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Bookbinder of the Month: Lang Ingalls

March 23, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


Chansons is a text written by the Belgian poet and playwright Maurice Maeterlink. This particular 1995 edition is in French and includes engravings by Ginette Litt; the copy is signed by Litt and bibliophile G.A. Dassonville. Lang Ingalls bound this copy in 2013 and it will be exhibited from April 4 to June 30 of this year in a show titled ‘Belgian Writers, a Binding Homage’ sponsored by Bibliotheca Wittockiana and ARA Belgica.

The binding is bound in the French technique in pink goatskin. Lang describes the cover design inspiration and techniques below in response to my question. However, not shown are the hand-sewn silk headbands and black suede pastedowns and flyleaves.

Once again, you’ve created such a beautiful binding. I would just love for you to discuss your concept behind the design and how you translated that into the materials used on the binding.
This binding is recent, and one that took a long time to develop, and one that is amongst my favorites I’ve made. The shapes on both the recto and verso are taken from the etchings of Ginette Litt, one for each song (six). The shapes were removed and sanded, then re-adhered to the covers. The incision lines were painted black. The small connecting lines are thin twine that has been wound with silk thread in a near-pink hue, then adhered in a tooled line. The title is blind tooled then painted in the same black as the incisions.

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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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