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Bookbinder of the Month: Karen Hanmer

December 29, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

LaCouleurDuVent-KarenHanmerLa Couleur du Vent is an exhibition featuring 50 bindings interpreting text of the same title. I previously posted about this exhibition in Sonya Sheat’s interview this past June. ARA-Canada in partnership with the École Estienne in Paris, organized an international exhibition of bookbinding to be held in both Paris and Canada during 2013 and 2014. I found Karen Hanmer’s design for the text to be quite striking and unusual from her other fine bindings. The overall design is simplistic, but the arrangement of fine, short lines creates a beautiful texture against the grain of the vibrant yellow leather. 

Bound in full goatskin as a traditional French-style fine binding, Karen’s copy of La Couleur du Vent was sewn on flattened cords and the boards are laced-on. The red teardrop is a back-pared onlay, while the other teardrops are tooled using black, gold and red foils. The title is hand tooled using the same colored foils. 

How did you come to participate in this exhibition? Are you a member of ARA Canada?
Yes, I am a member of ARA Canada, and this is the third time I have exhibited with them. Their exhibitions travel in Canada and sometimes in France, and they still produce printed catalogs.

Prior to a family vacation I posted on the Book_Arts-l asking for suggestions of things to see in Montreal. Cécile Côté invited us to visit her studio, and I was able to see the text block for this set book exhibit, which was designed, illustrated and printed by an intern under Cécile’s direction. [From the ARA-Canada website: This is a collection of poems by Gilles Vigneault, illustrated and designed by Nastassja Imiolek under the artistic direction of Cécile Côté.] I unable to find a translation of the text, so my design is based on the illustrations, borrowing often-used colors and the repeated teardrop shape and cross-hatching.


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  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher and I live in Boston working as a Bookbinder.  This blog is an extension of Herringbone Bindery where I can share my inspirations with you.
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