RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘interview’

  1. December // Bookbinder of the Month: Kathy Abbott

    December 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    OnACalmShore-KathyAbbott

    On a Calm Shore is a 1960 edition by Frances Cornford with illustrations by Christopher Cornford. In 2015, Kathy Abbott bound this copy in full grey goatskin with recessed and embossed onlays with relief printing. The edges are decorated and printed to match the design on the covers.

    Can you walk us through the processes used to create the layered design in the recessed areas of the binding?
    This text-block was a very unusual choice for me as it was printed in the 1960’s on modern paper and was heavily illustrated. I am usually drawn to early 20th century, letterpressed printed books from private presses, with no illustrations. When I found this text in a second-hand bookshop, I was delighted: the poems were charming and the illustrations were so vibrant and alive, that I just had to buy it.

    OnACalmShore2-KathyAbbott

    I made this binding for an exhibition in London last year called: Covered. I have responded to the references to the sea in the poetry and to the layered screen-printed illustrations by the author’s son, Christopher Cornford on this binding. I felt that the structure had to be a fine binding over layered pasteboards so that I could sculpt the boards easily, and cover it in beautiful grainy leather, to create different textures.

    OnACalmShore3-KathyAbbott

    Boards before lacing onto the book.

    To create this design, I cut away parts of the boards; laced the boards on and lined the outside with paper to form a solid ground for the leather. I then covered the book with Nigerian goatskin, pushing the leather into the recesses with a very fine-pointed bone folder. I made seaweed-y shapes from millboard (a very laborious job achieved by cutting out the shapes with a scalpel and making bespoke sanding tools to get into the nooks and crannies) and then pressed the millboard pieces really hard into the dampened recessed areas of the covers. I applied the feathered yellow onlays, pressed the millboard shapes in again and then relief printed on top with acrylic ink through scrim, to achieve the texture, which is consistently used within the book’s illustrations.

    OnACalmShore4-KathyAbbott

    left: Boards laced onto book with design cut out | right: Binding covered in goatskin with feathered onlays.

    My response to each book I bind dictates the technique I must employ, often pushing me outside anything I have ever tackled before, and forces me to be on the edge of my practice technically: I always embrace this process.

    What techniques did you employ to carry that pattern onto the edge decoration?
    I coloured the edges with terracotta coloured acrylic ink and then used the same relief printing technique for the texture.

    OnACalmShore5-KathyAbbott

    This interview comes as a suggestion from Haein Song after I interviewed her back in February 2014. Not knowing anything about Kathy or her work, I soon discovered that, though her bindings may appear simplistic, her designs are meticulously planned and thoughtfully executed. In addition to her striking designs, I was pulled in by the gorgeous leathers used to cover her bindings. In the interview, I ask Kathy about her design processes, techniques and her strategy for choosing the perfect skin. She also goes into the concept behind Tomorrow’s Past and the ease of publishing a bookbinding manual.

    Check out the interview after the jump for more about Kathy’s training and her creative process. Come back each Sunday during the month of December for more on Kathy’s work. You can subscribe to the blog to receive email reminders, so you never miss post.

    read more >


  2. October // Bookbinder of the Month: Tini Miura

    October 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    LaCreationBlue-TiniMiura

    La Création (from the Old Testament) is a two volume set and was bound two ways by Tini Miura in 1983. The book itself was published in Paris in 1928 and includes illustrations by François-Louis Schmied. The first book is bound in dark blue morocco. The explosive design was created by using a large collection of colored onlays and platinum tooling. The central design of concentric circles symbolizes the calmness amongst darkness and chaos. Click on the image below to see a detailed image of the design.

    LaCreationBlue5-TiniMiura

    The doublures are a pale blue morocco with cool-colored onlays and platinum tooling. The fly leaf is one of her recognizable oleaugraphs (more on that in the interview below).

    LaCreationRed-TiniMiura

    The second binding in La Création is equally expressive, but designed in a warmer palette eluding to the birth of life. This binding contains the suite of illustrations by F.L. Schmied in black and white and is bound in a wine colored morocco. An impressive collection of onlays create the pictorial design along with another explosive central design similar to the first binding. Small tooled shapes are speckled across the background and emphasized with gold and red foils.

    LaCreationRed3-TiniMiura

    The doublures are created in a similar fashion to the other binding using pink morocco and onlays in rose. The tooling is completed with gold foil.

