8th Book Arts Fair in Hamburg


The fair closed on Sunday January 20th around 5 pm. It always amazes me, when a fair closes how quickly books and works and chairs and tables seem to vanish – as if none of them had ever been there leaving the rooms more than empty. They have been there, all of them: wonderful prints, amazing books, dedicated arists, a caring team of organizers and many, many interested visitors. A good lot more than came to the last fair. Some 50 artists had been putting their works on show for two days plus the opening on Friday night.


On the ground floor of the New Factory of the Museum der Arbeit in Hamburg Johannes Follmer and his wife welcomed visitors with their marvellous papers demonstrating how the sheets were made traditionally by hand. Students of book arts school Burg Giebichenstein presented their ideas of what a book can look like.



And this is what the first floor of the New Factory looked like.


A wide room with large windows and a swinging decoration created a wonderful calm and warm atmoshere – perfectly fine to take one’s time to look at books and prints.


This is a group of printmaker artists calling themselves “Augenfalter”. Being located in Leipzig they took a cooperation with Leipzig Book Fair called “Marktplatz Druckgrafik” to built up a special area for printmaker and book artists within the Book Fair’s department ,book+art’. This new scheme had a fine start up in 2012 and will be running during this year’s Leipzig Book Fair in March for the second time.


Daniel Hees with his Mühleisenpresse and Caroline Salzwedel with her Hirundo Press came side by side.


Rosa Gabriel (Erzengelpresse) was presenting her very sophisticated works of book and paper art. She is one out of 260 artists from around the globe that take part in the project “An Inventory of al-Mutanabbi Street”.


A wide variety of prints and books and styles could be found. Visitors got taken in – and willingly took their time to look and discuss and enjoy.



As with the works by Vogelpresse (Munic) they did not hesitate to discover a work of book art from the first to the last page.

John and Pat Randle, who are running Nomad Letterpress in Whittington (UK), were having copies of Matrix with them, which they publish roughly once a year with articles on contemporary topics of Fine Press Printing and Book Arts.


It was a wonderful fair. Many thanks to all who contributed to it – special thanks to Mr and Mrs Bartkowiak and their dedicated team of BuchDruckKunst e. V.


We are all looking very much forward to meeting again in 2014!
The 9th Book Arts Fair in Hamburg will be held: 18 + 19 January 2014.

See you there!

Artist’s Books in Hamburg: 19 + 20 January 2013



If you’re interested in and love hand printed books and bookarts, then the place to go in January is to North Germany, to the ‘Museum der Arbeit’ in Hamburg-Barmbek.



Hamburg is, by itself, an excellent travel destination with all its galleries, museums, historical buildings and public events. In mid January, however, there is a special event for lovers of bookarts: On the 19th and 20th January fifty book artists and printers will gather to display their artwork in the wonderful old redbrick buildings of the former ‘New-York-Hamburger-Gummi-Waaren-Compagnie’ rubber factory. Founded back in 1871 the factory steadily grew until it was shattered during the WW2 bombing raids. Over the years the remaining sections have been carefully refurbished and are now used as a museum to show the impact 150 years of industrialization has had on the every day life of workers and their families.


One of the many events held at the museum is the ‘Norddeutsche Handpressenmesse’. This trade fair brings bookarts to Hamburg–Barmbek, and within walking distance from the Barmbek tube station. With this 2013 fair the schedule changes from a biennial to an annual cycle. From this year on some 50 studios from around the world as well as individual artists will be given the chance to put theirworks on show – and visitors the opportunity to browse them all and buy their favourite books.


One section of the museum houses, from former times of letterpress printing, equipment which was used in any printing office; namely different types of printing presses, a large stock of metal type and even type casting machines such as Linotype. The experienced and dedicated members of staff know how to work these machines and will demonstrate to visitors how the hard work of letterpress printing was actually done. They will be giving practical demonstrations during the 2 days of the fair. Visitors will have the possibility of not only seeing and holding the finished books, but also watching the different work procedures involved in printing and making a book.


There will be other events alongside the fair, such as an exhibition of new works by Masters of Bookbinding, Calligraphy and Lithography. Papermaker Johannes Follmer will also demonstrate the art of handmade papermaking. Follmer usually works from his family’s papermill in Triefenstein, which is not far from Heidelberg. Artists can ask him to make paper to order specified for their special printing purpose and even with an individual watermark in every sheet.


One can find all events and a complete list of exhibiting artists and studios at this link: http://www.buchdruckkunst.de



Click here to find more English language information about the ‘Museum der Arbeit’ in Hamburg-Barmbek:  http://www.museum-der-arbeit.de/Museum/konzept.en.html


Find the museum’s website here: http://www.museum-der-arbeit.de


The fair in 2013 will be open
on Saturday, 19th January from 10 am to 7 pm and
on Sunday, 20th January from 10 am to 5 pm

Information to feed in your GPS:
Museum der Arbeit, Wiesendamm 3, 22305 Hamburg-Barmbek