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Bookbinder of the Month: Lang Ingalls

March 9, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

GoTellItOnTheMountain2-LangIngalls

In 2011, Lang Ingalls won the Best Binding Award from the Chicago Public Library’s One Book Many Interpretations exhibition for her binding of Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin. It was during the reception for this exhibition that I met Lang. I was drawn to her binding because of the stark contrast between the rich purple leather and bright white onlays.

Bound in the French technique and covered in purple goatskin. Spanning across the covers and spine are white eel onlays.  Other design details along with the title are hand tooled blind.

This is the binding that led to our being introduced during an exhibit in Chicago. I am so attracted to the brilliant contrast between the vivid purple leather and the bright white eel skin onlays. I have little experience using exotic leathers, how does eel skin compare to traditional bookbinding leathers?
This eel skin is really really thin, perfect for onlays, and not difficult to execute. I had fun deciding which way the spine parts would go to complement 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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