RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘lauren calcote’

  1. North Bennet Street School // Student & Alumni Exhibit 2018 – Alumni Work

    May 10, 2018 by Erin Fletcher

    In this next installment covering the 2018 Student and Alumni Exhibit, I will be showcasing some of the work submitted by former bookbinding students at North Bennet Street School. If you missed my previous post where I interviewed the graduating class on their set book, check it out here.

    This year I submitted two of my own bindings. I’ll begin with my miniature binding of The Island: An Amsterdam Saga by Geert Mak with illustrations by Max Kisman. This binding was apart of Stichting Handboekbinden Miniature Bookbinding Competition and was first exhibited at the Meermanno Museum in The Hague.

    Bound in as a three-part Bradel, the boards are split into two designs. The top half is constructed with stone veneer, embroidery and ivory leather panel pieces. The bottom half is a mix of foil tooling, vellum onlays and embroidered feathers. The spine is covered in leather with painted suede onlays. The book is housed in a full leather box with an embroidered rat. You can see more of images of this binding on my website.

    My second binding is 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke. The book is bound in black buffalo skin with goatskin onlays in white, yellow, teal, lavender and fuchsia. The teal and lavender are attached suede side up. There are additional kozo paper onlays in yellow, orange and pink. All of the onlays are adorned with embroidered floss to expand on the explosion of color. The back board includes four stanzas from Dies iræ.

    The head edge is painted with a white base and misted with black pigment. This sprinkled effect continues along the fore edge. The fly leaves are also decorated in this pattern to give the illusion of one continuous look.

    Lauren Calcote, ’15
    This miniature binding of The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen was bound by Lauren Calcote. Done as a Coptic binding, the boards are covered in vellum and decorated with embroidered stone veneer. I love the seamless continuation of thread that spans from the endbands onto the boards framing the stone veneer. 

    Fionnuala Gerrity, ’11
    Strawberry Thief is wrapped in a cheerful embroidered chemise on deep teal dupioni silk done by Fionnuala Gerrity. The light-hearted design is mirrored on the back board. Fionnuala’s use of hefty cotton floss creates so much texture and height to the embroidery. 

    Kate Levy, ’17
    Bound as a three-part Bradel, the book itself features a range of artists working with textiles and fiber as their medium of choice. By piecing together scraps of colorful handmade paper with embroidery floss, Kate Levy plays homage to one of the artists featured in this binding of Stitchillo. By clicking on the images below, you can see that the title is stamped in clear foil on the lower red paper panel. Working with thread on paper is such a delicate task, but the effect is so lovely. 

    Anne McLain, ’10
    Anne McLain demonstrates the playfulness of traditional decorative tools in her binding of Julia Miller’s Books Will Speak Plain. Thoughtfully placed ornamental lines span across the binding in a way that connotes a firework explosion. Small accents, such as silver foil dots and blind letters, are scattered amongst the flares. A small red dot holds the initials JM to signify the author. The endbands are hand sewn in alternating bands of white and dark grey. The head edge is splattered with various shades of grey and splotches of white.

    James Reid-Cunningham, ’90
    What a surprising mix of materials in James Reid-Cunningham’s binding. Les Negres is a play by French dramatist Jean Genet and is bound in black Tyvek. The cover is adorned with mother of pearl and lines of gold tooling. Their is a really lovely relationship between the figures of mother of pearl. The iridescent quality of the material provides movement against the black background. 

    You can see all of these bindings in person and others while the show is open. This year the Student and Alumni Exhibit will be on display at two locations: from May 7 – 23 at Two International Place and from June 4 – 30 at North Bennet Street School (both located in Boston). Check out the website here for more details and opening hours.

    SaveSave


  2. North Bennet Street School // Student & Alumni Exhibit 2016 – Alumni Work

    May 22, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    The Annual Student and Alumni Show at North Bennet Street School displays work from both current students and alumni. In this post, I will be focusing on some of the outstanding work exhibited by those who have graduated from the full-time program. If you missed my previous post reviewing the Class of 2016’s design bindings of 1984, you can check that out here.

