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Posts Tagged ‘sol rebora’

  1. My Trip to Codex

    February 26, 2017 by Erin Fletcher

    At the beginning of February, I flew to San Francisco to attend the Codex Book Fair for the first time. The Codex Foundation was formed in 2005 by fine press printer, Peter Rutledge Koch and paper conservator, Susan Filter. Since 2007, the Codex Book Fair and Symposium has run biennially, growing from 120 exhibitors in its first year to 220 in 2017. The venue has also been upgraded to the Craneway Pavilion (once known as the Ford Assembly Plant) to accommodate this ever growing event. The Symposium runs in conjunction with the fair and features keynote speakers within the field of artist books.

    The fair itself runs for four days, unfortunately I only had a chance to be there for the final two days. Needless to say, there was so much to see and so many people to chat with that I was unable to make it all the way through. If you are planning to attend in the future, give yourself four full days. You’re going to need it.

    This year, Codex hosted exhibitors from 26 different countries, who were there to showcase their artist books and fine press editions. In addition, various institutions that offer courses and programs in bookbinding and book arts were displaying work from current students and alumni. A handful of vendors could be spotted amongst the tables selling beautiful handmade papers and tools, plus leather and other binding materials.

    I had a really great time and would recommend making the trip if you are at all interested in bookbinding, book arts and printmaking. It will certainly open your eyes up to the vast levels of skill and creativity amongst our field. Below are some of the highlights from my visit to Codex.

    One of the first things to catch my eye were three bindings by Jonathan Tremblay. His work is so flawless and it was great to get the chance to handle these bindings and chat with Jonathan about his work. The best part of the raised inlay shown on the binding above, is that Jonathan hand-painted the exposed suede edges in a grain-like pattern so that it would blend in seamlessly. A truly amazing detail. Jonathan’s work was on display at A. Piroir Studio-Gallery, a fine press based out of Montréal.

    This lovely cloth book bound around brown thorns and embroidered with erotic images was constructed by Lois Morrison. Her work Leah, interprets an excerpt from the Old Testament. Lois’ illustrations are so expressive, her initial sketch in light blue pencil is still visible under the stitches (a detail that I just loved).

    Coleen Curry discussed a recent binding she completed for Nawakum Press. Her work is so textural and this piece was no exception. Combining a Pergamena grey goatskin with onlays of shark and sanded alligator skin. Really beautiful work.

    The book on the left is by Rhiannon Alpers and is such a creative and lovely way of utilizing the structure of the Secret Belgian binding. She was a delight to chat with and see her work in person. The work on the right is by the phenomenal printer and book artist Karen Kunc. Karen is from my home state of Nebraska, where she runs Constellation Studios. It was great to catch some insight on how this art form is being received in the midwest, particularly in an area that lacks exposure to book arts.

    Vellicate by Karen Hardy includes human hair and this amazing translucent clamshell box. She went through the book arts and printmaking MFA Program at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and is currently living in Asheville, North Carolina.

    A small selection from Vamp & Tramp Booksellers.

    This binding by Sol Rébora was one of many delightful finds at her table. It was so wonderful to meet Sol in person since interviewing her for the blog back in 2014. The delicate precision of her work is inspiring and Sol was kind enough to speak about the many details of her work.

    Towards the end of the final day, I made a quick stop at Tomorrow’s Past to say hello to Tracey Rowledge and Kathy Abbott. Above are two fine examples from their table. The two bindings on the right are stone veneer staple bindings bound by Sün Evrard.

    Well that’s just a small sample of the things I saw during my trip to Codex. As I mentioned before, it’s definitely worth making the trip. You’ll leave feeling inspired and emboldened to make work, plus you might walk away with an armful of goodies.


  2. Best of 2014

    December 31, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    As the year 2014 comes to a close, I want to send out another thank you to the nine bookbinders and book artists who took time away from their busy schedules to participate in my interviews. Another thank you goes to those who read and subscribe to my blog and I especially appreciate the kind comments I’ve received either in person or via email.

    Now to reflect on my year: Herringbone Bindery was busy yet again this year. I had the opportunity to work on some really great projects, amongst them were commissions from the Old State House in Boston, artist Laura Davidson and the Veatchs booksellers. An unusual amount of traveling this year took me to Rare Book School for the first time, up to Maine for a mini-conference and across the country to Vegas for the Guild of Book Workers conference.

