Books by Hand
Gerard Brender à Brandis, Wood Engraver and Bookwright
by Marianne Brandis
Gerard Brender à Brandis is an artist of uncommon breadth and depth. During his long career he integrated all the elements of making books by hand: drawing, engraving, paper-making, typesetting, printing, spinning and dying flax for the covers and weaving them, and book-binding. The books he has created are masterpieces of both art and craft.
Books by Hand explores the artist’s creative life, inner and outer, and some of the factors that made the art possible. It traces the stages by which Gerard invented a career for himself in a field where there were few models.
The book is illustrated with wood engravings that provide a survey of his work from his very first engraving to the present, as well as with a number of photographs.
“[Brender à Brandis] has become one of the foremost proponents in Canada of the arts of engraving and bookmaking.” Alan Horne (quoted in the Conclusion of Books by Hand).
Marianne Brandis, Gerard’s sister and a well-established writer, drew on a lifetime of being close to Gerard’s career, and especially on their collaboration on more than a dozen projects.
Unfortunately, international postage costs makes obtaining a copy for folks in the US pricey. Add $25 for postage to the book price of $20, for a 5 1/2” x 8 1/2” format paperback. There is no US distribution as the book is self published. The book can be purchased from Fanfare Books, an independent bookseller in Stratford CA. Postage costs would be the same if Gerard or Marianne mailed the book. The fact is, postage rates are higher & the old book rate no longer exists.
Look forward to a full review in an upcoming edition of the Block & Burin.