    McKey Berkman, BB ’11

    BooksWillSpeakPlain-McKeyBerkman

    When I looked at the headband and endcap on McKey’s binding of Books Will Speak Plain by Julia Miller I was in awe. Each thread is wrapped with perfect tension and her endcaps are formed so evenly creating a beautiful crescent shape. The binding is covered in full green goatskin. The tooled orange onlay is stamped in a matte grey and outlined with a single brown tooled line with small squares at each corner. The head edge is colored with graphite. The details on this binding are subtle, but done with such a high level of craftsmanship.

    Marianna Brotherton, BB ’14

    ElementsOFGeometry-MarianneBrotherton

    This binding from Marianna is spectacular. I love the how the leather onlays pop away from the cover. Marianna’s binding of Euclid’s Elements of Geometry is bound in full green goatskin with suede doublures. The onlays are gilt in the center to highlight a specific shape. The title is tooled in gold down the spine. The edges are sprinkled with green pigment. The headbands are hand sewn with white and green silk. The book is housed in a beautiful 4-flap lined in suede. Each pointed flap wraps around the book to meet at the center. Check out more of Marianna’s work at her website.

    Lauren Calcote, BB ’15

    FamiliarLecturesOnBotany-LaurenCalcote

    Regulars to the blog, know my admiration for embroidered bindings. Lauren’s work has always impressed me and balances between contemporary and traditional. This embroidered binding of Familiar Lectures on Botany is bound on raised cords that are laced through the covers, which are covered in Galaxy Cave Paper. This richly dark handmade paper is filled with flecks of mica offering a subtle dazzle of shimmer. The embroidery is achieved with linen and metallic threads. The center motifs are designed with gold leaf for the sun and a piece of vellum for the moon.

    MiniGirdleBook-LaurenCalcote

    Lauren is also highly skilled with creating miniature bindings of historic models. This mini Girdle Book is sewn over raised cords and laced into cedar boards, which are covered in a crimson goatskin. The covers are blind tooled in a traditional lozenge pattern. There are even miniature brass clasps and a small linen knot to secure the book underneath your teeny, tiny belt.

    Samuel Feinstein, BB ‘12

    StoryOfTheEye-SamuelFeinstein

    It is so great to see work from a former classmate of mine. Samuel is one of the most talented binders of my generation. Story of the Eye by George Bataille is bound as a Millimeter binding in the Rubow-style. A strip of black goatskin runs across the entire head and tail edge of the book. An exquisite marbled paper (made by Samuel) covers the remainder of the binding. The marbled area is isolated to the spine with threads of color sprawling onto the covers. The head edge of the text block is decorated with gold leaf over graphite. The endpapers are also marbled, but on white paper instead of black. Check out more of Samuel’s work at his website.

    Fionnuala Gerrity, BB ’11 and Maryanne Grebenstein

    Butterfly-FionnualaGerrityandMaryanneGrebenstein

    During our time at NBSS, Fionnuala gave a presentation on back-painted vellum; a decorative technique seen on Cosway and stiff-board vellum bindings. It was clear to me that she was hooked by this niche area of bookbinding. Maryanne Grebenstein is a very talented calligrapher and teaches workshops at NBSS. Together they created this lovely rendition of a haiku by Matsuo Basho, a famous poet of the Edo period in Japan.

    Barbara Halporn, BB ‘06

    PictorialWebster-BarbaraHalporn

    There are so many things I love about Barbara’s binding of Webster’s Pictorial Dictionary by John M. Carrera. The leather from Pergamena has been distressed and is absolutely alluring. In these three bindings, Barbara references a historical Coptic binding. She even includes details such as headbands that wrap from cover to cover across the spine and leather toggles to keep the book securely closed. The title is blind tooled across the spine of the largest book. Check out more of Barbara’s work at her website.

    Becky Koch, BB ’12

    RimeAncientMariner-BeckyKoch

    Becky was also classmate of mine and I was so thrilled to see her work in the show. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is bound as a simplified binding with black goatskin for the spine and a deep red buffalo skin for the covers. A surface gilt seagull adorns the front cover. The red buffalo skin is puckered over raised triangles on both covers. The title is tooled in gold down the spine. The buffalo skin offers such a distinct texture, but Becky managed to amplify the skin through her manipulation of the leather. Check out Becky’s website: Dog Eared Bindery.