    I think it can be tricky to create a cohesive and attractive design when adding multiple layers of color and tooled elements. Your interpretations of La Création are an example of when this design strategy is successful. When you are building designs this complex, where do you begin? Can you walk through your process for laying out your designs in leather?
    I saw the image in my mind and understood this was from the old testament: In the beginning………The word created the vibrations which are spreading throughout our universe.

    1. I begin with the idea sketch, indicate colors, shapes etc.
    2. make a scale to scale drawing, indicate numbers of lines and curves from the set of the gilding tools
    3. transfer this design onto a long fiber Japanese paper
    4. attach this Japanese paper
    5. begin the tracing using my warm tools through the paper
    6. remove the paper, begin deepen the impressions
    7. moisten parts of the leather, using a warm gilding tool “ crushing” the deep leather grain to a solid line by gradually increasing the temperature and pressure. ( to have an uninterrupted gold line all grain has to be “ crushed “ to a level where no hight differences exist.)
    8. onlay: thinly pared leather is wetted, placed over the shape it is meant for, tapped down by using a soft brush as not to tear or stretch the shape, using a warm gilding tool follow the lines, remove the leather, let dry between board, when dry, cut desired shape holding a penknife at an 45 degree angle. Roughen the form on the original leather on the book with dull side of binders knife for a better hold. Paste out the onlay, wet the roughened shape, paste onlay. down. Press under a thin Japanese paper with fingers or flat hand, pick up excess paste, trace outlines, let dry under weight.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Tini Miura became a household name during my time at the North Bennet Street School. Our instructor, Jeff Altepeter, was taught by her while at the American Academy of Bookbinding and so her techniques would emerge into demonstrations every once in a while. For the interview this month, I’m going to be mainly focusing on bindings from her book A Master’s Bibliophile Bindings: Tini Miura 1980 – 1990. This book was my first exposure to her work and when I first fell for her expressive and colorful designs. Tini has had a long and prolific career as a binder and teacher, so I hope you enjoy her responses on those experiences.

    Check out the interview after the jump and make sure you come back during the month of October for even more enlightening responses regarding a selection of Tini’s work. You can get email reminders by subscribing to the blog, just click here.

    read more >


  3. Makin’ Care of Business Interview

    July 8, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    MCoBLogo

    Check out my interview on Makin’ Care of Business! Rachel Binx is a three-time business owner (MonochōmeGifpop, and Meshu), who started this amazing collection of interviews with other makers who have turned their passion into a small business. She encourages everyone she interviews to speak honestly about their experiences on starting a business, the successes and struggles.

    I did my best to follow these guidelines, I hope you enjoy and please spend some time perusing the other great interviews she has done.


  4. July // Bookbinder of the Month: Ben Elbel

    July 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    BovenKamer1-BenElbel

    Boven Kamers is a collaborative Dutch pop-up book between neuroscientist Gerard J. Boer, professor Harry B.M. Uijlings, paper artist Ingrid Siliakus and graphic designer Moon Brouwer. The book contains a total of six laser cut pop-up spreads which send the reader on a tour through the human brain and its functions. Printed in a limited edition of 50, each book is numbered and signed.

    Ben Elbel‘s innovative rebinding of this book was just completed earlier this year.

    I have been waiting in anticipation to see this binding after you spoke to me about it. In your newsletter on this binding, you mention that the compensation folios are sewn together. The spine opens to a sharp ‘V’ allowing the pages to lay flat, can you elaborate on the sewing structure and any treatment done to the spine?
    Boven Kamers (literally means upper rooms in Dutch, a colloquial expression meaning brain), is an exploration of the human brain in the form of a pop up book, by the young Dutch designer and publisher Moon Brouwer.

    I was commissioned to re-bind the book by the Dutch Royal Library (The Hague).

    When I first received it, the book presented itself as a series of folios laminated with one another, each folio containing a pop up. A hard cover was provided but disconnected from the textblock.

    Technically, the challenge was to provide compensation for the pop-ups as well as a perfectly flat surface for them to smoothly unfold, all of this without sewing and without introducing blank pages between the folios.

    After some research I concluded that none of the existing binding structures (traditional or contemporary) were quite suitable to do all this, so I created a new one from scratch.

