I began experimenting with copper for unique book jewelry that can slip over a book page. I use a metal jig with movable pins that can be configured into a number of patterns. The 18-gauge copper wire, as a soft malleable metal, is easily formed on a metal jig into the desired shape.
I am working on another book. This one is a collection of Yeats’ poems and stories combined with my photographs as center spreads. It is a small intimate book that fits in the palm of the hand. I have finished the edge decoration on the top and bottom book edges and have moved on to the end bands. Continue reading The Monastic Endband→
Pamela Leutz, a fine binder, wrote the book The Thread That Binds: Interviews with Private Practice Binders. It is a book that interviews well-known craftsmen who have made bookbinding a vocation. In 2010, the Lone Star Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers planned an exhibition around the individual design binding of this book. Oak Knoll Press printed a limited number of unbound book sets as well as their bound edition. Fifty-one bookbinders bought the unbound sets and crafted their own binding designs to express both binding knowledge and creativity. Continue reading The Thread That Binds Binding→
The concept with the Starfish was selected for the Water bookbinding.
The starfish shape is built up on the davy board covers using paper clay, a white moldable, clay-like substance made from paper that dries quickly. A technique called “paring” thins the base leather on the edges and at the fold of the spine. In paring, the binder passes a spokeshave with a sharp blade across the skin-side of the leather. The blade gradually thins the leather to the desired thickness. The pared dark blue leather is laid over the whole book and very thin leather onlays applied. The white and sand color onlays are “wetted and pasted out” with wheat paste and then puckered in the application. This gives the impression of ripples in the sea foam.
The shagreen leather onlay applied to the starfish is interesting stuff to work with. It is very tough and the “pearl” scales have been commercially sanded flat – a perfect texture for the starfish form.
Leather hinges are used with marbelized endsheets for the inside of the book. The top edge of the book is painted with shell gold. The endbands are hand-sewn with silk thread. Finally, the constructed linen clamshell case holds and protects the final binding.
In 2009, I purchased a set book to create a full leather fine art binding for the International Designer Bookbinder’s Competition. To think through the concept for this binding cover, I used Photoshop to sketch possible ideas. I finally settled on the starfish version for the final book creation. Taking stock of the leather material I had on hand, I decided to purchase shagreen (stingray) for the starfish body. The texture of the shagreen provided a great contrast against the regular goat leather.