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Bookbinder of the Month: Tracey Rowledge

March 29, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

LeatherPanels2-TraceyRowledge

So far in this interview with Tracey Rowledge we’ve looked at her binding work and her works on paper, more specifically the work inspired by markings either found or interpreted. The leather panels presented in this post are a wonderful representation of art created using traditional binding and finishing techniques. The panel above is called 3 Milk and was created in 2000; the panel is covered in black goatskin with gold tooled design. The detail of this panel will awe you and make you think about tooling combinations differently.

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Many of your leather wall panels are tooled representations from found paper scraps with markings. The gold tooled marks that decorate your fine bindings appear spontaneous. Are you creating these free-form designs in response to the work being bound or do they come from found paper scraps?
It’s a mixture. Sometimes I found I had the exact response to a book in my ‘found archive’, other times I set about creating images for a book myself, as time went on the latter was more and more the case. Sometimes though a found image was so strong a driving force that I felt I needed to make a piece of work with it that wasn’t a book. In these instances, the materials and decorative techniques I used and the proportions of the wall piece would all be guided by the original scrap of paper I’d found. Really, what I’m describing is that I created a framework for these pieces of work, whereby the decisions were half made by the found material itself.

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LEFT: Where, covered in mid-blue calfskin, gold-tooled, 2003   RIGHT: Diptych, covered in baby pink goatskin with grey goatskin recessed inlays, 2000

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LEFT: Buff, covered in turquoise goatskin with leather inlays, 2004   RIGHT: Fidget, stretched native red goatskin, tooled in carbon, 2004

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Cash, gilded gesso panel on wood, 2005


1 Comment »

  1. Lisa Rowledge says:

    Thank you for the weekly reviews of Tracey’s work Erin. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her work and what influences such exquisite works. I am of course biased being Tracey’s sister but I still her and her work truly inspiring.

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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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