    Lauren Moon-Schott, BB ’13

    BooksWillSpeakPlain-LaurenMoonSchott

    Lauren is an incredibly talented binder and conservator. She currently holds a position at the Rare Book Room in the Boston Public Library and she is also one of my studio mates. She bound this amazing model of a Stationer’s Binding over Julia Miller’s Books Will Speak Plain. The covers are goatskin with toggles and ties in alum-tawed pigskin. The complexity of the binding is not to be under-rated. Each cross-tie has to be meticulously laced through the covers.

    Wendy Withrow, BB ‘08

    NineMonthsToBearFruit-WendyWithrow

    I met Wendy for the first time at the Standards of Excellence Conference last year in Cleveland, Ohio. I was so excited to meet her, not only is her work well executed and her craftsmanship clean, she was one of the few alumni that I reached out to when applying to NBSS. Her words were so encouraging and her work inspiring. As the only artist book in the show, Nine Months to Bear Fruit, is quite attractive. Each object is sculpted from clay and held shut with magnets. The exterior is painted with acrylic. Hidden inside each piece is a miniature accordion, which you can read by clicking here.


  3. North Bennet Street School // Student & Alumni Exhibit 2015 – Part One

    May 20, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    It’s graduation season, which means it’s time for this year’s post on the North Bennet Street School’s Student and Alumni Show. (You can read the past two years here and here). This is an event that I always look forward to. The graduating students are each given a copy of the same book (a set book) and asked to create a design fine binding. The amount of creativity and talent that goes into each binding really displays each student’s personality. The exhibit is currently on view at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts until May 29th. If you are around, please pay a visit to see these bindings up close.

    The set book for this year’s graduating class is the The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. It’s a beautifully illustrated book printed in a rather large format, which is something many of the students discussed with me. After photographing each book*, I had a discussion with each binder. We talked about the inspiration behind their designs, their thoughts on the binding process and what challenges they faced.

    * I want to note that the photographs were taken in various spaces at the school under not ideal lighting. So you may see variation in color for some of the bindings.

    Kaitlin Barber

    Rubaiyat-KaitlinBarber

    Kaitlin Barber‘s approach to her design stems from her admiration of 18th century tooled panel and Cambridge panel patterns. Though in her design, she reinterpreted this look in a sleek and modern way. The binding is covered in a maroon goatskin with a raised window framing two inset panels of spalted tamarind. Kaitlin’s decision to use wood was inspired from an article by Helene Jolie and during a workshop taught by Jim Croft. In the article, Helene writes about the variety of materials one might employ as an inset panel, while Jim introduced shaping possibilities during his workshop.

    I think Kaitlin’s use of the spalted tamarind is genius, not only is it really beautiful and is elegantly shaped, but it also acts as symbolism for the message of life and death peppered throughout the book’s text. The dark abstract shapes in the spalted wood occurs when fungus enters the tree often causing it to die.

    Rubaiyat3-KaitlinBarber

    Gold tooled borders highlight the spalted tamarind as well as frame the entire the book. The title is tooled alongside the front panel. The head edge is airbrush with a brilliant blue acrylic, then sprinkled using gold leaf. The French double core headbands are sewn with silk threads. Kaitlin used a marble paper as her paste down and flyleaves.

    One of the main challenges Kaitlin faced during the binding process was working with such a large format, specifically when it came to paring the leather. Due to its size the leather included many areas of the skin such as the arm pits and backbone. These parts of the skin will react differently when being pared; the arm pits are stretchy while the backbone is a bit tougher. In the end it was a really great learning experience for Kaitlin.

    After graduation Kaitlin will continue in her internship at the Boston Public Library’s Rare Book Room, which began in January and will run through the summer.

