9650 to reserve your space today; classes are limited to 4 students per session.
Class Cost: $65.00
Class 1: June 29 10 AM-12 PM/1-4 PM-June 30 12-4 PM
Class 2:July 20 10 AM-12 PM/1-4 PM-July 21 12-4 PM
Class 3:August 24 10 AM-12 PM/1-4 PM-August 25 12-4 PM
The link below leads to a short interview Channel 12 did with Florian Bieschke in conjunction with an Atelier presentation at the Boulder Junction Public Library in April.
Atelier Bindery is proud to announce our participation in this year’s Northwoods Art Tour. In the spirit and tradition of the tour, we will open the bindery to the public for tours and unique demonstrations of ancient bookbinding techniques and equipment. From leather and cloth coverings to blind tooling and much more, we will have a full schedule of events for these two special weekends. Don’t miss this opportunity to see the art of bookbinding up close! We will also have custom cloth and leather journals and sketchbooks for sale, as well as samples of our restoration services. Updates will be forthcoming as the tour draws near.
The bindery is only one of many studios participating in the Art Tour. Check out the NWAT website for more details!
“More than 30 of Northern Wisconsin’s finest artists will open the doors of their studios and galleries from 10 AM to 5 PM on July 26th, 27th, 28th and October 11th, 12th and 13th, giving a unique behind the scenes opportunity to witness the creative process in the natural settings which provide their inspiration.
The self-guided tour winds through some of the prettiest back roads and byways in Vilas, Oneida, Iron, Langlade and Lincoln Counties. Art lovers will not only meet painters, potters, photographers, furniture makers, book binders, wood carvers, jewelers, glass and fiber artists face to face on their journey, but also enjoy the process of discovery and potential for unexpected delight.
Many of the galleries featured on the tour are open throughout the year. For the studio artists who often work alone, the tour is a wonderful way to interact with the community, answer questions and share lively discussions in addition to demonstrating and selling their work” (NWAT 2013)