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Posts Tagged ‘derek hood’

  1. Bookbinder of the Month: Derek Hood

    April 28, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    In 2012, Derek Hood bound a copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses in full dark blue goatskin with onlays and inlays in various leathers. Printed on natural calfskin (and used as onlays) are excerpts from Joyce’s recently released handwritten manuscript of Ulysses. The book was sewn on hemp cords, which were laced into the boards. The book edges are gilt in 24kt leaf, as is the title on the spine. Endpapers are leather jointed, with Japanese Kozo doublures.

    A hand drawn map of Leopold Bloom’s Dublin by Vladimir Nabokov inspired the design. It follows Bloom’s heady journey, starting from Dublin Bay and meandering across the Liffe. The simple map is intertwined with two fractured Greek masks.

    This first edition copy of Ulysses was published by Random House of New York in 1934. 


  2. Bookbinder of the Month: Derek Hood

    April 21, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Looks Like Nothing The Shadow Through Air was published by Circle Press in 1972 in a limited edition of 175. Letterpress printed in Times Roman on T.H. Saunders mould-made paper, the content is previously unpublished poems written by Larry Eigner between 1960-1969. The edition includes illustrated relief prints by Ronald King. 

    Derek Hood covered the binding in multiple inlaid leathers including suede, calf and snakeskin. The top edge is hand gilt in 24kt gold leaf. Lettering is tooled in white, purple and 24kt leaf. Endpapers are leather jointed with Japanese Kozo paper doublures, which are tooled with purple arcs.

    The cover artwork is a direct response to the poetry of Larry Eigner. The space between the lines, that Eigner creates, say as much to the reader as the words upon them. The circular movement reflects Eigner’s constant referral to the moon, the sun and the interplay of light between the two. The gold dots are used to emulate the keys of Eigner’s 1940s Royal manual typewriter, which he used to type all of his poetry on. The title is lettered around the book to reflect the informal style in which Eigner laid out his poetry on the page.

  3. Bookbinder of the Month: Derek Hood

    April 14, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Published by Golden Cockerel Press in 1930 in an edition of 500, this copy of The Phaedo of Plato is number 392. Written by Plato and translated into English by Benjamen Jowett, this edition also includes ornaments and initial letters by Eric Gill.

    In 2012, Derek Hood bound this copy for the Flow Gallery Exhibition. The binding is covered in light-blue goatskin with inlays of goatskin and alum-tawed calfskin. The outlines are recess onlayed with strips of grey goatskin. The book has Japanese Kozo paper doublures, which are leather jointed. The top-edge is hand gilt with the other two sides left deckled. Titling with Gill Sans hand letters are used in gold on the spine. The binding is housed in a cloth chemise and contrasting slipcase.

    The front cover shows a central abstract figure representing Socrates. The fractured image contains elements of his impending poisoning and transition from this world to the next. The muted palette and use of a wooden sphere are used to echo Socrates’ philosophical obsession with natural order. 

  4. Bookbinder of the Month: Derek Hood

    April 7, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Revolution in Mind and Practice written by Robert Owen and was published by Effingham Wilson of London in 1849. Derek Hood created this fine binding as a commission for Lord Tom Sawyer as part of an exhibition of 12 books to celebrate 200 years of Socialism. A private viewing of the books was held at the House of Lords.

    Covered in multiple inlays over sculpted boards. The design follows a fluid path based around the letter ‘S’ which represents the word Society and Owen’s revolutionary view of what it could become. The circular movement around the central hole – the minds eye – simulates the flow of his cognitive thought process.

  5. April // Bookbinder of the Month: Derek Hood

    April 1, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Dumas/de Coster is a beautiful collection of photographs of bookbindings from 1935-1980. It was published in a limited edition of 100 in Paris for the Librarie Auguste Blaizot in 1981. The catalogue is printed on tinted Romana paper, with 14 color and 19 black and white photographs, signed by both artists.

    Commissioned by a collector, Derek Hood bound this book as a laced-in boards binding sewn on pleister tapes. (I’m not familiar with this term, but Derek describes them as the French type that you can then fray and lace into the boards after sewing.) The individual pages were guarded before sewing. The spine was covered in three separate parts and the boards were attached using the leather over boards technique (also referred to as a Bradel binding), once completed. The top edge is hand gilt in 24kt leaf and the headbands sewn with silk thread.


    The endpapers are leather jointed with leather doublures, which are decorated with onlays and gold tooling in a similar manner as the cover design. The book is housed in a quarter leather chemise and a leather entry slipcase. 

    I always look forward to the moment when my inbox receives material for the next interview. As I opened the folder containing images of Derek Hood’s more recent bindings I was struck by the image of this binding. I’m greatly inspired by Derek’s work and was so pleased he agreed to be interviewed on my blog.

    The design of this binding is incredibly complex. The linear and triangular forms along with the range of colors offers intrigue and depth. Derek shares his inspiration and process behind the design.
    The design was abstracted from a pencil landscape drawing by Germaine de Coster. Initially, the whole image was traced in simplistic linear form, outlining the buildings, mountains and sunrays, so that every pencil stroke was essentially accounted for. Areas of interest were then honed and focused on until the main triangular form was realized. The finished piece has only an essence of the original drawing, but it is intended to convey the same idea of sunlight and shadow bouncing off multiple planes whilst crossing a vast landscape.

    In 2006, Derek was elected a Licentiate member of the Designer Bookbinders and assigned Paul Delrue and Lori Sauer as mentors. Derek never formally visited either of them during his licentiateship, but discussed the topics of art and books regularly on the telephone. “I like them and their work a lot. It was nice to have two strong, but totally different perspectives on life within the realms of Designer Bookbinders.” Derek now holds the position of a Fellow in the Designer Bookbinders.

    Read the interview after the jump and come back each Sunday in the month of April for more of Derek’s work.

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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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