    BovenKamer7-BenElbelBovenKamer4-BenElbel

    It took about a year and the result is a series of ‘T’ elements made from heavy paper, sewn with one another. The folios are inserted between each T and secured only at the fore-edge. On the next images one can see how the spread ‘floats’ on top of the binding, allowing the pop up to fully unfold. The original cover was mounted at the back of the book and a lettering was created, on the spine and front board, to evoke a kind of staircase leading to the upper rooms.

    BovenKamer6-BenElbel

    You can read a bit more about the binding and see some images of the book at various stages through the design process here.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Ben and I have kept in contact ever since he embarked on offering online courses (more on that in the interview). His work and business ethic are quite inspiring as Elbel Libro has expanded beyond the traditional bindery. He ceases to amaze me with his sleek designs and innovative binding structures. There seems to be no stopping his creativity.

    Check out the interview after the jump and make sure you come back during the month of July for even more probing questions regarding a selection of Ben’s work. You can get email reminders by subscribing to the blog, just click hereread more >


  5. April // Book Artist of the Month: Natalie Stopka

    April 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    Botanical-NatalieStopka

    Natalie Stopka has conducted extensive research and experimentation with natural dyes, which is partly what drew me to interview her on the blog. I’ve long been interested in incorporating natural dyes into my own work. So it’s fair to say that I’m quite inspired by Natalie’s work.

    At the end of your year at the Center for the Book, you presented on a series of natural dye experiments in a pretty brilliant way. What drew you to focus on natural dyes and how did you to come to present your findings through embroidery?
    I became interested in natural dyeing as an antidote to city life. I was initially drawn to the process of foraging and dyeing itself, but the more I studied the history behind the process, the more it became apparent that our culture has devalued and forgotten the vast majority of the dye artistry we once possessed. This artistry is akin to alchemy, because we still do not scientifically understand what functions many colorant compounds perform for the plants that create them, or how many dye processes occur on a chemical level. I was surprised to learn that each part of a plant – its petals, leaves, bark, and roots – create different colors. These colors can be manipulated into a greater range of tones by using a variety of mordants and fibers. I decided to explore the full range of colors accessible in a single plant using these methods.

    I chose three trees I had access to in upstate New York; birch, crab apple, and black cherry. From these I responsibly foraged leaves and bark, and used them to dye alum-mordanted silk, cotton, wool, linen/wool, and silk/wool thread. I then treated the dyed thread with the color modifiers copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, an acid, and a base. I was left with about 40 samples in a range of colors and textures representing each tree’s dye potential. Some samples had very little color at all, but some were vivid and strongly varied.

    Botanical2-NatalieStopka

    I had known these experiments would become a series of embroidery pieces from the beginning, and I wanted to illustrate the clear distinctions in the dye colorants accessible in different parts of the plant. I adopted the form of the traditional botanical illustration, utilizing the thread dyed with the analogous plant part to illustrate it. That is to say, the leaves are depicted with leaf-dyed threads, and the bark with bark-dyed threads. For the birch tree embroidery, I also differentiated between the inner and outer barks.

    Botanical3-NatalieStopka

    LEFT: birch MIDDLE: black cherry RIGHT: crab apple

    The final element of these pieces is a question pertinent to any bookbinder: time. Not only are natural dyes sensitive to ultraviolet light, but the modifiers I used degrade fibers over time. The ephemeral nature of natural dyes is a sad reality for an artist, but I think it can also be beautiful. These three pieces each have a lifespan, and to measure it I enclosed a sample of each thread used in the embroidery behind the frame. There it will be protected from light, and can be used as a point of comparison over time.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I became aware of Natalie Stopka’s work while visiting the Center for the Book in New York, which in happenstance was exhibiting the piece above. Since then I’ve continued to keep an eye on her portfolio, especially the work she does with natural dyes and marbling. Natalie’s work encompasses not only the prior mediums mentioned, but she also dabbles in book arts as well.

    Check out the interview after the jump, then come back each Monday during the month of April for additional posts on Natalie’s work. Need a reminder? Subscribe to the blog.

    read more >


  6. March // Bookbinder of the Month: Tracey Rowledge

    March 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    FourQuartets1997a-TraceyRoweledge

    Tracey Rowledge bound her first copy of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets in 1997 (shown above) years before she would revisit the text again with a parallel binding in 2014.

