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Posts Tagged ‘box making’

  1. My Hand // Boxes for Laura Davidson

    September 19, 2014 by Erin Fletcher


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson

    A while back, I had the chance to interview the artist Laura Davidson as a part of my Book Artist of the Month series. Since then, Laura and I have stayed in contact with each other, which has given me the opportunity to view some of her works in their various stages. Most recently Laura completed a set of prints illustrating various bridges across the country. These six bridges were chosen due to their close proximity to the many spaces Laura views as home. The act of crossing these bridges, Laura is filled with the anticipation of almost being home, therefore, the set of prints are aptly titled Almost Home.


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson

    Laura presented me with the opportunity to build an edition of boxes to house the prints from her Almost Home series. I was quite elated. I’ve really enjoyed Laura’s work and was excited to be working with her. Laura knew she wanted a clamshell box, something sleek and clean. I’m came by her studio and we discussed material options and how the prints would fit in the box.

    After everything was settled and the materials were ordered, I began working on the small edition of 8 clamshell boxes. Clamshell boxes are pretty straight forward, but with Laura’s boxes I would be adding a few custom elements. First, the base of the interior tray would include some padding. The prints themselves had no discernible thickness, but Laura wanted the box to be at least ½” thick.  So the outward appearance of the box was the right height for Laura and the interior height of the tray was right for the prints.

    Once the binders board was cut and the trays were assembled, it was time to cover them. Laura chose silver Canapetta cloth for its durability and textural qualities. The color also complimented the prints and the industrial feel of bridges. To streamline the process I used a small paint roller and paint tray filled with PVA.


    The second custom element came as the material used on the lining of the trays. Laura provided me with 8 sheets of hand-drawn decorative paper. Using a combination of ink and markers, Laura’s custom lining paper pulled imagery from the prints and grabbed colors from the boxes and brown wrapper. Below is an image of one of the finished boxes showcasing the lining.


    Finally, it was time to make the cases, which were also covered in silver Canapetta cloth. Before covering, however, I had to create a label well on the front cover board and the spine piece. Each of these wells would be filled with a printed label that Laura had provided me. I also used a paint roller to streamline the process of making the cases.


    The hand-printed label on the front cover is an ‘A’ both acting as the support beams of the bridge and the first letter to the title of the series. The label on the spine came from extra prints from the series. Laura artistically cut down the print to isolate some compelling and inciting imagery.

    It was quite a joy to create these boxes and to work for an artist as talented as Laura!


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


    Photo courtesy of Laura Davidson


  2. My Hand // Multi-Section Slipcase

    August 5, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    For the past few months, I’ve been creating a collection of boxes for an aspiring book collector client of mine. Each box is similar in its format and design, only the colors change; a clamshell box with a rounded leather spine with false raised bands. The author and date of the imprint are hand tooled in gold on the spine with the title stamped in gold foil on a leather label recessed on the front board. The trays are covered in Canapetta bookcloth and lined with Bugra paper.

    Five boxes into this ongoing project, my client presented his five volume set of The Christmas Books by Charles Dickens, asking for a box to hold all five that could also mimic the other clamshell boxes I had already made. I remembered a tutorial of Hedi Kyle’s that I had printed out some time ago on a multi-section slipcase, which she presented in 2005 at the GBW Standards held in Portland, Oregon. So I set out to create a model to present to my client.


    The model was constructed using 20 pt. museum board and some scrap bookcloth. For the client’s box, I had to devise a way to cover the 20 pt. using Canapetta bookcloth and Bugra. Since a full sheet of 20 pt. laminated with bookcloth would get too bulky in the fold, the walls were assembled with four separate panels leaving a slight gap creating proper movement at the hinge.

    My client also requested notches on the walls for easy removal of the books. Semi-circles were cut out along the edge of the panels and the cloth was cut into triangles to successfully turn-in around the curve.


    Construction of this multi-section slipcase could be rather finicky at times, making it difficult to keep each component square. Once the slipcase sections were assembled and the interior ‘tongue and slot’ closure was added, it was time to construct an exterior case to mimic the clamshell boxes. I began by shaping the spine, which was rather difficult on a box that was wider than either of its other dimensions. The false bands were added and finally the leather was pasted down. The spine was then tooled and the leather label was laid into its well on the front board.

    MultiSectionSlipcase3-ErinFletcher MultiSectionSlipcase4-ErinFletcher

    The slipcase block is mounted to the back board of the exterior case, which can freely swing away and aid in the movement of the slipcases.


  • 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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