To continue with the same theme from the prior post, I wanted to discuss another unique binding from Tracey Rowledge’s portfolio. The binding is of a 1929 edition of Vathek by William Beckford published by the Nonesuch Press. Bound as a fine binding in biscuit colored goatskin and feathered onlays.
This binding is unique within your portfolio. The markings are created through feathered leather onlays instead of gold tooling. Onlays are used rather sparingly in your work, can you talk about the reason why your chose to use onlays on Vathek as opposed to a gold tooled design or colored foils?
This book contains wonderful illustrations by Marion V. Dorn and the binding further explores my wanting to alter the language of a fine binding. The book has a rough-edge gilt top edge, the endpapers are the same colour as the text-block and are hand-coloured with coloured pencil so that when the book is open the endpapers frame the text-block with the same colours the illustrations contain.
The leather-joints are red, the same colour as the endbands, this union I felt brought these two elements together, like an elastic band encircling the book. The natural colour of the leather is for me like a grainy blank canvas and the coloured onlays give the impression of the making of a drawing with coloured pencils: you know when you’re drawing and you lean on another piece of paper and the pencil runs off: over the edge. That’s what I wanted to create – a remnants drawing. Gold tooling wasn’t the right medium for the image, also, I didn’t want the image to be made from tooled impressions, I wanted for the image to sit on the surface of the leather. This was the only way the image felt right.