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Posts Tagged ‘paul delrue’

  1. Bookbinder of the Month: Monique Lallier

    May 25, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    La Petite Poule d’Eau by Gabrielle Roy was bound by Monique Lallier in the French technique in full leather with onlays of lacunose. This technique transforms leather into a uniquely distinct design, offering texture and depth. The process calls for patience and muscle. Lacunose is created through a series of layers of thin leather pieces which are covered in a PVA wash and sanded smooth between each layer. The result is a build-up of various leathers in a seamlessly smooth finish, which can than be used as a decorative onlay.

    Another design element visible throughout your work is the lacunose onlay. The lacunose technique can be quite time consuming as you begin to add more and more layers. What is your process for the lacunose and how long does the process take?
    This is the story of a village in Manitoba, Canada, called La Petite Poule d’Eau. I wanted to convey a sense of structure and colorful personalities. I had seen Paul Delrue demonstrating “Lacunose” at the Standards and I thought it would be nice on my binding. Little did I know how long it would take me to achieve the result I wanted, but I am patient and determine so I kept sanding…It took several days, as you have to wait for the leather to dry between sanding sessions. Now I have several boards covered with “Lacunose” or (cuir peaufiné) sanded leather as they call it in France, because it’s a nice way to use your bits and pieces of leather. I have done some with one or two colors of different shades…you can play with it and do it in between steps in bookbinding…it’s fun!

    box-MoniqueLallier MoniqueLallier

  2. Bonus // Bookbinder of the Month: Karen Hanmer

    December 29, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    OverTheEdge-KarenHanmerIt was so hard to narrow down just 5 pieces from Karen Hanmer’s portfolio to feature during the month of December. So I present this bonus post, which includes 2 additional bindings, to wrap up both Karen’s feature and the interview segment for 2013.

    Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon (by Thomas M. Myers and Michael P. Ghiglieri) may be the reason why I first began to admire Karen Hanmer’s work and how I fell in love with the lacunose technique. This French-style fine binding is covered in full goatskin and features two large goatskin lacunose onlays. The tumbling figures are tooled in gold using custom brass tools, both on the covers, spine and edge-to-edge doublures, which have left a mirrored impression on the suede flyleaves (which you can see here). 


    After visiting with Karen in her home bindery, I attended the One Book, Many Interpretations exhibit at the Chicago Public Library in 2011. I had just been treated to handling some of Karen’s earlier works, that I was so awed by her recent fine binding of The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe. Karen employs so many techniques on this binding, but every part is flawlessly executed into a harmonious composition.

    Bound as a French-style fine binding in full goatskin with back-pared and cushioned onlays; some laser-printed. Sprinkled gold leaf creates a cosmic stream across the boards. The edges are decorated with graphite and sprinkled with gold leaf.

    These two bindings are amongst my favorites within your portfolio. The techniques you employed made for quite striking designs. Can you discuss the lacunose technique and using laser-printed onlays?
    I don’t draw, paint, airbrush, or do any kind of traditional printmaking, so to get imagery into my designs, I use the computer, or in the case of lacunose, brute force.


    I saw Paul Delrue present the lacunose technique at the Guild of Book Workers meeting in 2005. Thin bits of leather are adhered to a substrate or directly to the book, sanded, a PVA wash is applied and dried, and the leather is sanded again. More bits of leather can be applied, tooling can add additional texture, and color can be added to the wash to alter the tone. This process is repeated numerous times with finer and finer sandpaper, then finished with beeswax on a cloth.


    Laser-printing on leather is a technique I learned from Peter Verheyen. Pare leather to onlay thickness, paste it to tissue, dry flat. Print the desired image first onto paper so you can properly position the leather. Place the leather over the image just printed on the paper, and tape down the leading edge. Make a second laser print, this time on the leather. After the print is cool, fix the image with a protective coating. I use Cellugel. Krylon spray will also work, and SC6000 or Renaissance wax will probably work also, but be careful not to rub the toner off the surface as you rub on the protective coating. Then remove the leather from the copier paper and proceed to use the printed leather as an onlay or inlay.

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    I want to thank Karen again for such a wonderful and thoughtful interview!

  • 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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