For the Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition in 2009, binders were invited to produce a binding for the set book Water, a collection of poems and illustrations based on the the theme of water. The set book was published by Incline Press in a limited, letterpress edition that included images from various talented illustrators and marblers. This was the first international competition since the organization began offering competitions back in 1975.
Ben Elbel put together a beautiful binding in white calf (and quite impressive in how pristine it looks). The bath plug fits snugly into the front cover, but is easily removable to reveal the end of the title.
This binding is so clever and probably the first binding of yours I ever saw. Can you talk about the process of fitting the plug into the front cover?
This binding was my entry for the 2009 Designer Bookbinders international competition and was among the prize winners.
My initial plan was to have the boards produced from enameled steel, the material from old fashioned bath tubs, but a quote from a supplier made me change my mind.
The boards are made up from 2x 3mm boards, so a total thickness of 6mm. They are heavily beveled around the edges but retain full thickness in the middle to accomodate the plug. The leather was also very thick and I had to thin it down locally to turn it in the hole. This is how I did it.