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Posts Tagged ‘clamshell box’

  1. My Hand // Multi-Section Slipcase

    August 5, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    For the past few months, I’ve been creating a collection of boxes for an aspiring book collector client of mine. Each box is similar in its format and design, only the colors change; a clamshell box with a rounded leather spine with false raised bands. The author and date of the imprint are hand tooled in gold on the spine with the title stamped in gold foil on a leather label recessed on the front board. The trays are covered in Canapetta bookcloth and lined with Bugra paper.

    Five boxes into this ongoing project, my client presented his five volume set of The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens, asking for a box to hold all five that could also mimic the other clamshell boxes I had already made. I remembered a tutorial of Hedi Kyle’s that I had printed out some time ago on a multi-section slipcase, which she presented in 2005 at the GBW Standards held in Portland, Oregon. So I set out to create a model to present to my client.

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    The model was constructed using 20 pt. museum board and some scrap bookcloth. For the client’s box, I had to devise a way to cover the 20 pt. using Canapetta bookcloth and Bugra. Since a full sheet of 20 pt. laminated with bookcloth would get too bulky in the fold, the walls were assembled with four separate panels leaving a slight gap creating proper movement at the hinge.

    My client also requested notches on the walls for easy removal of the books. Semi-circles were cut out along the edge of the panels and the cloth was cut into triangles to successfully turn-in around the curve.

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    Construction of this multi-section slipcase could be rather finicky at times, making it difficult to keep each component square. Once the slipcase sections were assembled and the interior ‘tongue and slot’ closure was added, it was time to construct an exterior case to mimic the clamshell boxes. I began by shaping the spine, which was rather difficult on a box that was wider than either of its other dimensions. The false bands were added and finally the leather was pasted down. The spine was then tooled and the leather label was laid into its well on the front board.

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    The slipcase block is mounted to the back board of the exterior case, which can freely swing away and aid in the movement of the slipcases.

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  2. My Hand // Bullet Boxes

    December 3, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    Earlier this year my family experienced the passing of Richard Gradowski, known by me and my cousins as Dzia which is Polish for Grandpa. My Dzia loved so many things in life and his passions created lasting relationships that touched so many lives. First was his love for Polka music both as an avid listener and talented musician on the harmonica and accordion. I remember hearing the cheerful rhythm of Polka music softly playing from the antique wooden radio in the kitchen upon each visit. 

    Secondly, my Dzia loved ducks, particularly mallards and loons. Seated at his work bench, my Dzia would carefully carve out the shape of each duck from a block of wood and hand paint each detail with superb skill and patience. These sculptures were scattered throughout the house and even gifted to my mother and aunts. 

    Lastly, my Dzia engaged in any material regarding WWII. His interest in war, no doubt came from his experience in the 1950s during the Korean War; where he was stationed at a United States Air Force base in DC as part of the motor vehicle squadron. As my family lay his body to rest, a military salute commenced. My mother was given seven casings from the volleys fired. One casing was meant for my Nana, while the remaining six would be given to her children. To honor the memory of my Dzia, I created a clamshell box to safely house each casing. 

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    These are, by far, the tiniest clamshell boxes I’ve ever constructed. Using a thin binder’s board the pieces were carefully measured and cut down using the spring gauge on the board shear. 

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    The boxes were constructed just like a standard sized clamshell box, except the interior tray has four walls instead of three. The trays are covered in navy Cialux bookcloth

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    I wanted the casing to be surrounded by a soft material with plenty of padding. After laminating a few pieces of binder’s board to Volara foam, I tightly wrapped the padding with bright white Ultrasuede. The interior tray was lined with Ultrasuede as well and the pads lined both long walls. A piece of satin ribbon attached to the backside of the thicker pad allows for easy removal of the casing. 

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    The case is covered in a matching navy Harmatan goatskin. The exterior tray is lined with blue Hahnemühle Ingres and stamped in gold foil with my Dzia’s name and the year of his birth and death.

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    Each box was handed out during my family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Sadly, my husband and I could not attend this year for the feast and festivities, but my cousins Meg and Gina sent me some wonderful pictures of the casing sitting snugly in its clamshell box.

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  3. Client Work: Clamshell Box for Seven Miniature Shakespeare Books

    May 7, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

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    A client came to me with a set of seven miniature limp-leather Shakespeare bindings in need of a clamshell box. The length of each book was exactly the same, but the width and height varied slightly. As a solution I built individual French trays for each book and assembled them side by side as the A tray for the clamshell box. 

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    The French trays were constructed with a single opening at the tail of each book, exposing a piece of satin ribbon. The ribbon was installed for ease in removing each book and to put less stress on the book during this process. When measuring for each French tray, I was less concerned about the width (as I knew they would vary) and the length (as they were all consistent). However, I wanted the French trays to be the same height. Since the books varied from 12mm to 19mm, I adjusted the thickness of the trays by laminating board together so the books would rest at a uniform height.

    Since each French tray would be custom fitted to a specific book, I stamped each title with gold foil on the Hahnemuhle ingres used to line the base of each tray. This would prevent any confusion when replacing the books and to make sure the books rest in their properly fitted tray.

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    The walls were made from millboard and covered with brown Canapetta bookcloth.

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    Once all of the French trays were assembled I was able to measure out the materials for the B tray and the case. The B tray was covered with the same brown Canapetta cloth and lined with earth Hahnemuhle ingres. The exterior of the box was covered with a dusty pink buffalo skin and stamped with gold foil the initials of my client’s wife. As this was to be a gift for Christmas. 

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    I was very satisfied with the overall construction and feel of the box, as was my client. I enjoyed the challenge that was presented by this project and working with miniatures was a nice change of pace from my regular line-up. You can see more client work on the Services page at Herringbone Bindery


  4. My Hand…Little Birds

    August 20, 2012 by Erin Fletcher

    In April 2011, I took my first trip out of the country to London.  While I was there I made my way to the Natural History Museum for their touring exhibition of Sexual Nature, a show on the sexual habits of various animal species from the praying mantis to rams to angler fish to humans. I was intrigued and shocked by the facts and imagery presented in the exhibit, particularly the Green Porno shorts by Isabella Rossellini. On my way out I perused the gift shop and decided on a whim to purchase two books by Anaïs Nin (Little Birds and Delta of Venus).

    Both books are a collection of short stories published in the late 1970s posthumously. Written in the 1940s, Nin and a group of writers were given the task of writing erotica for an anonymous private collector. Her erotic shorts deal with various sexual themes, some quite taboo (varying from pedophilia to lesbianism), all the while she maintains a focus on the study of women and her female characters.

    The cover design for Little Birds was taken from the title pages of the individual stories, a ‘V’ formation of sparrows. I chose a simple color palette for my simple design, red (the color of love and seduction), white (the color of purity and innocence) and gold (the color of luxuriance). The book is bound in full scarlet goatskin leather from Harmatan.  The sparrows are surface gilt in gold leaf with white suede inlays.

    I covered the inside of each board with a leather edge to edge doublure in the same scarlet goatskin. An edge to edge doublure describes a technique where a thinly pared piece of leather covers the inside of the board, stretching from edge to edge creating a seamless transition from the outside to the inside.  The doublure also stretches over the joint and onto the text block creating a very strong attachment. Along with the leather doublure is a sunken panel filled with white suede framed in surface gilt gold leaf. The fly leaf is a handmade Lokta paper from Nepal, printed with a pattern of white feathers on a natural base.

    The book is housed in a rounded spine clamshell box, using the same materials as the binding. The spine is lined with scarlet goatskin with the title hand tooled in gold.  The case and trays are covered in the same feather pattern Lokta paper and are lined with Hahnemühle Ingres in smoke.


  • 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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