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Bookbinder of the Month: Haein Song

February 23, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


In 2012, Haein Song bound this copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in full leather maroon goatskin. The delicate linear design was created by applying a series of natural goatskin onlays. The endpapers are monprinted in gold with suede doublures. 

RomeoAndJuliet3-HaeinSong RomeoAndJuliet2-HaeinSong

At first glance, the decorative elements appear to be hand tooled, but those thin lines are actually several onlays. Did you find it difficult to manipulate such delicate and thin pieces of leather?
Leather pieces are paired down very thin ( and I cut them into long lines of a width of 1mm. It isn’t easy to glue the pieces so I put pva and paste mix on the glass surface then lay the piece on top so it can catch the adhesives. Then with a help of scalpel and tweezers I lay them on the the cover of the book based on my design. I think the idea of doing it seems more challenging than actually executing it. Once you are used to the thinness and longness of the piece it become a little bit like a drawing tool. And when I was laying down the pieces I had a feeling that I was drawing with a leather.


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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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