    Lauren Calcote

    Rubaiyat-LaurenCalcote

    Lauren Calcote’s interpretation of The Rubáiyát is brilliant. The text is notably one of the most famous pieces of Persian literature, which was translated into English for the first time by poet Edward Fitzgerald in 1859. Considering this relationship between its origins and the initial translation, Lauren played with the binding structure by combining a fine binding and Islamic binding.

    The book is covered in fair goat that was hand-dyed by Lauren in a beautiful mottled aubergine purple. The fore edge flap speaks to the Islamic binding structure, but sits on top instead of underneath the front cover. The flap lays inside a well securely fastened with a hidden magnet.

    Rubaiyat2-LaurenCalcote

    Decoration on the front and back covers include gold and blind tooled lines laid out in a geometric design inspired by Persian patterns. The title is carbon-tooled on the front cover. The poet’s last name appears on the front of the flap and in the well.

    Other details include the custom-made endpapers reminiscent of those found in Islamic bindings. The paste down and fly leaf are hand painted with sprinkles of gold leaf. The edges of the text block are decorated in the same fashion. The headbands follow the Islamic chevron pattern around a round core.

    Planning this hybrid structure was an enjoyable challenge for Lauren, particularly finding the right fit for the flap by making sure it didn’t sit too proud. Another issue came during covering, Lauren initially wanted to cover the book in one full piece (from flap to front fore edge). Yet to achieve the desired height for the flap, Lauren choose to cover the base of the well with a separate thinner piece of leather. This seam is absolutely flawless and I would have never known if Lauren hadn’t explained the process to me. So bravo, Lauren.

    The last major design hurdle was where to tool and how to tool (mainly on the flap and well). She flip-flopped between tooling the well and leaving it bare. Lauren and I discussed how tooling the well was definitely the better decision. That the design works whether the flap is open or closed.

    After graduation, Lauren will be spending the next six months at the Boston Athenaeum as the 2015 Lisa von Clemm fellow.

    Joshua Crotty

    Rubaiyat-JoshuaCrotty

    On December 1, 1948 an unidentified man was found dead on Somerton Beach in Australia. This mystery was dubbed The Taman Shud Case, a phrase meaning ended or finished in Persian. Found in a hidden pocket of the man’s trousers was a printed scrap of paper, which turned out to be removed from the final page of The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám.

    This eerie tale is where Joshua Crotty drew his design inspiration. This simplistic design conveys a sense of heat, like being stranded on an Australian beach or Persian desert. The binding is covered in a beautiful sandy tan goatskin. The central inlaid design is created using marbled paper laminated to mylar representing a hot, golden sun. Gold tooled lines radiate from the half-circle inlays creating the rays of the sun.

    Rubaiyat2-JoshuaCrotty

    Joshua creates a fluid design by using the same marbled paper as the paste down and flyleaf. The head edge is gilded in the rough with gold leaf. I really love simple designs that are captivating and strong. Joshua’s inspiration is intriguing and really shines through; his simple design is ambiguous and holds a little bit of mystery.

    Joshua’s talents as a binder has already landed him in an impressive position as a hand bookbinder for the U.S. Government Publishing Office. His job is to serve the needs of Congress by creating finely crafted bindings to suit their needs. Joshua relocated to D.C. during his last semester at North Bennet Street School and this became one his major challenges during the binding process. He left behind a nice large bench to working on a kitchen table while also dealing with D.C.’s humidity; experiencing extended drying time made things a bit tough. These challenges didn’t hinder his ability to create crisp, clean gold tooled lines. Beautiful binding Joshua!

    Megan Gibes

    Rubaiyat-MeganGibes

    The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám was the title given by translator Edward Fitzgerald, whom I mentioned above. A ruba’i is a two-stanza with two parts per line, hence the word rubáiyát (a word derived from the Arabic language root for “four”) means “quatrains”.1

    As Megan Gibes describes the inspiration behind her design she explains that the poems are broken up into four lines with the crescendo occurring in the third line. The binding is covered in a medium gray goatskin with stripes of onlays in tan goatskin representing these four lines. The inner onlays are tooled, while the onlays near the head and tail are back-pared. This clean, minimalistic design is exactly what Megan wanted to achieve from the beginning as a way to juxtapose the grandiose bindings generally associated with The Rubáiyát.