    You have created two very similar bindings for T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets; bound in black goatskin with gold tooled markings. The gold tooled design on the earlier binding offers freedom and movement while the gold tooled design on the later binding feels more direct and deliberate. Can you discuss your concept behind each binding?
    For the first binding I was conscious of T. S. Eliot’s dislike for images on the covers of his books, so I decided to create two brush marks that evoked the flow of his writing, rather than creating an image depicting anything I perceived to be pictorial. This was a very early fine binding and as the book was letterpress printed on thick paper, it was my first rounded-only fine binding (i.e. not backed). It was also the most technically demanding gold tooling I’d undertaken to date.

    FourQuartets1997b-TraceyRoweledge

    Ivor (Robinson) very generously told me that my first binding of Four Quartets would be one of his desert island books, and it was during the second binding of this book that Ivor died. The image on this book responds to the text, to my first binding of the book, but also, and for me just as importantly, this image contains my thank you letter to Ivor, it was the perfect and most poignant place for it.

    FourQuartet2014-TraceyRoweledge

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I’m so pleased to present the following interview with Tracey Rowledge. I didn’t know of Tracey’s work until Haein Song, whom I interviewed back in February of 2014, suggested that I interview her. What I came to discover is that Tracey is a keen artist who found a calling in bookbinding. Her artistic curiosities continue to influence her design choices as she blends together her artist techniques with those common to bookbinding. In the interview, I question Tracey both about her bookbinding and artwork and how the two have influenced each other.

    Check out the interview after the jump for more about Tracey, her background and creative process. Come back each Sunday during the month of March for more about Tracey’s work. You can subscribe to the blog to receive email reminders, so you never miss post.

    read more >


  7. November // Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    AliceInWonderlandBlack-SolReboraSol Rébora has bound two copies of Alice in Wonderland. Both designs are stark opposites, one bound in full black goatskin and one bound in full white goatskin. The binding above was bound in 2006, with the design executed in a series of blue onlays and title tooled in gold.

    The design on Alice in Wonderland (black) is stunning, the blue onlays run so fluidly across the covers. Did you hand-dye the blue onlays for this binding? Can you discuss the concept behind the design?
    I had read the book and the image of Alice falling along the stairs, plus the kind of dream that she led, gave me part of the idea for the design.

    Also the special perspective of the illustrations helps me to spread this design across the covers.

    I had used different colors of blue, but I didn’t dye them. The tone of a single skin of leather can change, depending on the section. I choose the piece I wanted depending on the tone and “direction” of the grain. Where the grain changes, the tone of the color changes; I can get different tones from the same skin of leather.

    AliceInWonderlandBlack2-SolReboraAliceInWonderlandBlack5-SolRebora

    The elegant ribbon-like set of onlays continues onto both the front and back doublures. The flyleaves are inlayed with a series of dots that extend the flow of the onlays.

    AliceInWonderlandBlack4-SolReboraAliceInWonderlandBlack3-SolRebora– – – – – – – – – – – –

    AliceInWonderlandWhite-SolRebora

    Sol’s response continues:
    Now, you may see I had bound the same book with a total different design; this one is full white leather with big flowers, all across the cover. Those flowers are done with inlay techniques, full color using blue, green, orange and yellow.

    I had done this design for the same book, same edition, with the same illustrations, but three years later and for a different client. (I didn’t have that wonderful white French leather in my hands when I bound the first Alice, and I didn’t have the beautiful Harmatan black leather when I bound the second Alice.)

    I should say that, being in Buenos Aires, I also have to play with the leathers I have at the moment to make decisions on my designs.

    – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Bound in the French-style of fine binding in full white goatskin, this Alice in Wonderland (white) was completed in 2010. The mosaic-like flowers are created through layers of goatskin. The lines and title are smoke tooled.

    AliceInWonderlandWhite2-SolReboraAliceInWonderlandWhite3-SolRebora

    I was introduced to the work of Sol Rébora through Pamela Train Leutz’s book The Thread That Binds. Her interview with Pamela was inspiring and led me to investigate her work further. Sol lives and works in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Up until now I’ve interview bookbinders from Canada, United States and England. I’m excited to present the point of a view from a bookbinder living in South America.

    In order to become the talented bookbinder she is now, Sol had to look into study opportunities outside of Argentina in order to grow within her field. Read the interview after the jump to explore more about bookbinding in Argentina and how Sol became a bookbinder. Come back each Sunday in the month of November to see more work from Sol.

    read more >


  8. August // Bookbinder of the Month: Mark Cockram

    August 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    AClockworkOrange-MarkCockram

    This binding of A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess was recently completed by the imitable Mark Cockram. The design is free of constraints, running wild and pushing the boundaries of the typical composition found on bindings past or present.

