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  1. Upcoming Workshops // Summer 2021

    May 11, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Making your summer plans? Consider signing up for an online workshop. No matter where you are in the world, you can now register for a workshop! All workshops will be recorded and will be available to students who register, so no need to stay up late for class if you live in a different time zone. Can’t wait to see you in class!

    JUNE
    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // June 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by May 25 to receive your material kit! – ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.

    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // June 22 – July 1 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 8 to receive your material kit!

    Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a few pages, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, we’ll explore the former as we create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

    Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.


    JULY
    *NEW*
    Quick Enclosures Series
    3 Sessions // July 11 – 25 (Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 29 to receive your material kit!

    This workshop will focus on quick enclosures that can be constructed from sturdy paper and heavy cardstock. Many of the folding techniques presented in this workshop stem from origami, which have been further explored by the imitable Hedi Kyle. In addition, students will also learn how to construct paper slipcases and 4-flap enclosures often used in conservation.

    We will discuss how to cut and measure for custom projects, however the kit will include a small blank book, which will be used to construct the enclosures during the workshop.

    *JUST ADDED*
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // July 20 – 29 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 8 to receive your material kit!

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.


    AUGUST
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // August 3 – 12 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    SOLD OUT

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    2-Day: Shrigley
    3 Sessions // August 23 & 27 (Monday & Friday)
    Aug. 23: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Aug. 27: 3:00 – 4:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College – Online

    The Shrigley is an innovative way to house loose ephemera, postcards, photographs, prints and more. The pages are folded into frames, allowing you to easily add or remove pieces from the book. In this workshop, students will learn the folding techniques to create the frames with various corner styles. Once the pages are assembled and sewn, students will finish their project by making a hardcover case with a ribbon tie.


  2. 100 Day Project // Panels 46 – 54

    May 4, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels in my 100 Day project.

    Panel No. 46 // Junk Drawer

    I was hoping for more with this panel, but that’s what experimenting is for. The teal goatskin was covered with thread scraps layered between coats of paint. To create the distressed look, the leather was sanded. This step removed most of the thread pieces, only leaving a few remnants here and there. I had hoped that the thread scraps were create more indentation in the leather through the sanding process. To build this back into the design I embroidered three “strands” of thread with light peach, navy blue and copper cotton thread.

    Photographed on a decorative couch pillow.

    Panel No. 47 // Formidable Task

    I really love the final look of this panel and I definitely plan to explore this look further. The panel is covered in a pastel marbled paper that I got from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts shop. Drummed over the top is an embroidered piece of uterine calf parchment. The ochre yellow cotton floss runs behind the parchment and is the starting point for the cloud filling pattern done in very light antique violet cotton floss.

    Photographed on a page from Gowanus Waters by Steven Hirsch. Made while listening to Lana Del Rey.

    Panel No. 48 // Capture

    Using just the blanket stitch, I created this asymmetrical design with various colors of cotton floss embroidered on maroon goatskin. I planned out this design by drawing some wavy lines on to tracing paper, which was used as a guide to punch holes at random intervals along the line.

    Photographed on a black and white polka dot dress.

    Panel No. 49 // Greta

    This lovely and colorful caticorn drawing came from my 7-year old niece Greta. Her drawing was done with the saturated colors commonly found in a crayon box, but I chose a more muted palette. I traced her image onto tracing paper, then punched the entire piece through Arches paper. Then before any embroidery work, I colored in each segment according to her drawing and did my best to follow the direction of the crayon stroke and color outside the lines when appropriate. The entire piece is stitched with a dark pewter grey cotton floss.

    Photographed on a floral circular purse.

    Panel No. 50 // Turn

    I had been working with a client to design a cover for a series of graphite drawings. The design needed to be subtle and mimic some of the techniques used in the drawings. So, I decided to play around with an idea on this panel. I cut out a square of leather, then rotated it 180º before inlaying it back in place. The disruption of the grain pattern is very subtle, too subtle in my opinion.

    Photographed on a slab of marble.

    Panel No. 51 // Mint Slither

    This panel is another test for the client mentioned above in the previous panel and another attempt to create a subtle design. After covering the board in a plum goatskin, a portion was cut out and replaced with a full thickness piece of leather in the same color. Before this piece was inlaid, the edges were painted with ash green Acryla gouache and dots of coral red. The painted edge becomes more visible as you lean the panel forward.