    Rubaiyat2-MeganGibes

    The title is carbon-tooled down the length of the spine with Rubáiyát sandwiched between Omar and Khayyám (click on the image above for a better view). The head edge is shaded with graphite and gauffered with a thin line palette. The headbands are sewn in silk over a single parchment core. Megan sourced the perfect marbled paper to line the boards and fly leaf. This large-scale marbled design works so well with the format of this binding, while also tying in the color scheme Megan chose for the cover.

    Megan and I chatted about the challenges of creating a fine binding, how overwhelming the process can seem. Megan’s strategy was to isolate each step and to only move forward when she felt completely satisfied. One challenge that arose came during the paring process and some miscalculations. By edge paring the leather a bit too short, this left with a visual drop in the leather after covering. Megan added a patched onlay, which fixed the situation and actually looks quite seamless.

    After graduation, Megan will be moving across the country to Santa Barbara, California. She’s been hired as the Head Binder for Neve Albums where she’ll be producing unique albums, guests books and custom boxes. Neve Albums brought on Megan to help establish an in-house bindery to help expand their business. Best of luck Megan, sounds like a great gig!

    Shannon Kerner

    Rubaiyat-ShannonKerner

    Omar Khayyám lived during the 11th and 12th century making a living as a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and poet. His poetry includes several themes such as life, death and love. For her design, Shannon Kerner reinterpreted these themes using symbols found on Southwestern Native American rock wall art.

    Rubaiyat2-ShannonKerner

    The shapes of each vase is derived from typical Persian styles. The first vase represents the spirit of the ancestor with the tree of good life growing from the ancestor and falling rain. The symbol on the center vase represents the virgin. The final vase includes the title tooled in gold along with the symbol for the water clan, which is represented by two inverted triangles inside of a rectangle. This final symbol, just like the vases, are symbols for water and life, which circles back around to the first vase.

    As I mentioned before, Omar Khayyám worked as an astronomer and was tasked with reforming the calendar in order to minimize seasonal errors; this was something Shannon wanted to reflect in her design. The top half of the design includes a sun created through surfacing gilding palladium and gold. The rain passes through a dreamy cloudscape and blind tooled stars representing the night sky.

    Rubaiyat3-ShannonKerner

    Shannon’s binding is bound in a bright teal goatskin with several layered onlays. Other decorative elements include surface gilding, foil tooling and blind tooling. The head edge was rough edge gilt. The paste down and flyleaf are covered with a hand marbled paper made by Shannon (detail shown above).

    Shannon employed a variety of techniques in her binding. One particular element that I found intriguing was her use of three different colored foils within the teardrop tool, which offers an elegant subtly to the design. As we chatted about her process, she pointed out the challenges presented when creating the sun. The center is surface gilt with gold leaf, while the outer rays are surface gilt with palladium leaf. Butting up these two leaves meant that the Frisket (a masking film) would be placed on the gold leaf. This film pulled up some of the leaf, but Shannon successfully mended any losses creating a striking image for her overall design.

    Come graduation, Shannon is looking forward to her next step and where it might take her. She is anxiously awaiting to hear the results of prior interviews.

    Lindsay Nakashima

    Rubaiyat2-LindsayNakashima

    Earlier this year, Boston College exhibited the work of Mark Esser, who was the first instructor at North Bennet Street School and is apart of a lineage of master bookbinders. His work greatly inspired Lindsay Nakashima as she approached her design for The Rubáiyát. Lindsay also planned to utilize both gouges and palettes as a challenge to work with the tools she has been introduced to over the course of the second school year.

    The binding is covered in a vibrant purple chieftain goatskin from Hewit (best represented in the image below). The other students chose to use Harmatan goatskin for their bindings, but Lindsay was attracted to not only the lush color, but the heavy grain. This was also a great opportunity to play around with a different type of leather, to get a sense of how it can be manipulated and tooled.

    Rubaiyat-LindsayNakashima

    The head edge is rough edge gilt with French double core headbands wrapped in silk. Zerkall paper was used for the paste down and fly leaf. Lindsay’s binding has quite a classic, clean look. She emphasizes the back corner, which offers a more elegant (or dare I say more feminine) feel for the size of the binding.