    Below are just two of the many photographs that Mark has shared on his blog documenting the progression of the binding. You can find more posts here. Seeing the transformation of the covers offers an even greater appreciation for the binding, exploring the work and dedication that was put into it.

    AClockworkOrangeprogress-MarkCockram

    A Clockwork Orange is special to Mark and deserved the right style of binding and design to speak of its story appropriately. The book is a second edition with a tipped in plate signed by the author.

    Your bindings have begun to develop into more textural surfaces with complex layers of color and graphics. What made you feel ready as an artist and bookbinder to bind a copy of this iconic title?
    I think I have always been interested in mixed media, even at art college my tutors would run out of things to say about my work. I suppose that with all the combinations of materials that have been and are being used to make books and how artists use materials, there is nothing new about what I do. I went to college in an age before the computer and for me cut and paste is just that… cut and paste.

    One aspect of bookbinding is to learn the skills that we need to make a book. This can be a life long journey. Some get so wound up in the technique and the craft of making that they forget the art of making and how design and art are as important as craft. I feel there has to be a balance in all things. Worse are the binders who say they work in the contemporary. Binding each book that finds itself on their bench with the same technique and material manipulation year in year out. The only apparent difference being the colour and the title.

    I realise that binders like to sell their work and it is so tempting to go for the easy option, after years of training and developing their ‘signature binding style’ and then the work begins to sell, it is at that time that forward movement ends. The collectors become comfortable with the styles of these binders. I have heard collectors say, at more than one private view “I have to have a so and so binding, I do not have one of his/hers yet”. It would appear that they are not collecting books, but binders work… Most binders working in this field tend to work with private press books from the 1890’s + (Golden Cockerel and the like) or modern private presses. I know that some text blocks are beautifully printed, but most titles and themes just seem to be dated. So who is to blame? The binders for doing the same thing year in year out? Or the collector, buying the same thing year in, year out? Or is it something else? Like a combination of the two.

    I prefer to move forward, to work with each book separately. To use an existing technique or to find something different depends on what the book needs. I do revisit past styles or working techniques if suitable … not as a matter of course. Over the last year or so I have been working with more mixed media. I suppose it looks like I go through phases with my work, but I tend to collect a few books that I feel a particular way of working would lend itself to and go for it.

    A Clockwork Orange is one of about 3 or 4 books that have a very graphic, layered, multi media feel and look to them. What else could I do with Clockwork? A full leather binding, generic traditional gold tooling with a nice label to the spine, 5 raised bands, marbled paper endpapers? Hardly contemporary and hardly in keeping with the text I think. It has been said that I am a brave binder, to take risks, to do what is not expected. I could take the safe path, bind in a fashion I know would sell, with the least amount of thought. But in reality I could not call myself a designer bookbinder let alone a contemporary bookbinder if I were to do that and most important I would not be either honest with my work and the book.

    AClockworkOrange3-MarkCockram AClockworkOrange2-MarkCockram

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    While a student at North Bennet Street School, I had the opportunity to travel with my fellow classmates to London. On this trip we spent an afternoon at Studio 5, Mark’s bindery space. His energy was infectious as he bounced around the room demonstrating various techniques and answering all of our eagerly asked questions. I regrettably did not take the time to get to know Mark further that day, so I was very happy that he agreed to be interviewed on my blog. I am in constant awe of the work he churns out, both in their execution and design.

    I’m so delighted to present the following interview with Mark Cockram. His bindings transform the traditional view of bookbinding and push the form into a new level of design. His work and dedication to the craft is aspirational and Mark has thoughtfully answered each of my questions with so much passion and truthfulness (with a bit of wit mixed in). Throughout the month of August, I’ll be presenting a binding of Mark’s each Sunday.

    Enjoy the interview after the jump.

    read more >


  9. May // Bookbinder of the Month: Monique Lallier

    May 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    DrawingsOfCaravaggio-MoniqueLallier

    This stunning binding was created by Monique Lallier almost ten years ago. Yet the design appears so fresh and relevant to the experimentations happening with contemporary design bindings. When you land on Monique’s website, this is the binding you are greeted with and it will, no doubt, cause you to click through every single page of the gallery. The Drawings of Caravaggio by Ally Jones was bound in full scarlet leather in the French technique. The boards have been cut to reveal the red suede fly leaves through a collection of wires that have been embedded into the thickness of the board. Straddled around the top edge of the cut-out is an onlay of snakeskin. 

