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  1. Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 28, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    tamalpaiswalking-coleencurry

    Every three years, the Guild of Book Workers offers a national traveling exhibition based on a general theme. In June 2012, Horizon, the most recent GBW exhibition began it’s journey across the nation starting at the University of Kentucky. The exhibition is currently on it’s way to the University of Denver for display from August 1st – October 31st. You can check out the rest of the schedule here

    Every day, Coleen Curry runs the trails of Mt. Tamalpais. This landscape is her backyard, her horizon; she can catch a glimpse of the mountain from her bindery windows. The text of Mt. Tamalpais echoes Coleen’s feelings about the mountain-scape and therefore, she chose to represent this horizon through texture.

    Bound as a French-style fine binding, sewn on cords with laced-in boards. Covered in full goatskin leather that has been sanded, distressed and dyed with matching edge to edge doublures. The slopes of Mt. Tamalpais are represented with collaged horsetails, that Coleen collected from the watershed, dried and pressed. To celebrate the fog that wraps around the ridges and the California poppies and Indian paintbrush which smatter the slopes, Coleen painted and blind tooled lizard inlays and onlays.

    When I toured this exhibition at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, I was in awe of Coleen’s binding. Because her work is so textural, her bindings appear even more vibrant and animated in person. 

    tamalpaiswalkingdetail-coleencurry


  2. Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 21, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    fantasynonsense-coleencurry

    In 2012, the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers put on a juried set-book exhibition which was held in conjunction with the Standards of Excellence conference at the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The set-book, Fantasy and Nonsense, is a collection of poems from 19th century American poet James Whitcomb Riley with peculiar wood engravings by Berrot Hubrecht. The text was letterpress printed on handmade paper in an edition of 230 from Tryst Press.

    The first prize went to Coleen Curry’s traditional French-style fine binding covered in a custom-dye pink Harmatan goatskin. Sewn on 4 cords with laced-in boards. The front and back cover cutouts have embedded electrical wires strung with floating glass beads. The decorative endpapers are made by Coleen; a collage made by laminating magazine strips, then sanding and painting the surface. The finished collage was then scanned and inkjet printed onto arches text wove. The bold color palette is a reflection of the whimsical nature of the poems and illustrations.

    fantasynonsense2-coleencurry


  3. Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 14, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    desertdreams-coleencurry

    West of the Plains was a juried exhibition put on by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers between 2008-09. Coleen Curry submitted two fine bindings to this exhibition, Desert Dreams by Lawrence G. Van Velzer with illustrations by Peggy Gotthold and Grand and Sublime Scenery by W.W. Elliot. 

    In 2008, Desert Dreams was bound as a traditional French-style fine binding, sewn on 5 cords with laced-in boards. Bound in Harmatan goatskin with matching doublures and suede fly leaves. Lacunose-style sanded leather raised onlays decorate the covers. Blind and gold leaf tooling, title is hand tooled with golf leaf. The head edge is gilded. The binding is housed in a clamshell box lined with ultra suede and covered in ‘Duo’ cloth using magnets for closure. A colored agate slice decorates the box cover. 

    Coleen was inspired by the vast mesa in Utah. While she drives to Telluride from California, she often travels through an area of Utah called the Paradox Valley. The colors on the binding are that very mesa. Coleen is excited about the lacunose technique because it so easily creates a feeling of landscape and motion. 

    Laura Wait acted as an exhibit juror and wrote quite the review of Coleen’s work: “Californian Coleen Curry’s binding “Desert Dreams”, is perhaps the finest example of traditional French binding in the show, with leather doublures, suede flyleaves and raised onlays. It also opens well!”


  4. Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 7, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    grandandsublimescenery-coleencurry

    W.W. Elliot’s Grand and Sublime Scenery was bound by Coleen Curry in 2008 as a French-style fine binding, sewn on cords with lace-in boards. Covered in black Morocco goatskin with matching edge to edge doublures; cover has an embedded Colorado agate. The head edge is decorated with graphite and title is hand-tooled in palladium. 