    Lindsay’s most challenging aspect of this process was the gold tooling, which most binders can attest to its difficulties. Yet tooling on an unfamiliar leather can heighten the challenge. Lindsay noted that the chieftain goat felt less spongy and less susceptible to making an impression. But Lindsay plowed through the process and created beautifully tooled lines.

    After graduation, Lindsay will be moving back home to Austin, Texas where she’ll be setting up a bindery space. Her intentions will be to open this space for teaching simple workshops while also bringing in restoration commissions under the name Nakashima Books. Best of luck, Lindsay.

    Jacqueline Scott

    Rubaiyat-JacquelineScott

    Death is a reoccurring theme in Khayyám’s poetry and one that inspired many of the students in this exhibit. Jacqueline combined this theme with a love story threaded throughout the text. These themes are represented by the profile of a couple embracing and bones. Jacqueline’s book is bound in a blue goatskin with over 400 parchment back-pared onlays, these parchment bones create a classic Arabic geometric design.

    Jacqueline’s work with the parchment is quite impressive and I asked about her approach to using this unconventional material as a back-pared onlay. In her initial tests she overlapped two bones, but this created too much bulk and tore during the paring process. She also backed the parchment with tissue using gelatin. Jacqueline used this tissue as a barrier between the PVA and parchment, plus the tissue increases the opaqueness of the onalys. A little setback occurred during covering when the gelatin lifted from the moisture in the paste, but Jacqueline was able to reattach any raised onlays.

    Rubaiyat2-JacquelineScott

    The shape of the couple is accented by dark blue gold tooled onlays. The title is gold tooled down the length of the spine. The head edge is airbrushed with a deep red, bone shapes are masked out revealing the white of pages underneath. The boards are lined with matching edge-to-edge doublures and cork paper fly leaves.

    Rubaiyat3-JacquelineScott

    After graduation, Jacqueline will begin the first of three internships. Starting with a month-long internship at the Francis Loeb Library which is affiliated with the Harvard Design School. I’m looking forward to seeing Jacqueline later in the summer at the University of Virginia during her second internship while I’ll be attending Rare Book School.

    Jeff Altepeter

    Rubaiyat-JeffAltepeter

    The success of the student’s bindings are due to the instruction from Jeff Altepeter and I thought it best to end this post with his colorful binding. Jeff drew inspiration from The Great Omar. In 1909, Sangorski & Sutcliffe was commissioned to create a sumptuous binding for The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám. Given carte blanche and a limitless budget, the remarkable firm created the most ornate binding with thousands of jewels, complex gold tooled designs and leather onlays. Upon completion in 1911, the binding was shipped a year later to New York by way of the Titanic.

    Jeff pulled a single element from “The Great Omar”: the peacock (also a common motif on Sangorski & Sutcliffe bindings). His abstract interpretation of the peacock feather is laid out in a lozenge-like pattern. Instead of the traditional straight lines he employed the ogee finishing tool, which is a long, thin “S” shape. This tool created a very elegant, feather-like border around the “eye”. This center shape is made up of two gold tooled onlays. The inner one is tooled from a custom made finishing tool. Jeff is a master at crafting his own finishing tools; he made a few variations of the tool before settling on an open design rather than a closed one.

    The book is bound in a brilliant blue goatskin with an airbrushed head edge and hand sewn French double core headbands in silk. Marbled paper lines the inside of the covers and flyleaves.

    I asked the students about their challenges during the binding process and I posed the same question to Jeff. In an ideal situation, a binder wants a comfortable amount of time between each step. Yet for an instructor these steps might get rushed in order to show the process to students in a timely fashion. And there are less chances to tweak your design within these time constraints. But I think Jeff was able to capture the spirit of The Great Omar.

    So there you have it. My best to the graduating class of 2015 as you enter the world of bookbinding and conservation!

    1 Wikipedia


  • 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.
    Read more...
    Newsletter SignupBlog SubscribeFacebook PageContact Me
  • Categories
  • Friends
  • Archives