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Posts Tagged ‘miniature’

  1. Bonus // Bookbinder of the Month: Tini Miura

    October 25, 2015 by Erin Fletcher


    In a recent competition put on by the Washington University Libraries Special Collections, the public was encouraged to judge books by their covers and cast their vote for favorite binding. Fittingly, the book being bound was Bernard C. Middleton’s You Can Judge a Book By Its Cover, which was published by Mel Kavin and designed by Ward Ritchie in miniature form back in 1995 (which is presumably around the time it was bound as well).

    The first book of this edition was designed and bound by Tini and Einen Miura and printed by Henry Morris. Later on, 32 more binders were invited to create their own unique binding and to celebrate the artistry of the miniature book.

    Tini bound the book in black morocco. She used the onlaid shapes and design to tell a story about the author. The ascending tooled area represents Bernard Middleton’s larger than life character. Running along side this path are circle onlays of various sizes and colors, which show the abundance of information he has shared with the world throughout his professional life.

    In the image above, the book is shown on the right with the slipcase pictured on the left. Tini also made a miniature chemise, which would be placed around the book before sliding it into the slipcase.


    The edges are gilt and headbands handsewn in colored silk. The doublures, seen above, have multicolored circular onlays and tooling.

    The scale of many of the bindings in your book A Master’s Bibliophile Bindings: Tini Miura 1980 – 1990 are quite large. For the final post in your interview I would like to talk about two miniatures you did for Bernard Middleton’s You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover. What challenges did you come across when scaling down the binding and decorating processes?
    Usually my books are large, because they are limited edition livre d’artiste. They have signed original images by artists like Picasso, Leger, Roualt, etc. and are extremely expensive.

    I prefer large books that open well and can be enjoyed easily, while lying on a table. Small books have to be held on both sides to keep them open, there is no weight to the text. But I have enjoyed doing some immensely. No change in binding steps for miniatures.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Tini bound an additional copy of Middleton’s book in black morocco with several colored inlays (inspired by the shape printed at the top of the foreword) and foil tooling.


    The edges have been gilt and gauffered with colored polka dots. The endpapers are marbled. The book lives in a small clamshell box.


  2. My Hand // Goose Eggs & Other Fowl Expressions

    March 16, 2015 by Erin Fletcher


    At the Guild of Book Workers’ Standards Conference in DC, I picked up a couple miniature text blocks from Gabrielle Fox. One of the them being Goose Eggs & Other Fowl Expressions printed by Rebecca Press in 1991. The letterpress printing was done in a vibrant purple with hints of mint blue and bright yellow. The image below is a spread from the book.


    For the binding, I decided to test the limitations of the Dorfner binding in a miniature format. Last year I had the chance to learn this very special binding structure. Unfortunately not from Edgard Claes himself, but from Colin Urbina who had the opportunity to take a workshop from the celebrated Belgian binder. The Dorfner-style binding was originally developed by German binder Otto Dorfner.

    I sadly did not take any images during the process of creating this binding as it was the first miniature I’ve ever bound and was delighted by how quickly I was able to move through each step. So needless to say, I forgot to stop and take images, but I will explain the binding process a bit in this post.


    The book is sewn on two silver snakeskin tapes (initially lined with silk) before being rounded and backed. The edges were properly prepped for a layer of mint blue gouache paint. Leather wrapped headbands decorate the head and tail in a skin that perfectly matches the purple ink from the text block.

    The spine piece is wrapped in mauve buffalo skin, which was shaped and the headcaps were formed off the book. After cutting away to expose the tapes, the spine piece is attached to the text block and then the light grey suede flyleaves are put in place.


    Now comes the fun part. The MDF boards are carefully shaped, first with a power sander and then by hand to offer an elegant cushioned edge. Afterward, the boards are laminated on both sides with a wood veneer. For this binding, I used an unknown wood that I found in a sample pack of domestic and exotic woods (so if anyone can identify this wood, please let me know). A channel is cut out of the veneer and the tapes are glued down to attach the board. To hide the tapes a second veneer is cut and glued down. For this binding, I cut four tabs out of Karelian birch in the shape of a goose egg.


    The book is housed in a tiny clamshell box. The spine is covered in the same mauve buffalo skin and silver canapetta cloth that mimics the veneer on the cover boards. The trays are covered in a yellow handmade paper from Katie MacGregor, which was also used as the book’s endpapers. The book is protected with a light grey suede lining.


    Goose Eggs is the second Dorfner binding that I’ve made to date. I really love this structure, it has a unique elegance and it can be assembled rather quickly. So I’m looking forward to working with this structure again and hope to incorporate some common elements of my work like gold tooling and embroidery. I also hope to learn more about marquetry in order to create intricate designs in the veneer.

  3. Client Work: Clamshell Box for Seven Miniature Shakespeare Books

    May 7, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    A client came to me with a set of seven miniature limp-leather Shakespeare bindings in need of a clamshell box. The length of each book was exactly the same, but the width and height varied slightly. As a solution I built individual French trays for each book and assembled them side by side as the A tray for the clamshell box.


    The French trays were constructed with a single opening at the tail of each book, exposing a piece of satin ribbon. The ribbon was installed for ease in removing each book and to put less stress on the book during this process. When measuring for each French tray, I was less concerned about the width (as I knew they would vary) and the length (as they were all consistent). However, I wanted the French trays to be the same height. Since the books varied from 12mm to 19mm, I adjusted the thickness of the trays by laminating board together so the books would rest at a uniform height.

    Since each French tray would be custom fitted to a specific book, I stamped each title with gold foil on the Hahnemuhle ingres used to line the base of each tray. This would prevent any confusion when replacing the books and to make sure the books rest in their properly fitted tray.


    The walls were made from millboard and covered with brown Canapetta bookcloth.

    clamshellmini2-erinfletcher clamshellmini`-erinfletcher

    Once all of the French trays were assembled I was able to measure out the materials for the B tray and the case. The B tray was covered with the same brown Canapetta cloth and lined with earth Hahnemuhle ingres. The exterior of the box was covered with a dusty pink buffalo skin and stamped with gold foil the initials of my client’s wife. As this was to be a gift for Christmas.


    I was very satisfied with the overall construction and feel of the box, as was my client. I enjoyed the challenge that was presented by this project and working with miniatures was a nice change of pace from my regular line-up. You can see more client work on the Services page at Herringbone Bindery.

  4. Bookbinder of the Month: Jan Sobota

    December 2, 2012 by Erin Fletcher

    Jan Sobota produced several miniature bindings, which were included in various exhibitions. This binding of Edgar Allen Poe’s The Black Cat was published in a small edition of 20 by Jan and Jarmilla in 2009. This book-object was designed as a ‘Jack-in-the-Box’, the book is permanently attached to a spring that jumps forward as you open the lid. The black cat silhouette on the front cover is laser cut and finished with hand painting and tooling in white foil.

    The box is covered in black binders’ cloth and the lid is hand tooled in a pattern resembling a brick wall. The box measures 2.75″ x 2.75″ and the book measures 2.3″ x 2.3″.

    resource: J. & J. Book Arts Studio

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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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