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Journalist Ralph Gardner’s visit to the Fitterer’s bindery, part 2   Recently updated !

Ralph Gardner: Einstein in the Adirondacks My wife proposed calling it a staycation. But that wasn’t strictly accurate because we traveled a couple of hours north – even longer if you include the wrong turn we took, or rather the right turn we didn’t take – and the trip included an overnight.  We were on […]

Taff and Jack Fitterer in the bindery

Journalist Ralph Gardner, Jr. paid a visit to the shop……..   Recently updated !

COMMENTARY  Meet Jack and Taff Fitterer, the wizards of book restoration Posted Friday, January 17, 2020 6:00 pm My father passed along his passion for books to me. I’m actually of the opinion that collecting is a gene that some possess, other don’t.” By Ralph Gardner Jr. GHENT, N.Y. Back in August, with fingers crossed and the maximum […]


Medieval Bookbinding Workshop at Tech Valley High School

It has been a snowy winter in the Adirondacks. In a lull between storms, a sunny, but chilly February day found Jack and Taff driving south, out of the mountains, to Tech Valley High School located on the SUNY Polytechnic Institute Campus in Albany, New York. Our mission: to lead a workshop in the medieval […]

Jack Fitterer and students of the medieval book

drop spine box opened to show auxiliary storage

Drop Spine Boxes with Auxiliary Pockets and Folders

Drop spine boxes are the go-to solution for complete protection for valuable books. Unlike a slipcase that exposes the spine to light, dust and air, the book in a drop spine box is fully enclosed, buffering atmospheric influences and saving it from shelf-wear or the occasional bump. In most cases a basic drop spine box […]


A Design Drop Spine Box for ‘Fish and Waves’

M. C. Escher’s final small-format print ‘Fish and Waves’ was included in the Dutch book De Tekens Van De Dierenrim (The Signs of the Zodiac) published in 1963. In it Escher and other contemporary Dutch printmakers interpreted the twelve signs. The owner of this copy of the book offers an appreciation: “ ‘Fish and Waves’ […]

The design binding box for Escher's 'Fish and Waves' in full leather.

pages sewn onto the meeting guard lay flat

Using a Meeting Guard to Allow the Pages to Freely Open

This little colonial American book of psalm tunes, The Essex Harmony, presented a not-unusual binding problem requiring a variant sewing structure to allow it to properly open. The book measures only 6 1/8” x 5 3/8” consisting of 2 signatures. Given its small size, the printing fills the entire page right into the gutter. The […]


Creating a Design Binding for White Tulips

As you can see from other posts and pages on FittererBookbinding.com, most of our work is in the area of restoration, repair and rebinding. My earliest interest in bookbinding, though, was design binding and I do receive commissions for these as well. More rarely, I take on a project of my own choosing, such as […]

Design binding by Jack Fitterer for White Tulips, full leather with feathered onlays and raised onlays.

Hugo Peller Pop up box

Hugo Peller’s Pop-Up Box with a Leather Spine 4

Back in 1990 I attended a workshop led by Swiss binder Hugo Peller where he taught how to make an unusual pop-up box of his own design. (You’ll find my detailed workshop notes here.) When it is opened, the book seems to levitate out of it as if by magic. I’ve shown this as a […]


Another Definition of “Book Restoration”

When we think of book restoration, what first comes to mind most often is to return the book as closely possible to its original appearance and functionality. As we discussed in this November 2015 blog post, the work often includes paper repair, resewing, reattaching loose boards, and/or filling in missing material. The job is deemed […]

The completed book restoration using an onlay design to cover the stained leather.

Wall Street Journal, design binding, bookbinding, Jack Fitterer

Jack Fitterer Design Binding Featured in The Wall Street Journal Magazine 2

Jack Fitterer is one of four design bookbinders featured in an article by Michael Clerizo in the December 2015 issue of The Wall Street Journal Magazine. Click here to see the online version. The print edition appeared the weekend of December 5. You can see more of our design bindings at fittererbookbinding.com/our-services/bookbinding/design-fine-binding/  I’ve added a […]