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Bookbinder of the Month: Jan Sobota

December 23, 2012 by Erin Fletcher

rachlik_sobotaIn the spirit of Christmas, I offer this binding by Jan Sobota that appears like box within a box. In 1986, Sobota completed this layered book object of Frantisek Rachlik’s Komedie plna lasky (Comedy Full of Love), a story about the life of Jindrich Mosna, a famous Czech actor during the nineteenth century. Each layer of the book object represents three different costumes from his most important roles. 

The book object lives inside a box sculpted out of board to mimic a newspaper reporter’s jacket. It is covered in natural sheepskin and includes buttons and a pocket with document, with details outlined in blind tooling. The second layer of protection is a slipcase modeled after a soldier’s uniform. Also sculpted out of board, the slipcase is covered in blue calfskin with onlays of various colors embellishing the jacket. Blind tooling is also used to finish off the details.rachlik2_sobota rachlik3_sobotaFinally, the boards of this box-binding are sculpted with board to represent the costume of a Czech peasant, covered in white goatskin and natural cowhide. Relief onlays, gold and blind tooling complete the design. 

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    My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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