    Photographed on a paste paper made by Claire Mazcarcyk. Made while listening to Laura Mvula.

    Panel No. 52 // Scrunchie No. 2

    This is a second attempt of scrunching the leather with a running stitch. Two lines of stitches are sewn with pewter grey and medium light nile green cotton floss. The latter has been whipped stitched with pewter grey. The bright orange buffalo skin was greatly warped by the running stitches which encouraged the leather to bunch and wrinkle when it was glued to the board. These wrinkles are accentuated with blind tooling and whipped stitch in pale pink cotton floss. Shapes are randomly tooled around the board in navy blue and lilac matte foil.

    Photographed on a decorative sheet of Lokta paper.

    Panel No. 53 // Kicks

    In this panel, I wanted to play around with wrapped cord. It turned out to be very time consuming which resulted in a rather simple finished panel. The neon green cord is wrapped with light orange spice cotton floss, light blue green cotton floss and dark teal wool thread. At least one of the wrapped threads anchors the cord to the board that is covered in St. Armand blue paper. The cord is surrounded with tooled rectangles in electric blue matte foil.

    Photographed on a tiger print dress.

    Panel No. 54 // Cottonball

    I have played with beading in past panels, but for this panel I wanted to couch a string of beads. Another surprisingly time consuming technique. The string of beads includes tangerine and denim blue glass seed beads. Running alongside the string of beads is a blind tooled line and a stitched line mixed with chain stitch and back stitch. The embroidery is done with lilac cotton floss which perfectly matches the lilac St. Armand paper which covers the board.

    Photographed on a floral folder repurposed from a Paper Source calendar. Made while listening to Led Zeppelin.


  3. 100 Day Project // Panels 37 – 45

    April 27, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels for my 100 Day Project.

    Panel No. 37 // Weirdo Shrine

    The inspiration for this panel came while making Panel No. 25. For that panel, I punched the holes for the embroidery through the covered panel which caused the material to “volcano” on the backside. I removed these peaks with a scalpel blade before stitching to create a smooth surface. For this panel I tiled different handmade paper onto the panel before covering it with a layer of lilac St. Armand paper. I punched the holes from the backside so that the “volcanoes” would emerge on the front side. Then I carved out the peaks with a scalpel before stitching with a gunmetal metallic thread.

    Photographed with Sweet Bee vinyl figurine. Made while listening to La Luz.

    Panel No. 38 // Dangerously Ripe

    This panel is covered in flanelle buffalo skin with naturally dyed silk appliqued with cutch/iron cotton floss. This is a technique I used recently on a design binding and wanted to play around with it some more for this panel.

    Photographed on a woven basket (where we keep our snacks!). Made while listening to Lady Gaga.

    Panel No. 39 // Fletcher

    The illustration depicted here comes from my wonderful 3-year old nephew Fletcher. These wacky figures are embroidered on a peach handmade paper from Katie MacGregor and stitched with light golden brown and dark rosewood cotton floss. The figure on the right has a brown St. Armand onlay for a dress and electric blue abaca paper onlays for ears.

    Photographed on the back cover of The Wrong Place by Brecht Evens.

    Panel No. 40 // To Being Number One

    To create the cheetah for this panel, I painted out a collage of colors using various Acryla gouache paints. To find the perfect placement, I cut out a silhouette of the cheetah and traced the best spot on the painting. Additional markings are drawn on with colored pens. The cheetah is adhered to a medium brown goatskin.

    Photographed on the page for August in a calendar made by Bloomwolf Studio.

    Panel No. 41 // Bursting

    A pile of thread scraps have been piling up on my bench, so for this panel I decided to couched them onto a base of mauve buffalo skin. Beneath the mess of threads are three pieces of mica that have been attached with French knots. The mica was scavenged from a creek near Penland School of Crafts.

    Photographed on the cover for The Plague by Albert Camus. Made while listening to Ladyhawke and Lake.

    Panel No. 42 // Screen

    This panel came to life while I was trimming the flyleaves on a design binding. I thought I might try to use the trimmed pieces rather than throw them away. The panel is covered in an over marbled paper which I made during a workshop with Chena River Marblers. Strips of mauve handmade paper are embroidered in a whipped back stitch with corn flower, terra cotta and ash grey linen Londonderry thread. The strips extend beyond the board with the edges folded inward.

    Photographed on a souvenir from Tokyo – cats on a handkerchief.

    Panel No. 43 // Squares

    For this panel, I found inspiration inside the book featured in the background. The design tiles together various colored St. Armand papers which are outlined with a running stitch in light antique violet cotton floss. The design sits on a base of red-brown handmade paper from Katie MacGregor.

    Photographed on a page from Embroidery and Colour by Constance Howard.

    Panel No. 44 // Scrunchie No. 1

    The running stitch can be used in fabric to scrunch the cloth, so I aspired to do the same with leather. For the most part, the running stitches have been obscured by various notions and scraps. Neon orange and heather copper cord are couched onto the leather with navy blue and medium golden olive cotton floss, respectively. A piece of perforated suede in the center is tacked down with light antique violet. Finally, a strand of yellow yarn loops through the piece and is couched onto the wild orchid cowhide with dark garnet cotton floss.

    Photographed on a page from Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings 1984 – 1992.

    Panel No. 45 // Making the Move

    My intention with this panel was to create a tooled design directly on the panel in response to the shape of the onlays. The two onlays are cut from yellow translucent abaca from the Morgan Conservatory, with details drawn using Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencil in manganese violet and orange. Concentric outlines rippling from each onlay are blind tooled onto French Chagreen dark brown goatskin.

    Photographed on a vintage popcorn tin. Made while listening to Lake.


  4. 100 Day Project // Panels 28 – 36

    April 20, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Panel No. 28 // Up Above

    On the doublures for my binding of Roadkills, I used the same technique of cutting and reassembling strips of decorative paper. For this panel, I combined a handmade marbled paper with a screen-printed paper I bought from Fabrikat. The assemblage was then cut into various shapes and attached to the back side a piece of same screen-printed paper. Almost every edge has been embroidered with either a back stitch, whipped back stitch or double whipped back stitch with cotton floss in medium antique violet, sage green and navy blue.

    Photographed on a decorative couch pillow.

    Panel No. 29 // Make Sense?

    Putting loose threads on a binding seems like a bad idea, but it was fun to play around with it on this panel. The threads are actually really fun to play with; making twirls and loops and changing the overall appearance of the piece. The panel was embroidered on twill cowhide with purple Kinkame silk thread which kinks and twists very easily.

    Photographed on a sheet of handmade paper from Hook Pottery Paper. Made while listening to the Kill Bill: Volume One soundtrack.

    Panel No. 30 // Date Plum

    This panel has a lot of movement as well, the long blue bugle beads swing and sway. The base is a piece of periwinkle Khadi paper laminated with permission papyrus. Irridescent cap sequin surround a natural inclusion in the papyrus. The sequin are attached with French knots in antique violet cotton floss and stitches in fuchsia cotton floss. Peaks couched on with dark straw and light seagreen cotton floss. French knots in light nile green are scattered above the peaks.

    Photographed on a blue and white striped button-up shirt.

    Panel No. 31 // Waves

    This panel is covered in a piece of fair goatskin hand-dyed with spirit dyes in aqua green and red. Before brushing on the initial layer of red dye, areas were masked out with various irregular shapes. Then aqua green was brushed over the top. Strips of light pink buffalo, mustard cowhide and spotted fashion leather have been inlaid using a V-cut tool.

    Photographed on a wire mesh divider. Made while listening to Kishi Bashi.

    Panel No. 32 // June 9th

    Growing up in the Midwest, intense thunderstorms often ushered in the beginning of summer. The skies would turn a sick yellow, green. The air would be incredibly still with the onset of lightning and thunder. This panel is covered in a piece of fair goatskin dyed with yellow spirit dye using the craquelle technique. A collage of decorative papers make the cloud, lightning and sun. Rain drops are tooled in various shapes with metallic teal, matte lilac and matte navy blue foil.

    Photographed on back cover of Sheila Hicks: Material Voices. Made while listening to Kutiman.

    Panel No. 33 // Squall

    Now that I live in New England, I don’t get to experience those Midwestern thunderstorms anymore, but we do get gale-force winds quite frequently. This panel is covered in a paste paper I made a while back for another project. The top half is embroidered with magenta cotton floss in a mix of back stitch and split stitch.

    Photographed on front cover of Sheila Hicks: Material Voices.

    Panel No. 34 // Languid

    This panel is covered in a pigmented white skin from Pergamena. I used this skin for an edition project and have lots of scraps left over. The paper onlays are cut from various handmade papers from Katie MacGregor in periwinkle, orchid and melon. A flower doodle is embroidered in a matching cotton floss in back stitch.

    Photographed on a page from Panther by Brecht Evens.

    Panel No. 35 // For the Poppies

    This panel was actually inspired from a YouTube video I stumbled upon while going down a rabbit-hole of watching cute animal videos. In this particular video, a man had tried to nurse a squirrel kit back to health. Unfortunately, it died and he buried it on a bed of flowers. It was quite a striking image and I decided to recreate it with these coyote foot bones I had lying around from my binding of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The panel is covered in a paper from Hook Pottery Paper with a collage of screen-printed flowers with petals drawn with colored pencils. The coyote bones are tacked on with cotton floss in various tones of pink and burgundy.

    Photographed on a handmade paper from Hook Pottery Paper.

    Panel No. 36 // Broken Relationship

    The panel is covered with a pastel wave Chiyogami paper with a piece of die-cut suede drummed on over the top. After cutting three different areas, the edges were opened up and pulled tight with whipped stitches in silver blue, golden olive and light shell pink cotton floss.

    Photographed on the back cover paste down of No Man’s Land by Blexbolex.


  5. 100 Day Project // Panels 19 – 27

    April 14, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels in my 100 day project.

    Panel No. 19 // Neighborhood No. 2

    This panel is the second half of a design, which was created for a client and ultimately not chosen. The first half of the design appears on Panel No. 5. The stacked houses are created with a range of handmade papers from the Morgan Conservatory and St. Armand. The bottom three papers come from the Morgan Conservatory and appear in periwinkle, coral red and slate grey. The top layer is cut from a light blue colored paper from St. Armand. All paper pieces are attached with PVA and glued to a board covered in mustard Cowhide.

    Photographed on illustration of a painted brick wall made by me.

    Panel No. 20 // Gowanus

    While teaching at the Paper and Book Intensive years ago, I acquired a few sheets of eco-printed paper from Velma Bolyard. I love these papers which capture color and texture from various vegetation and food scraps. I bought the paper with the intention to embroidery details into the paper. And that is what I did for this panel. I used a variety of colors in cotton floss to highlight different shapes and colors in the paper.

    Photographed in front of With Love from Nepal by Imagine (aka Sneha Shrestha), a public mural near Central Square in Cambridge.

    Panel No. 21 // Spring

    I made this panel while taking a stay-cation with my husband at a local hotel. It was a great way to get out of our house and savor some local treats. This panel was inspired by the artwork in our hotel room and is a collage of watercolor painting, embroidery with various colors in cotton floss and colored pencil. Created on medium weight watercolor paper and attached with PVA.

    Photographed in front of Illuminated by Sagie Vangelina, a public mural near Central Square in Cambridge.

    Panel No. 22 // Warmth

    I was thinking about family and my childhood quilt that lives quietly folded up. It is tattered from years of use and I’ve retired it so that it does not receive any more damage. The panel is a quick arrangement of shapes and doodles inspired by the quilt. After the illustrated paper was attached with PVA, lines were scored into the paper with a bone folder by running it against a ruler.

    Photographed on my childhood quilt made by my Grandmother.

    Panel No. 23 // Frosted Flakes

    One of my favorite memories from my childhood was taking a tour of the Kellogg’s factory with my brother and my Dzia, which ended in this great photograph with Tony the Tiger. Earlier in the year, I had created a drawing of a vintage Frosted Flakes box and decided to re-create it here for one of my panels. This panel is a combination of paper pieces, colored pencil and embroidery. Fuchsia Lokta paper is used for the background of the box and Tony’s tongue. The rest of the box is outlined with dark blue cotton floss. Tony’s head and the bowl of cereal are outlined with a corn yellow cotton floss with areas of yellow abaca/cotton paper. Details on Tony’s face and ears are outlined in dark blue cotton floss and filled in with prussian blue Caran d’Ache colored pencil.

    Photographed in front of photograph of me and my Dzia.

    Panel No. 24 // Future Plans

    Absent minded doodles greatly inspire my work. I love to recreate these quickly executed doodles through more time consuming means. This doodle came from a middle school student I had for a book arts class. Students often doodle onto the binder’s board that line their benches. The context of these doodles get lost to time, but when isolated become beautiful pieces of art. The doodle was initially blind tooled onto a piece of pumpkin cowhide and then painted with Acryla gouache in ash green.

    Photographed on the wood flooring of my porch. Made while listening to Kelis and Karen O.

    Panel No. 25 // Plume

    Embroidery through wood has been on my list of experiments for a while. This panel was initially covered with a salmon paper from Itoya Ginza (an incredible paper shop in Tokyo) to cover the edges of the board. A piece of hand marbled wood veneer was cut and laminated to the board. The veneer was marbled during a workshop with Chena River Marblers while I was a student at North Bennet Street School. The board was pierced with a pin vice and needle before being embroidered with a light orange spice cotton floss. The embroidery is done in back stitch and outlines the shape created by the marbling.

    Photographed on the same hand marbled wood veneer.

    Panel No. 26 // Jeanne d’Arc

    Printing on undyed calfskin is a new technique I’ve been playing around with. I was curious if I could capture a realistic image well with this technique. So, I grabbed a still from the incredible 1928 film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc. After paring the calfskin, I ran it through my inkjet printer. Typically I would seal the printed leather, but I am currently out of sealant. The crown on Joan of Arc’s head is couched with a light antique violet cotton floss. Embellishments in dark straw yellow cotton floss are stitched in French knots (some with tails).

    Photographed on decorative paper from Fabrikat (an incredible tool shop in Zurich).

    Panel No. 27 // Loud Eater

    I love the back side of an embroidered project just as much as the front. Sadly with my embroidered leather bindings, no one ever gets to see the back side. For this panel, I attempted to sew in reverse to create an outline around the pretzel. The panel is covered in a ruby cowhide with an onlay of natural handmade paper (from Katie MacGregor) for the pretzel. The embroidery is done with medium golden olive cotton floss.

    Photographed on a tea towel.


  6. Upcoming Workshops // June – August

    April 13, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Making your summer plans? Consider signing up for an online workshop. No matter where you are in the world, you can now register for a workshop! All workshops will be recorded and will be available to students who register, so no need to stay up late for class if you live in a different time zone. Can’t wait to see you in class!

    JUNE
    Cross Structure Binding
    4 Sessions // June 8 – 17 (Tuesday and Thursday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by May 25 to receive your material kit!

    The Cross Structure binding is a non-adhesive binding that offers much freedom to the text block. This 20th century design is greatly inspired by the Long Stitch bindings of the medieval era. It is suitable in conservation or new bindings, such as travel journals or decorative bindings. The structure is uniquely constructed by interlocking the front and back cover at the spine.

    In this workshop, students will create 4 variations of the Cross Structure binding working with both handmade paper and leather to create their models.

    Variations on Single Signature Bindings
    4 Sessions // June 22 – July 1 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 8 to receive your material kit!

    Books come in all shapes and sizes. Some may span only a few pages, while others become a thick tome. In this workshop, we’ll explore the former as we create a multitude of models with both soft and hardcovers.

    Students will begin this workshop by making a series of simple softcover pamphlets using a variety of sewing patterns before moving on to hardcover structures. All of these structures allow the book to lay flat and are perfect for chapbooks, presentation pamphlets or short stories.

    JULY
    *NEW*
    Quick Enclosures Series
    3 Sessions // July 11 – 25 (Sunday mornings)
    10:00am – 12:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by June 29 to receive your material kit!

    This workshop will focus on quick enclosures that can be constructed from sturdy paper and heavy cardstock. Many of the folding techniques presented in this workshop stem from origami, which have been further explored by the imitable Hedi Kyle. In addition, students will also learn how to construct paper slipcases and 4-flap enclosures often used in conservation.

    We will discuss how to cut and measure for custom projects, however the kit will include a small blank book, which will be used to construct the enclosures during the workshop.

    AUGUST
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // August 3 – 12 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by July 20 to receive your material kit!

    ONLY ONE SPOT LEFT!

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    2-Day: Shrigley
    3 Sessions // August 23 & 27 (Monday & Friday)
    Aug. 23: 10:00am – 1:00pm & 3:00 – 6:00pm
    Aug. 27: 3:00 – 4:00pm
    Maine Media Workshops + College – Online

    The Shrigley is an innovative way to house loose ephemera, postcards, photographs, prints and more. The pages are folded into frames, allowing you to easily add or remove pieces from the book. In this workshop, students will learn the folding techniques to create the frames with various corner styles. Once the pages are assembled and sewn, students will finish their project by making a hardcover case with a ribbon tie.


  7. 100 Day Project // Panels 10 – 18

    April 6, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    Here are the next nine panels in my 100 day project.

    Panel No. 10 // Tangle

    These panels are giving me the opportunity to play around with materials I might not consider for a binding and so I grabbed some cording I had picked up from a recent trip to Britex in San Francisco. This panel is covered in tangerine cowhide and chartreuse Moriki paper. Two strands of cord are tacked on with orange and navy blue silk thread. In the bottom corner are two stitched lines of emerald silk thread.

    Photographed on a bookshelf with a John Hook ceramic pig.

    Panel No. 11 // Sad Mole

    My husband and brother-in-law often collaborate together on drawings. I love their style of drawing and the line work can translate very easily into embroidery. This panel is covered in natura buffalo skin with embroidery in dark peach and desert sand cotton floss. Painted elements in opera gouache.

    Photographed next to a planter and plastic stegosaurus. Made while listening to Jónsi.

    Panel No. 12 // What’s Going Around

    I had been wanting to play around with beadwork on leather for a while. The inspiration for this panel came from an image of a petri dish. French knots and beads could easily emulate the growth of the colorful fungus. The embroidery is done in silk thread in navy blue, jade, green aqua, cafe au lait and desert rose. Dark denim glass beads attached with navy blue silk thread. A single paper onlay from handmade translucent abaca paper in teal.

    Photographed on a dinner plate and made while listening to The Strokes.

    Panel No. 13 // Ice Skaters in Spring

    This panel was covered in fair calfskin hand-dyed with various spirit dyes. To apply the yellow dye, I cut strips of paper and dipped them into the dye before brushing it onto the skin. The orange and red dyes were applied with wool daubers to create irregular blobs and spots. Bordeaux powder dye was applied with waffle patterned furniture pads. Longs strands of silk embroidery floss stitched in jade and navy blue.

    Photographed on a navy blue Hay crate and made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 14 // Central – Cambridge

    I love photographing the ground under my feet, particularly tiles and subway platforms. I have mistakenly named this panel for Central Station in Cambridge, so the search continues to figure out its precise location. This panel is made from mostly layers of paper. The bottom layer is a piece of peach paper with lines drawn in slate grey to mimic tiling. The darker tiles are cut from dyed Japanese tissue and wheatstraw paper in black from Hook Pottery paper. The central gold tile is a piece of embossed metallic gold leather. The tenji tiles are made from 20pt. museum board and covered in sunburst cowhide.

    Photographed on a bookshelf next to a vintage action figurine. Made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 15 // Pulse

    This cork metallic paper has a beautiful texture, but does not wrap well around the edge of the board. The purple rectangle is a paper covered inlay made from 20pt. museum board and handmade paper. It is slightly thicker than the cork and therefore sits a little raised. The inlay has been embroidered with coral red polyester thread.

    Photographed next to a vinyl figurine.

    Panel No. 16 // Greetie

    This panel began to take shape with the inclusion of the two plastic trinkets which were ultimately glued to the finished board. The panel is covered in a medium brown goatskin with hand-painted details in ash green, neutral grey and leaf green. A pekinese stitch surrounds the cloud embroidered in light peach cotton floss with a strand of fuchsia wool thread twisted underneath. Seed beads in dark blue stitched to the ends of each droplet.

    Photographed on a vintage Camel cigarettes tin.

    Panel No. 17 // Everlasting Gobstopper

    This panel was inspired by a student in my Embroidered Leather Binding workshop. We discussed ways she could create a window in the cover and embroider around it. The panel is covered in steel blue Stonehenge paper with a collaged raised onlay. The raised onlay is covered in various handmade papers in dark orchid, bright blue, chartreuse yellow and tangerine. Edges are embroidered with dark grey cotton floss. The window is stitched with blue cotton floss and wraps around the edges.

    Photographed on a vintage serving tray.

    Panel No. 18 // Saccharine

    In addition to playing around with beadwork on leather, I’ve also been wanting to add sequin to the mix. This panel explores a range of sequin and styles of attachment. The sequin are paired with dark denim and fuchsia seed beads and tooling done with matte lilac and holographic foil.

    Photographed on a mushroom print folder repurposed from a Paper Source calendar.


  8. 100 Day Project // Panels 1 – 9

    March 30, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    At the beginning of February, I decided to embark on a 100 day project where I would craft decorative panels. Working on an intense project like this has been on my life list for a while and I hoped that it would force me to be spontaneous and free in my work. The only perimeters I set for myself was to keep the panels to 3×3″.

    With these panels I wanted to let loose and play around with material and technique combinations that have been on my list to explore for some time now. Some panels have inspired others, while some inspirations have come from the people around me. I am already seeing these explorations seep into my binding work. You can follow the daily updates on my Instagram, but over the next 11 weeks, I’ll outline each panel further here on the blog.

    Panel No. 1 // Squiggles

    To jump start the project, I made a list of about 30 ideas and a handful of sketches. For the first panel I pulled from one of these sketches. It’s a simple design of red buffalo skin with a handmade coral red paper onlay. The paper comes from the Morgan Conservatory and was attached with PVA. The embroidery is a simple looped line stitched with Splendor lilac silk thread in back stitch using a combination of 1- and 2-ply thread.

    The panel is photographed on white paper and was made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 2 // Boys

    The illustration of these two boys comes from one of my middle school students created during an exercise in blind contour drawing. I’ve loved this illustration and had fun recreating it in embroidery on leather. The panel is covered in dark grey buffalo skin with hand-painted shapes using Acryla gouache in coral red, misty blue and olive. The embroidery is done in back-stitch and French knots in melon and peacock blue DMC cotton floss. The line weight varies between 1- and 2-ply thread.

    The panel is photographed on my bench and was made while listening to Jenny Wilson.

    Panel No. 3 // Summer Drops

    This panel was a random collection of marks made through colored pencil, paper and embroidery. The panel is covered with handmade Katie MacGregor paper in celadon green. I used Caran d’Ache Luminance colored pencils to create the doodles through the piece. Embroidery was employed in back stitch, seed stitch and French knots using DMC cotton floss in light antique violet, electric blue and khaki brown. There are a few paper onlays in fuchsia Lokta and handmade Katie MacGregor paper in rosewood, all attached with PVA.

    The panel is photographed on white paper.

    Panel No. 4 // Playdaze

    As I was building this panel, it began to remind me of a roller skating rink I often visited as a kid. The panel is covered in maroon goatskin with painted circles using Acryla gouache (coral red and misty blue). The embroidery is done both by hand and with a sewing machine. The electric blue circles were created with the machine; playing with the settings created stitches that were loose and irregular. The bright yellow bursts are stitched with Gloriana silk thread. The French knots with dual tails are done in Splendor lilac silk thread.

    Photographed on salmon pink cotton fabric and made while listening to Jay-Z and Jessica Pratt.

    Panel No. 5 // Neighborhood No. 1

    This design is half of an idea that was rejected by a client during the design phase of their project. I really loved this stack of houses and wanted to see it realized at some point. This panel is covered in mauve buffalo skin with lines tooled in matte bright blue foil.

    Photograph with house blocks and made while listening to Joan as Police Woman

    Panel No. 6 // Sea Vents

    The base leather became the inspiration for the overall design of this panel. It is printed calfskin which was meant to be used for another project, but the printer was low on ink and therefore the color came out wrong. The imagery of the printed calfskin is a photograph of a tide pool (created by Rebecca Chamlee), which inspired me to create a scene of deep sea vents with handmade paper onlays using paper made by Katie MacGregor (celadon with drawn lines in navy blue colored pencil) and the Morgan Conservatory (orchid). Embroidery is done in back stitch in dark melon cotton floss. Long stitches of icy blue cotton floss and gunmetal metallic thread surround the base of the sea vents.

    Photographed on paste paper and made while listening to Jay-Z.

    Panel No. 7 // Veil

    This panel was generated by the drive to use the cloud filling stitch. I wanted to create an irregular pattern with this stitch and allow it live outside the three inches of the panel. The panel is covered with handmade Katie MacGregor paper in celadon green. Dots colored with Caran d’Ache Luminance pencil in spring green. To create the cloud filling stitch, vertical stitches are placed into the paper with old gold DMC cotton floss. The netting effect is created by running a light terra cotton DMC cotton floss under the initial vertical stitches. These running threads were tied at the ends with the tails left visible along the edges.

    Photographed on image from Gowanus Waters by Steven Hirsch and made while listening to Joanna Newsom.

    Panel No. 8 // Tranquil

    This panel is my re-imaging of an object from the Louvre that I found calmed my nerves. The panel is covered with handmade peach Katie MacGregor paper. The object is made from brown St. Armand colored paper and embroidered with various tones of pink: burgundy polyester thread, dark rosewood, light rosewood, and plum cotton floss. French knots created with black brown cotton floss.

    Photographed on marbled paper and made while listening to Joanna Newsom and John Wizards.

    Panel No. 9 // Outing

    I grabbed The Ideation Deck by Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum to help generate the design for this panel. The result combined various textures through paper, leather and embroidery. The panel is covered in tomato red St. Armand colored paper with onlays of soft pearl mint crinkle paper and pastel marbled paper outlined in a whipped back stitch using dark teal green and light nile green cotton floss. The accordion map is an onlay of cornsilk cowhide with edges painted with lilac Acryla gouache. Route stitched in dark rosewood DMC cotton floss with points stitched in French knots using light beige grey DMC cotton floss.

    Photographed against a vintage Replogle globe and kaiju figurine.


  9. Upcoming Workshops // January – April

    January 12, 2021 by Erin Fletcher

    JANUARY
    Embroidered Leather Binding
    SOLD OUT // Add your name to the waitlist

    FEBRUARY
    2-Day: Shrigley
    Maine Media Workshops + College
    SOLD OUT // Add your name to the waitlist

    MARCH
    Choose Your Own Adventure: Non-Adhesive Bindings
    1 – 5 Sessions // March 4 – 18 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 9:00pm (EST)
    Sign- up by February 22 to receive your material kit!

    The number of ways to sew a book can seem almost endless. In this workshop, students can explore up to six different sewing patterns that are left exposed on the spine offering both structural support to the binding and unique decoration. Learning these sewing patterns, which stem from historical structures, will give students the foundation and knowledge to further explore non-adhesive bindings on their own.

    APRIL
    Box Series
    4 Sessions // April 20 – 29 (Tuesday and Thursday evenings)
    6:00 – 8:30pm (EST)
    Sign-up by April 9 to receive your material kit!

    Boxes come in all shapes and sizes. In this workshop, we’ll look at just three examples: French-Tray with Drop Spine, Clamshell and Japanese Box Case. Students will learn how to assemble these three styles of boxes while also discussing the ways to measure for custom box-making. This workshop will give you the foundational skills to build and modify your own boxes. It will also explore different ways of creating closures for boxes.

    Flatback Case Binding
    2 Sessions // April 24 – 25 (Saturday and Sunday morning)
    10:00am – 1:00pm (EST)
    Sign-up by April 14 to receive your material kit!

    The Flatback Case Binding is one of the most common and recognizable structures today. In this workshop, students will learn foundational binding skills to assemble two different styles of covering known as quarter cloth and half cloth. The Flatback Case Binding is easy to construct and is perfect for small publications, artist books, journals and more.


  10. Choose Your Own Adventure Workshop // Non-Adhesive Bindings

    December 15, 2020 by Erin Fletcher

    This workshop is designed to cover a range of non-adhesive structures, just a small handful of the multitude of ways to sew a book. Non-adhesive bindings are great for any skill level, but beginner binders will learn fundamental sewing skills and work with a range of materials. Build this workshop for your skill level and your budget. Sign up for any number of workshops: 1, 3 or all 5! Receive $25 if you sign up for all 5.

    Choose Your Own Adventure // Non Adhesive
    March 4 – 18 (Tues and Thurs evenings)
    6:00 – 9:00pm (est)
    Register here


  • Visit My Bindery
    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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