    Things to expect in the New Year:
    – an updated website with all the projects I completed in 2014 (including some beautiful design bindings)
    – a Herringbone Bindery newsletter
    – more posts on my own projects (expect to see more on Dune as I will be covering right after the holidays)
    – another round of interviews

    As we ring in the new year, I just wanted to share my favorites posts from 2014.

    bestof2014a

    1. February // Bookbinder of the Month: Haein Song
    Haein Song was recommend to me by Hannah Brown and I was so thankful for her suggestion. Haein’s work is so clean and skillfully crafted. Her headcaps are so impeccable that I gape in awe.
    2. Artist: Marcela Cárdenas
    3. May // Bookbinder of the Month: Monique Lallier
    I greatly admire the work of Monique Lallier and was just ecstatic that she agreed to be interviewed for the blog. She has become such an influence in our field and openly shares her support and wisdom.

    bestof2014b

    4. My Hand: A Desert Inspired Edge for Dune
    5. August // Bookbinder of the Month: Mark Cockram
    The interview with Mark Cockram captures the boisterous and enthusiastic charms of both his personality and love of the craft. Each post examines the intensity of his designs and complexity of his techniques.
    6. Conservation Conversations Column
    Beginning this year, I invited six of my colleagues working in conservation to post about a field that encapsulates their professional lives. Topics range from using the appropriate adhesive and what to consider when building a conservation lab to various conservation considerations and philosophies.

    bestof2014c

    7. My Hand: Boxes for Laura Davidson
    My first project with Laura Davidson after interviewing her on my blog.
    8. Artist: Lydia Hardwick
    9. Photographer: Andrea Galvani
    10. January // Book Artist of the Month: Mary Uthuppuru
    I’m so charmed both Mary Uthuppuru and her work. She really engages the craft by exploring and experimenting with bookbinding and printmaking techniques. Mary is quite inspiring.

    bestof2014d

    11. November // Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora
    It was a pleasure to interview Sol Rébora. Her insights to bookbinding in Argentina were refreshing, as are her imaginative and unique design bindings.
    12. February // Book Artist of the Month: Diane Jacobs
    Diane Jacobs employs important topics like feminism, body issues and societal issues against women in book arts and other art forms. I am very engaged and compelled by these issues and enjoyed dissecting her work in the interview.
    13. My Hand: Leather Embroidery Samplers
    14. Artist: Jennifer Davis

    Happy New Year!


  3. Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 30, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    CantoGeneral-SolRebora

    This binding of Pablo Neruda’s Canto General is the most recent binding Sol Rébora has completed and the most important book she has worked with to date. This first edition copy was printed in a limited 500 copies. This particular copy is number 52 and is signed by Pablo Neruda, Diego Rivera and David A. Siqueiros with additional signatures by Cesar Chavez, Carlos Fuentes and Baldemar Velasquez (American labor union activist).

    CantoGeneral3-SolRebora

    The text is printed in black and red with original color printed endpapers illustrated by Diego Rivera (left/front endpaper) and David A. Siqueiros (right/back endpaper). (Click image to enlarge)

    CantoGeneral2-SolRebora

    Why the book is so important to Sol:
    This epic book consists of 15 sections and over 300 separate poems tracing the history of Spanish America. Canto General is considered by many to be the most important work of political poetry of the 20th century in Latin America.

    About this work, I may say this book was sent to me at a perfect time.

    I had been working with the inlay technique used on this binding for the last two years. I had the feeling that I had worked with it enough as to feel free to create any design I wanted, without any fear of the inlay process, but also because I decided to trust my capacity to find solutions to any problem.

    The other important point is: I had spent 15 days in Mexico in February, for bookbinding reasons, sharing time with wonderful people who taught me a lot about their history. Two months later I went to Guatemala, to the Francisco Marroquín University to teach bookbinding. There I had been in contact with their culture, almost completely with the history of Mesoamerica.

    My feeling coming back to Argentina was that I had to make a book, may be an art book, to convey all of my experiences and my feelings on these wonderful trips.

    Two months later, I got this binding commission from Heritage Book Shop and I could believe in such a great opportunity. Pablo Neruda, Canto General, first edition. [As Sol mentions again] The book considered by many to be the most important work of political poetry of the 20th century in Latin America.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    The book is bound in full leather in the French-style of fine binding. The design is created using thirteen different colors creating the several levels of relief and low relief. The thirteen colors come from goatskin and buffalo leather supplied through Argentina, Mexico, England and France. The title is tooled in green on the spine. The doublures are French goatskin with a design of inlayed circles.

    CantoGeneral7-SolRebora CantoGeneral6-SolRebora CantoGeneral5-SolReboraCantoGeneral4-SolRebora

    The front and back flyleaves are made from Argentinean suede. The book is housed in a matching custom clamshell box covered in orange goatskin leather with the title tooled in turquoise.