    The book is housed in a box covered in black silk with matching red and snakeskin onlays.

    If I remember correctly you told me that this is one of the first bindings you completed and that it is still your favorite. I love this binding as well for many reasons: the use of bright colors, contrasting textures from the goatskin, suede flyleaves and snakeskin onlay and the inclusion of a window cut-out of the cover. This window element is peppered throughout your portfolio. What does this element bring to your designs and why do you keep coming back to it?
    This binding was done in 2005. I had done the “window element” before to give space for an agate in 1985, so I suppose it evolved to an opening that was not totally filled-in like The Fables of Aesop where I have wires imbedded in the thickness of the front board and you see, through the opening to the lion stamped on the leather fly leave, or this Caravaggio, also with wires imbedded in the thickness of the boards. It was done in an advanced class for AAB (American Academy of Bookbinding) and I wanted to show the students how to line the thickness of the boards with black leather in this case.

    I suppose I keep coming back to it because I like the effect of “seeing through”, like in Les Sonnets (shown below) where the boards, the covering leather and the leather doublures are all cut out. In this case, it was to illustrate how Les Sonnets have an impression on you. (More images on this binding later!)

    LesSonnets4-MoniqueLallier

    Monique’s work is awe-inspiring. Not only do I find her bindings to be so, but also her involvement in the bookbinding community.  Our community and the craft of bookbinding thrives when talented and dedicated people like Monique become teachers. Between my first and second year at North Bennet Street School, I jumped at the opportunity to take a week-long private workshop with Monique at her home in North Carolina, where I absorbed everything she had to offer (no doubt an infinitesimal amount to the vast knowledge she holds).

    I’m really honored that Monique agreed to be interviewed for my blog, which she has complimented me about several times. So without furthering gushing, please enjoy the interview after the jump. Stay updated with posts by signing up for an email subscription. Since Monique has an ample collection of work, each week I’ll be showcasing multiple bindings including a few newly bound and unseen works!

    read more >


  10. February // Bookbinder of the Month: Haein Song

    February 1, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    MythOfSisyphus-HaeinSong

    This beautiful binding of The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays by Albert Camus was crafted in 2013 by Haein Song. Bound as a Bradel binding, the spine is covered in a natural goatskin with dark blue vellum covers. The sprinkled dashes on the covers are hand tooled in gold. The spectacular endpapers are hand printed. 

    MythOfSisyphus2-HaeinSongMythOfSisyphus3-HaeinSong

    This binding is absolutely stunning and so flawlessly executed. The covers are a beautiful dark blue vellum. Did you find the material difficult to work with in either the structural or tooling aspect of the binding process? I have a single experience with vellum over boards, but I know that bookbinders approach the board construction differently. May I ask if you prepped the boards for the covers in any particular way for the vellum?
    I heard few notorious rumours about vellum but I don’t think I found it difficult at the time I was working on it. Partly because it was a relatively small bradel binding and there wasn’t headcaps or joints. The spine of the book is covered in natural goatskin. 

    What I found afterwards was that the front and back vellum boards sometimes change their shapes depending on the humidity or temperature of the surrounding. But surprisingly it comes back to the original shape after some time. I was told that it needed a little bit of time to climatise.

    Later I was also told that lining vellum with a very thin paper (archival bible paper or Japanese paper) would reduce this changeable characteristic. 

    Tooling wasn’t particularly hard after practising enough on sample boards but I don’t think I have an ample amount of experience to compare differences in tooling on leather or vellum.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I have not yet had the pleasure of meeting Haein or been presented the opportunity of viewing her work in person. However, I’ve had her website bookmarked for a while now, checking back from time to time to ogle her work. As I began preparing a list of people to interview this year Haein’s name popped up as a suggestion from Hannah Brown, whom I interviewed at this time last year. So with Hannah’s endorsement and my growing fondness, I present the following interview with Haein Song. The interview ends with Haein’s elegantly worded philosophy on bookbinding. 

    Come back every Sunday during the month of February for more posts on Haein’s work. You don’t want to miss it, Haein shares some of the creative techniques behind her expressive and artistic bindings. 

    read more >


  • 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.
    Take a WorkshopNewsletter SignupSubscribe to Blog
  • Categories
  • Archives