    The book is about the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada, which inspired Coleen to create a structure that would excite awe and showcase the timeless expanse of the landscape. The front cover panel is held in place by magnets and opens three-quarters outward to reveal elements of rock and giant redwood trees. The interior panel is designed with a layer of blind tooled lacunose (sanded leather) and two layers of Japanese paper.

    In 2009, Coleen’s binding was selected for the Guild of Book Workers traveling juried exhibition Marking Time. The exhibition traveled throughout the country until March 2011.


  5. July // Bookbinder of the Month: Coleen Curry

    July 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    lacouleurduvent-coleencurry

    Coleen Curry was amongst the talented bookbinders who participated in the ARA-Canada exhibit La Couleur du Vent, an international design binding exhibition starting in Paris before traveling to Quebec in September 2013 and then Montreal in November 2013. La Couleur du Vent is a collection of poems by Gilles Vigneault, illustrated and designed by Nastassja Imiolek under the artistic direction of Cécile Côté. If it sounds familiar, I posted about this exhibition during last month’s interview with Sonya Sheats

    Coleen bound this copy of La Couleur du Vent as a ‘Montage sur onglets’ style so the prints would not get lost in the gutter. The term ‘Montage sur onglets’ refers to the signatures being sewn on stubs to release them from the confines of the gutter and offering a less restricted opening. Sewn on cords with laced-in boards, the book is bound in red water buffalo with chartreuse water buffalo edge to edge doublures. Exotic leather inlays of varying depths decorate the front and back covers. Title tooled with gold foil. The flyleaves are decorated papers made by Coleen. 

    A brief explanation about the design from Coleen:
    The colors match the prints in the book.  I took some of the shapes from the prints and altered them to create a feeling of blowing in the wind and to create movement.

    lacouleurduvent2-coleencurry lacouleurduvent3-coleencurry

    Coleen’s work has been on my radar ever since I came across her binding of Toni Morrison’s A Mercy at the Chicago Public Library’s exhibition One Book, Many Interpretations in 2011. I attended the opening reception not only because I love design bindings, but to see my own binding of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. This was the first time I had a binding on exhibit and I was quite honored to be on display with so many other talented binders.

    A Mercy by Toni Morrison bound by Coleen Curry

    A Mercy by Toni Morrison bound by Coleen Curry

    Coleen’s work masterfully mixes traditional leathers with some non-traditional textures such as exotic leathers, agate, and horsetail (to name a few). But I am more attracted to Coleen’s brilliant use of color; either by adding pops of color, subtle hints or just out-right all-over bold color palettes. 

    Read the interview after the jump and come back each Sunday in the month of July to view more gems from Coleen’s portfolio.

    read more >


  6. Horizon: Online Catalog

    March 5, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

    Flatland-ErinFletcher

    After waiting patiently for months, the catalog for the Guild of Book Workers Traveling Exhibition: Horizon is now online!! I am so honored to be apart of this show, exhibiting with other binders and book artists whom I respect. Here are a few of my favorites from the show:

    1. I love the dyed goatskin and layered elements which include painted lizard on Coleen Curry’s Tamalpais Walking
    2. I am always amazed by the work of Mark Esser. His craftsmanship is always executed perfectly: William Anthony, Fine Binder
    3. Ever since I visited Karen Hanmer at her home bindery where she graciously allowed me to handle her work, this book has been one of my favorites: Horizons… Capri
    4. Horizon, Where Earth Meets Sky bound by Priscilla Spitler, whom I believe is one of the best at executing pictorial designs out of leather and other materials
    5. 42nd Parallel bound by Wendy Withrow is such an elegantly designed book on a theme we can all relate

    I also had the delight of being exhibited alongside three of my classmates from North Bennet Street School:
    1. Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions bound by Erin Fletcher (that’s me)
    2. The Silmarillion bound by Heather Bain
    3. Dance of Death bound by Samuel Feinstein
    4. Hiroshima bound by Rebecca Koch


  • 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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