Saturday, July 16, 2011

This Week in Bookplates 7/17/2011

I was quite impressed with  James M, Goode's  new bookplate engraved by Keith Cranmer and asked him to explain what the design represented .
This is James' response:

"The Kennedy-Warren apartment house, designed by Joseph Younger and built in 1930-1931 at 3133 Connecticut Avenue next to the National Zoo, is the best example of Art Deco architecture in Washington, D.C. The building is noted for its extensive use of aluminum, elaborate patterns of variegated tan brickwork,
 as well as its limestone carvings. The exterior has vertical rows of large aluminum spandrels between the windows and a bowed aluminum entrance porch. The low relief carved limestone sculpture includes large griffins at the roof level.
In addition on each side of the front entrance is a pair of carved limestone Aztec eagles with a geometric sun above. The lobby’s Art Deco decoration includes stained glass windows, an elaborate aluminum balustrade on the mezzanine and on the stairs leading to the ballroom below, and a striking ceiling with Art Deco
stenciled beams. In contemplating a design for an engraved bookplate based on an architectural feature of the building, the engraver, Keith Cranmer, and I decided one of the pairs of carved eagles with part of the Aztec sun above would be ideal for a bookplate. When the skillfully designed proof arrived I knew it was the best choice."

I also asked Keith Cranmer  to write something about himself and this was his response:
 The Raven I made for my son who is well on his way to having his own library. The "work in progress" proof is for myself and will be finished "come spring" someday.
"Fortunately, the first hand engraving I encountered as a young artist was the work of a master engraver. California artist Fran Harry was producing wonderful engravings in San Francisco’s East Bay and in the mid 1970’s, while applying for a job with a metal engraving shop, I was shown some of his work as part of their inventory. I enthusiastically accepted the job knowing that I would be exposed to and involved with this caliber of work.
The endeavor to learn hand-engraving is in fact a formidable undertaking requiring absolute dedication to the craft. I spent hours after work every day, for years, perfecting just the rudimentary techniques. By being around excellent engraving I was able to learn by looking at the work under magnification and deconstructing the process cut by cut. Eventually I was able to spend some time with Fran Harry, who’s style and technique has informed my engraving to this day.

During the intervening years I have owned several engraving businesses and I have drifted in and out of intensive engraving practice. Currently I am enjoying engraving for printing and printmaking. This includes end grain wood engraving or White Line Engraving used in relief printing for Letterpress and also Black Line Engraving in copper or steel plate for intaglio printing.

Bookplate design and engraving is new to me and thus far I have produced only a few. The bookplate is an intriguing vehicle for fine work. That the bookplate is used in fine editions, libraries and collected is a tribute to the beautifully executed graphic image. Just as much a pleasure to see and hold as it is to create."


Keith Cranmer
1808 McGee Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703
(510) 843-0963

studio @keithcranmer.com

Here are some links:

Collector Profile James M. Goode

 Interview about my collection recently conducted by Linda at The Artifact Collectors Blog:

On Sunday I will be in New York City on a bookplate hunt.If you have bookplates for sale or trade I would like to hear from you.  Bookplatemaven@hotmail.com


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