    CantoGeneral8-SolRebora

    The design for Canto General is quite beautiful and energetic. The complexity of the design is displayed in the various recessed and raised layers. When you approach a design of this complexity, how detailed and thorough are your steps leading to the final bindings? Are you creating multiple drawings and models of the design?
    To make a design for any binging, I prepare sheets of paper, many are the size of the full cover. I make a fold to place the spine and to have clear sense of where the hinge falls. I start the drawing by composing the three planes (top, back and spine) separately and together simultaneously.

    CantoGeneral9-SolRebora

    After several drawings, I put a selection of them on the studio wall. After mediating over the selection, I choose a final design. Then I scan the design and I start to make color tests in Photoshop.

    CantoGeneral10-SolRebora

    So then I start to work over the book. To place each of these inlay pieces I need a map. This map is the replica of the design, on a translucent (60 gr.) paper. It will help me locate each piece and put it in its rightful place.

    I always use the same map, I do not combine it with another, with this method I can be quite sure the pieces will find the right place. The first pieces of leather on the covers needs to be compensated with paper to make it all level, so I get a flat surface again and start to place the next pieces.

    CantoGeneral11-SolRebora

    The same applies to the spine, every element is thinner, as thin as paper, and that will be strengthened by the following layers of leather. The mosaics are superimposed as well as I keep working. To cut each piece of leather I use a mold-made on heavy paper, (240 gr. in this case). Out of that mold each piece of leather is like a puzzle. Once the entire top is covered, I make the head cup and fold over the turn-ins.


  4. Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 23, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    LesRencontres1-SolRebora

    This is my favorite binding to date from bookbinder Sol Rébora. A french text bound in full goatskin with onlays that create a striking, eye-catching design. The overlapping ellipses are creating by using a combination of goatskin and calf. Combining these two skins as onlays is a technique Sol has used in other bindings (like this one or this one). I quite love the look of the textured goat against the smooth calf.

    The binding was created for Les Rencontres de M. de Bréot, which is a novel written by French author Henri-François-Joseph de Regnier in 1904.

    Although it’s hard to choose a favorite, I think this binding might be the one. Did this design stem from a love of 20th century French design binding?
    It could be, I bound this book for an Argentinean bookseller. He participates every year in the Antiquarian book fair in Paris and I specially bound this book so that he could show my work at this fair in Paris. It is a French book and so there you have the result.

    LesRencontres2-SolRebora LesRencontres4-SolRebora


  5. Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 16, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    FaustoA-SolRebora

    In this post on Sol Rébora, I am presenting two of her bindings of the text Fausto. Just as was the case with the two bindings she completed on Alice in Wonderland, Sol found inspiration in the individual editions, thus creating two independent and unique design bindings. Fausto was written by Argentinian poet Estanislao del Campo is 1866; the story describes a laborer that goes to see Charles Gounod’s opera Faust and believes the events to really be happening.

    The binding above is bound in full black goatskin. The circular design includes strips of goatskin and calf, offering a nice variety of textures. The title is tooled in gold along the spine.

    The binding below is bound in full calfskin with detail along the front cover fore edge in the signature style we’ve seen on some of Sol’s other bindings. On this binding, the goatskin and calf onlays sit on five tooled levels. The title is tooled in gold along the spine. FaustoB-SolRebora

    These two bindings of Faust0 are quite different. Can you talk about the concepts behind each binding and what made you design them differently?
    After the explanation of the process I use to make a design binding, probably there are not too much to say about.

    Those are totally different editions, different clients, different years, and different prices, which is another very important point that I didn’t mention before, and it is a big condition of course.

    Most of the tooling on your bindings seem reserved to the titles or is done blind. Is there a reason for excluding this technique from your bindings?
    Well, maybe I don’t use traditional tooling on my designs, besides the titles, but it just depend on the designs, if I feel it needs it, I used traditional tooling to make gold lines it as I did on Milongas, Borges.

    I think I just use what I need when I need.

    I mostly like to work with a metal or brass folder, a very thin tool which helps me to make the finishing work on the inlay and the onlay. I do not love the strong lines around the inlays and my feeling is that it makes the composition looks stronger.

    FaustoAB-SolRebora

    Click image to enlarge.

     


  6. Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 9, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    BaladaParaUnLoco1-SolRebora

    Sol Rébora bound this special one of a kind text by calligrapher Nancy Leavitt after a serendipitous meeting. The book is bound in the French-style of fine binding in full violet goatskin. The decoration is divided into six levels with onlays in purple and white goatskin.

    The text within this binding is a special edition by Nancy Leavitt. Do have a connection with Nancy, who is a calligrapher and book artist based in Northern Maine?
    I met Nancy in New York in 2006, at the 100th Anniversary Guild of Book Workers Conference. I love her work and I like her very much; she is really a beautiful person and a great artist. I proposed to her that we make a book together and she accepted; so we started to work on it. We looked for a topic which we both like to work with and [settled on the subject of] