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Posts Tagged ‘designer bookbinders’

  1. Bookbinder of the Month: Annette Friedrich // Post One

    February 1, 2019 by Erin Fletcher

    Back in 2013, I interviewed Annette Friedrich and we only narrowly touched on the subject of her ambitious project to bind all nine of Virginia Woolf’s novels. Since that interview, Annette has completed this goal, exhibited all nine bindings at the Saatchi Gallery in London and published a gorgeous catalog! For this interview update, Annette and I will focus on the final six bindings of the series.

    I struggle with Annette’s aesthetic and that is one reason why I am so captivated by her work. The designs on her bindings really take a hold of me. I am stricken by their abstract, chaotic whimsy. Her style of binding forges so many questions for me, both as an artist and a binder, so I really wanted to take full advantage of this opportunity to interview Annette again.

    Back in 2013 when I first interviewed you for the blog, you had just completed Mrs. Dalloway aka Woolf IV, putting you about half way through your journey of binding all nine of Virginia Woolf’s novels. What sparked such an ambitious project?
    Hey Erin, well, it all began a while ago, when I noticed a few shifts within my artistic practice. This may sound a little weird, but I see my books in a timeline, where one design builds up onto the next. Obviously not directly and not even that consciously so, but with hindsight I can often detect a link.

    Do you know the late Danish author Inger Christensen? When asked about her writing, she came back with something that I can directly relate to: ‘(…) it does not matter where one is. However, one has to make sure to steer directly into the impossible. Of course one has to keep the balance on the way, though only under the single condition that the balance is made less safe. Less and less safe.’

    So when I said earlier that I noticed a shift, it was exactly that. I had already stepped onto the tight rope and had done my first fumbling steps. I saw that the haughty geometric designs were on their way out, and that, somehow, ‘life’ was casually shuffling onto the scene. I was curious beyond anything to see where this would lead me to. But I have to admit that excitement and delight shook equal hands with apprehension. The fear of not being able to reach this, to stumble, fall and fail.

    I decided to bracket this journey within a set project and started to think about what it might look like. Two factors played a guiding role, one was that I needed a good run of books to pull it off (cross the rope) and the second was to find an author who offered me a helping hand along the way. Virginia Woolf it was!

    You recently published a book documenting the project. In the introduction you write about how Virginia Woolf’s writing style changed over her career. I wonder if you feel like you are ready to leave behind some part of your design process and explore something new.
    Yes, I certainly was ready for a change and Virginia Woolf egged me on! Her novels are amazing. Each is a stepping-stone to the next. She started out with a very ‘linear’ take on writing and then pushed out her boat and explored new and experimental ways, becoming more and more abstract. She was the ideal (unbeknownst) partner for me. I decided to bind all of her nine novels in chronological order and follow suit.

    Mrs. Dalloway was bound in 2012 in a dark aubergine goatskin. The hand sewn silk endbands and edge-to-edge doublures are green with silver flyleaves. The design is tooled with three shades of silver folio, gunmetal and five pigmented foils in white, grey, blue and two different greens. The book is housed in a chemise which is inlaid with green paper and tooled with three shades of silver foil plus a green pigmented foil. The slipcase is covered with silver paper and lined with green Alcantara (a suede-like material).

    What I enjoy about the design for Mrs. Dalloway is that at a glance the covers appear to mirror each other, but as my eyes wander back and forth the differences begin to emerge. Each cover takes on a life of it’s own. Did you design each panel to represent the two protagonists or are you finding inspiration elsewhere in the text?
    Now this is a very good question, although I immediately wanted to cry out with an alarmed ‘Nothing represents anything, ever!’. But that is not quite right either. I am interested in space, rhythm and atmosphere, and these are the points of connection with the/a novel. So in this instance, I was taken in by the fully developed stream-of-consciousness technique, that Virginia Woolf had started to explore in her previous novel, Jacob’s Room (my Woolf III). This ‘take’ of hers is very persuasive. So no, my aim was not to represent the two protagonists as such, but rather her ‘flow’. I was interested to create something that sweeps you up and in the air, from one element to the next, with no stop, no pause, connecting everything in one big move where the small mini-events get swallowed up in the overall take.

    The nine bindings in this series of work, feel cohesive and connected. There are several obvious visual tells that make this statement true. But one aspect is your treatment as a binder, you follow a formula for the binding and for the housing. I want to ask about the choices you made for styling the chemise in particular. At the beginning you include a simple linear tooled design on the chemise that contrast greatly with the design on the binding, then by the sixth book, Orlando, the tooled design on the chemise disappears and you begin playing with the layout of the paper. Any reason for this?
    I do like to work within the three-fold combo that is the book, chemise and slipcase. Every element brings something to the table and has to work/commune with the others. Obviously the book’s design calls the tune and the others join in. However, this is not done by way of repetition, but rather by adding different layers. Sometimes they enhance and sometimes they jar. It’s like music really, the main thing is that the overall soundscape makes sense.

    At the beginning of 2018, you were a part of Crafts Council’s Collect 18, an exhibition that spanned 40 galleries over 4 continents. Woolf I – IX was on exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Can you speak about how you got involved in this exhibit and how your work was received by the public. In the US, design binding work is rarely seen in a space akin to the Saatchi Gallery, is this also uncommon in England?
    Yes, it’s the same here. Bindings tend to get shown in book related environments only, such as libraries etcetera. Collect 18 was actually presented at the Saatchi Gallery, which is a great venue right at the heart of Chelsea. Amongst all of the invited craft galleries Designer Bookbinders was the only one to show books and fine bindings. There was a lot of terrific work on display and it was great to rub shoulders for once with all of the other crafts within an art gallery setting. I think the visitors were quite stunned to come across fine bindings in such a context, with many being not at all familiar with our rare, orchid-like craft. However, they were very interested and the invigilators rarely got a quiet moment.

    I witnessed this from across the aisle, as I myself had been invited by the Crafts Council to show my Woolf I – IX group on a separate solo stand. I had just finished them and was super delighted to be able to show them at such a prestigious and stimulating cross-disciplinary exhibition.

    Now that the project has come to an end, do you feel a sense of completion, that you achieved the mission set forth from the beginning of the project?
    Yes! is the short answer. I had set out in the hope of change, and ‘change’ has come. The first design is miles away from the last and I have been able to tentatively discover a completely new direction. I am still not completely sure how I got there, but over time one thing just led to the next. Everything got more difficult and complex, and I did stumble and had to pick myself up again along the way. I think though, that I have finally grown up and found my voice, so lets see where it will take me to next…


    A beautiful documentation has now been published, that traces the development of this project, which, as it turns out, took seven years to complete. WOOLF I – IX ! 98pp, with an introductory essay and 1:1 reproductions of the bindings, background information, and text excerpts.

    Text: Annette Friedrich, Virginia Woolf
    Design: BUCHmacher, Germany
    Photo: Shannon Tofts, Scotland

    £30 + postage / reserve your copy at www.annette-friedrich.com


  2. Bookbinder of the Month: Eduardo Giménez Burgos // Post Five

    January 27, 2019 by Erin Fletcher

    This Solid Globe includes selected quotations from Shakespeare and wood engravings by Jane Lydbury printed by Camberwell Press in 1984. The binding, bound by Eduardo Giménez, is covered in black calfskin with dyed maple veneer onlays. The wood veneer letters are inset into the shape an “O” around the central veneer planks. A blue suede is used for the doublures and flyleaves.

    In 2013, your entry to the Designer Bookbinders International Competition was awarded second prize and acquired by the Getty Collection at Wormsley. The binding is another beautiful example showcasing wood veneer. In this binding, you’ve dyed the maple veneer onlays. What method are you using to dye the veneer?
    The binding process was very interesting. The idea of the design was already in a first rough sketch, but actually, when I start a work I hardly ever know very well how it will end up. And that gives me a certain margin for improvisation. And in these decisions that I’m taking along the way, the senses play a natural role, especially the visual aspect, which pursues maximum beauty for the eyes, a nice touch for the hands, or, even, the smell that comes from the materials such as the leather, the marbled and hand painted papers, or the wood.

    And so the colours and reliefs of the Shakespeare covers started to emerge gradually as I was working in the binding. In fact, the central element of the decoration was wood, a light maple wood. I applied some first aniline dye layers to give it a soft background color. Later I went on adding very thin layers of acrylics of different colors in different areas, in a somewhat random manner. After each coat I let it dry for some hours and used a very fine sandpaper, also on some areas. This process lasted several days but with no appealing results. But then, one day, approximately after about twenty layers, I sanded all the surface again, and a very rich palette of colours appeared, without losing the texture of wood. My Shakespeare was there! I only had to add a bit of wax and burnish it in order to obtain a surface slightly gloss finished like the black calfskin of the cover.

    The lettering for the title and author are cut with such precision. Do you hand cut your veneer?
    All the pieces of wood that I have used in my bindings were cut by hand, except the letters of Water which are cut with laser. And in all cases there is also a further process of very thorough dyeing, as the one I have described.


  3. Bookbinder of the Month: Eduardo Giménez Burgos // Interview

    January 1, 2019 by Erin Fletcher

    Eduardo Giménez participated in the 2009 Designer Bookbinders International Competition, where binders were asked to bind a copy of A Selection of Poems on the Theme of Water. Eduardo’s binding is covered in black buffalo skin with painted acrylic silicone drops inset into the boards. Using blue leather onlays to create the title, which runs down the spine from head to tail with small red leather onlay dots separating the letters. The doublures are also black buffalo skin paired with red suede fly leaves.

    Eduardo’s binding was among other works selected as prizewinners.

    I remember being in my second year at North Bennet Street School and seeing the catalog for this exhibit. Your binding stood out as a favorite and even influenced my design for Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions. I would love to have you walk through the construction of the cover. How did you incorporate the painted silicone drops into the cover?
    Water was one of my first International Competitions. I worked on this book with great dedication, and the result was very positive. Feeling satisfied is not very common when I finish a book. But I did with this one and is one of my favorites. Although you might find it difficult to believe, the idea of the design comes from the image of a movie: that of HAL’s brain room, from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the core processor is stored. It is a magic place with its monitors of geometric forms and illuminated grids. My binding uses a set of colours inside a precise geometry. The transparent silicone drops are painted with acrylics on its base and inset one by one in the cover previously hollowed out with a leather hole punch by means of a paper template. When the book closes and is observed sideways from the spine, the colour disappears and transparent drops of water emerge, held on the vertical surface of the covers.

    The books of poetry are full of images that offer a bigger freedom of design for the bookbinder. Perhaps this binding is a little daring. I am really happy to know that you have liked it. Some people have told me that this is my best work, but surprisingly, I have to say that it is one of my few books that I have not sold yet…

    – – –

    With this interview, the lens is focused on Spain, with binder Eduardo Giménez. As I mentioned above I first came across his work in the DB catalog Bound for Success, since that moment his work has been on display in several other international exhibitions that have made their way to America. Eduardo’s work is sleek from his designs to use of multiple textures. Throughout the interview we discuss bookbinding in Spain and the techniques Eduardo likes to employ in his work. And since this interview is coming out on January 1st, I want to wish Eduardo a very Happy Birthday!

    Check out the interview after the jump for more about Eduardo’s training and creative process. Come back each Sunday during the month of January for more on Eduardo’s work. You can subscribe to the blog to receive email reminders, so you never miss post.

    read more >


  4. Catching Up With Lori Sauer // No. 4

    August 20, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    In 2016, Lori Sauer was one of six Designer Bookbinder Fellows selected to bind one the six titles shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Lori bound Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which was presented to the author on the night of the award ceremony.

    Your designs are so delicate, but have the power to capture deep emotion. Each element feels meticulously planned and placed in perfect harmony. Can you go through the stages of planning for Do Not Say We Have Nothing, specifically touching on the placement of the small red pieces?
    This is a binding done for the Man Booker Prize shortlist, work that always has a very tight deadline. I loved the novel, an epic tale spanning three generations of two separate families, who lived through a turbulent time of Chinese history in the mid twentieth century (the Cultural Revolution through to Tiananmen Square). There is a book within the book, called The Book of Records that ties the families and generations together. Classical music also plays a big part, in particular The Goldberg Variations, a piece based on repeated patterns and mathematics.

    I usually tend to work in light and pale colours, my penchant for minimalism. This is the first dark binding I’ve done for a long time but I felt it was needed to capture the psychological temper of the period. All of Chinese society at the time wore uniforms – drab, dark colours with only the Red Guard having something bright.

    With all of these elements stewing around in my mind I begin to sketch and when some of them start to work for me I make paper mock-ups – cutting out the right colours and shapes and moving them about – and take photos of the best compositions. I also work on my iPad with a drawing app. (I like Art Rage). I eventually settle on something that makes my fingers want to start work. Sometimes I settle on a design that’s a very long way from my starting point but I’m not unduly bothered that I move off in a sideways direction, as a good design will stand up on its own.

    The final design is my visual solution to a novel about music, the passage of time, families and Chinese writing.

    You’ve asked specifically about the small red dots. The ones on the outside (leather, shown above) were placed for compositional balance and add a necessary shot of colour. The dots on the doublures (paper, shown below) were very randomly applied. I worked instinctively and fairly quickly here and photographed a pattern I liked so I could use it for reference when gluing them down later.


  5. A visit to the Annual UK Bookbinding Competition Exhibit

    November 14, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    During my visit to London, I was delighted to have my trip overlap with the 2016 Annual UK Bookbinding Competition Exhibit. A collection of bindings are on display at the St. Bride Foundation and during the opening reception on November 10th, many of the exhibitors received awards for their work. The exhibit is sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society, who provided the set book: La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri. Written between 1292 and 1294 as an innovative mix of prose and poetry, La Vita Nuova is considered Dante’s fist major work. The text is an expression on the torments and joys of young love before transcending into the ether.

    In addition to the set book, many of the binders chose to submit an additional binding. If you are in the London area, the exhibit will be on view until November 24th. Check out my some of my favorite pieces from the show. I absolutely loved Ann Tout and Glenn Malkin’s books, but the bright red leather on their bindings were difficult to photograph well (on that line, please excuse any awkward reflections and glare).

    Kaitlin Barber

    vitanuova-kaitlinbarber

    Kaitlin Barber‘s interpretation of Vita Nuova extended beyond the book form with her 3-dimensional piece representing Dante’s dream of Beatrice in flames. The binding is covered with hand-dyed goatskin and decorated using the Sunago technique in gold leaf. Kaitlin’s binding won the St. Bride Foundation Prize for Finishing.

    vitanuova-kaitlinbarber2

    Kaitlin’s second submission was In Smoke: Ten Variations on Eugenio Montale by Gary Michael Dault. Kaitlin created another beautiful binding using a hand-dyed leather that creates so much movement.

    insmoke-kaitlinbarber

    The front and back boards have been debossed with leaves, with the front accented in gold leaf. The consistent themes of nature and repeated imagery of foliage and gardens within the text inspired Kaitlin’s design. The second place Clothworkers’ Prize of the Open Choice Book was awarded to Kaitlin’s second entry. I am so happy for Kaitlin, as a fellow North Bennet Street grad, it’s so great to see her skill and creativity grow. Congrats Kaitlin!

    insmoke-kaitlinbarber2


    Bec Britain

    vitanuova-becbritain

    Bec Britain created this gorgeous binding for Vita Nuova. As the exhibit pamphlet reads “the design reflects Dante’s evolving sense of the limitations of courtly love and its transition into sacred love.” The central design is created with crimson leather onlays, tooling and ink. Bec was awarded the Harmatan Ltd Leather Prize, which she completely deserves. Her combination of techniques created such a sleek and captivating design.

    vitanuova-becbritain2


    Jeanette Koch

    vitanuova-jeanettekoch

    Jeanette Koch’s binding for Vita Nuova is covered in terra-cotta and burgundy goatskin. The leather is cut-out to reveal laminated decorative paper and transparent vellum. I love the way Jeanette transformed the decorative paper in her design.

    The edges are decorated with watercolor, palladium and gold leaf. Jeanette was honored with the Lisa von Clemm Prize for this binding.

    vitanuova-jeanettekoch2

    Jeanette also submitted a binding of the late 14th-century Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, an Arthurian story on chivalric romance.

    sirgawainandthegreenknight-jeanettekoch

    This is one of my favorite bindings from the exhibit. The judges seems to agree, as Jeanette received The Judges’ Award and the Arthur Johnson Prize for this binding. Covered in green and burgundy French goatskin; Jeanette chose a beautiful green skin with stunning grain detail at the spine.

    Like Vita Nuova, this binding also has cut-outs revealing laminated decorative Japanese paper and vellum.

    sirgawainandthegreenknight-jeanettekoch2


    Kaori Maki

    vitanuova-kaorimaki

    I was so in awe of Kaori Maki‘s binding for Vita Nuova, which was bound in alum-tawed goatskin. Kaori decorated her binding with an intricate and bold floral design using back-pared, cushioned onlays dyed red. Kaori’s binding received second place for The Folio Society Prize for the Set Book, which was so well deserved, her decorative work was so unique and captivating.

    vitanuova-kaorimaki2


    Yuko Matsuno

    throughthewoods-yukomatsuno

    The most celebrated binding of the evening was crafted by Yuko Matsuno. Her binding of Through the Woods by H.E. Bates is bound in grey goatskin with decorative underlays. Ink-dotted calfskin and Zerkall paper peeks through a forest silhouette with animal onlays of colored Gampi and cushioned calfskin.

    The edges and endpapers are decorated using soft pastel to mimic the imagery from the cover. Yuko received first place for The Clothworkers’ Prize for the Open Choice Book and the ultimate prize: The Mansfield Medal for the Best Book in the Competition.

    throughthewoods-yukomatsuno2


  6. Bookbinder of the Month: Ben Elbel

    July 5, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    Water-BenElbelFor 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.

    Water2-BenElbel


  7. Bookbinder of the Month: Monique Lallier

    May 11, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    LostAndFound-MoniqueLallier

    This beautiful fine binding has a secret. It’s a secret (technique) that only Monique Lallier and a few of her students know about. The front cover has a panel that swings open along the fore-edge to reveal an elaborate, hidden design. This technique is unique to Monique’s portfolio.

    Lost and Found is a work about illustrator Rachel Rackett and was recently bound by Monique for InsideOUT, an international exhibition organized by the Designer Bookbinders that celebrates the craftsmanship of contemporary binders and private press printers. I can not wait until this exhibit arrives at the Houghton Library in September, you can bet on a future post about the show.

    LostAndFound2-MoniqueLallier

    Another signature design element seen throughout your portfolio is the front panel, which opens to reveal a hidden design. What is the history of this design technique, where did you learn about it?
    In 1985 I designed L’Ecorce et le Vent with a front panel opening on a “forest” of layers of trees, the first layer being goat skin and the two other layers being Japanese paper. This was my first attempt and it was a great success at the 1986 exhibition L’Association des Relieurs du Quebec. This book is now in the collection of the Morgan Library in New York. I really don’t know where I had this idea of the hidden design. In my first attempt it was to show a forest and I wanted the three dimensional aspect of looking at a forest, so it had to be free and moving, not static like an onlay.

    LEcorceEtLeVent-MoniqueLallier

    For The Knell of Cock Robin I wanted to express the feeling of a bird (on the agate) flying into the forest.

    TheKnellOfCockRobin-MoniqueLallier

    For Lost and Found, the story is about Rachel Rackett, an illustrator of books. When she died they found a box filled with drawings that had never been used, so they produced the book to show her work and many illustrations were about the blitz of London during the war, so I thought that the hidden design of destruction was perfect for the story.

    I don’t know anybody else, other than my students, that used this technique in the same way. I have seen front panels that cover the entire surface of the front or back covers, it creates a very different design.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Just one more panel binding to end the post. The following binding was completed in 2012, for the ARA-Canada exhibit Les escaliers de Québec. The portfolio binding is covered in black morocco goat with highlights of red morocco. The text block is an accordion attached to the lower board only and has a graphite colored head edge. The hidden décor panel opens to a colorful scene created by Masahiro Chatami with a photograph of Québec City tipped behind the staircases. The marbled paper endleaves are by Claude Delpierre.

    LesEscaliersdeQuebec-MoniqueLallier


  8. March // Bookbinder of the Month: Lang Ingalls

    March 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    LaCouleurDuVent-Lang Ingalls

    At this point I think it’s safe to say that I have found the recent ARA-Canada exhibition La Couleur du Vent to be filled with many beautiful and inspiring bindings. This particular binding was created by Lang Ingalls and is the fourth binding from the exhibition to be featured on the blog (the other three: Sonya Sheats, Coleen Curry and Karen Hanmer).

    So in case you missed those three posts I highly recommend you check them out after reading this one, but first let me summarize the exhibit. This international design binding exhibition was put together by ARA-Canada in partnership with École Estienne in Paris. The exhibition started in 2013 in Paris before traveling to Quebec then Montreal (which ended on February 28th). The show will continue to travel during this year, showing in Trois-Rivières from March to April. La Couleur du Vent is a collection of poems by Gilles Vigneault, illustrated and designed by Nastassja Imiolek under the artistic direction of Cécile Côté.

    Let’s get back to Lang’s binding. The set text is bound in the French technique using sea foam blue goatskin. On the front cover are inlays of python and lizard. A series of irregular shapes are tooled blind and span across the full length of the binding with the title also tooled blind on the spine. What I love most about this binding (besides the superb color choices) is the bold inclusion of the spine. Lang so wonderfully highlights the material and uses the natural elements of the leather to create an even more compelling design.

