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Catching Up With Lori Sauer // No. 1

August 1, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

I first interviewed Lori Sauer for the blog back in March 2013. I thought it might be time to check in and see what new bindings Lori has created over the past four years. Over the month of August, I’ll be featuring five of Lori’s more recent bindings. Let’s begin with a book Lori bound in 2013, a copy of A Line illustrated by Suyeon Kim.

A Line was published by Incline Press in 2009 and is an illustrative narrative of linocut prints by Suyeon Kim depicting the companionship between a blind fisherman and his dog. Lori bound her copy in the dos rapporté structure with dyed vellum. Lori adds decorative elements with twine and ink.

I love the playfulness of the cover compared with Suyeon Kim’s linocut prints. How did you manipulate the vellum to achieve a hazy water-like quality?
I love this book, no text, just a narrative in images. The images veer off in to fantasy, a bit like a Chagall painting, and are full of warmth and charm.

You asked about the vellum – I dyed it. I buy very clear and clean white skins for this and interesting markings appear with the dye (I use watered down FW acrylic inks). I start with dying the flesh side as it soaks up moisture better. If I need to I’ll wipe some of the ink on the hair side too. The first pieces I coloured for this weren’t exactly right so I did a second set. I ended up using the first set as doublures. I can go through a lot of vellum this way in order to get the right shade but the rejects always get used up eventually.

Are the red and yellow lines actual threads running across the binding? If so, how are they adhered to the vellum covers?
The red and yellow lines are also acrylic ink, applied with a nib. The white line is inlaid string.

I’ll also say that the book is printed as a concertina and folds out to seventeen feet, I think. It was pretty badly folded so I had to fiddle quite a bit to get the edges to line up. I decided that it would be rare or never that someone would open it all the way so I attached guards on the reverse to keep it like a conventional book. I then used a stub for the spine so that the pages would fan open. The physical result ties in well with the playfulness and watery theme of the images.

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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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