    This binding is stunning. The design you’ve created really celebrates the natural qualities of the materials. Can you talk about your concept behind the design?
    I bought the python and lizard used for the inlays in Paris years ago, but really love the texture and color of them — I tend to make monochromatic color choices in my books, this one is an example of that.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I chose to interview Lang for a few different reasons. Her work has been and continues to display thoughtful experimentation and courage with her materials. Her designs continue to engage and perplex me. She’s also just a wonderful person to be around. Lang is part of a handful of people I look forward to seeing once a year at the Guild of Book Workers Standard of Excellence Conference. Lastly, Lang’s educational experiences have greatly differed from my own. Since graduating from North Bennet Street School and having the opportunity to study with various guest instructors I’ve come to value the importance of creating what Lang describes as a ‘tool box’: gathering techniques on structures and decoration from binders with various talents and backgrounds.

    After the jump is my interview with Lang, it discusses heavily her varied educational experiences. Every Sunday this month I will feature some more of Lang’s bindings, so don’t forget to email subscribe and receive reminders when posts go live. You won’t want to miss out!

    read more >


  9. February // Bookbinder of the Month: Haein Song

    February 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    MythOfSisyphus-HaeinSong

    This beautiful binding of The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus was crafted in 2013 by Haein Song. Bound as a Bradel binding, the spine is covered in a natural goatskin with dark blue vellum covers. The sprinkled dashes on the covers are hand tooled in gold. The spectacular endpapers are hand printed. 

    MythOfSisyphus2-HaeinSongMythOfSisyphus3-HaeinSong

    This binding is absolutely stunning and so flawlessly executed. The covers are a beautiful dark blue vellum. Did you find the material difficult to work with in either the structural or tooling aspect of the binding process? I have a single experience with vellum over boards, but I know that bookbinders approach the board construction differently. May I ask if you prepped the boards for the covers in any particular way for the vellum?
    I heard few notorious rumours about vellum but I don’t think I found it difficult at the time I was working on it. Partly because it was a relatively small bradel binding and there wasn’t headcaps or joints. The spine of the book is covered in natural goatskin. 

    What I found afterwards was that the front and back vellum boards sometimes change their shapes depending on the humidity or temperature of the surrounding. But surprisingly it comes back to the original shape after some time. I was told that it needed a little bit of time to climatise.

    Later I was also told that lining vellum with a very thin paper (archival bible paper or Japanese paper) would reduce this changeable characteristic. 

    Tooling wasn’t particularly hard after practising enough on sample boards but I don’t think I have an ample amount of experience to compare differences in tooling on leather or vellum.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Haein or been presented the opportunity of viewing her work in person. However, I’ve had her website bookmarked for a while now, checking back from time to time to ogle her work. As I began preparing a list of people to interview this year Haein’s name popped up as a suggestion from Hannah Brown, whom I interviewed at this time last year. So with Hannah’s endorsement and my growing fondness, I present the following interview with Haein Song. The interview ends with Haein’s elegantly worded philosophy on bookbinding. 

    Come back every Sunday during the month of February for more posts on Haein’s work. You don’t want to miss it, Haein shares some of the creative techniques behind her expressive and artistic bindings. 

    read more >


  10. August // Bookbinder of the Month: Annette Friedrich

    August 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    thetempest1-annettefriedrich

    This edition of The Tempest by William Shakespeare from The Nonesuch Press, was bound by Annette Friedrich in 2012. Bound as a full leather fine binding in red-brown goatskin. Decorative tooling on the covers in white, grey, two shades of blue, metallic green and silver. The title is tooled along the center of the spine in metallic green with matte silver lines at the head and tail.

    thetempest3-annettefriedrichOn the inside, the paper bord-a-bord doublures are bright blue, matching leather joints and fly leaf in silver. All papers used are hand dyed.

    thetempest4-annettefriedrich

    The binding is housed in a green chemise and slipcase. The chemise is decorated with linear tooling across the sides in two shades of blue. The author’s name is tooled in metallic green in the center the spine of the chemise along with tooled lines in matte silver and blue at the head and tail.

    I first stumbled upon Annette’s work through the Autumn 2012 Newsletter of Designer Bookbinders. The cover offers a detailed image of Annette’s binding Water bound in 2008.

    water-annettefriedrich

    The fine binding work of Annette Friedrich is delightful! Her portfolio matures with every new binding as she skillfully depicts the essence of each story with delicate and artistic flair. Read the interview after the jump and come back each Sunday in the month of August for more posts on the work of Annette Friedrich.

    read more >


  • 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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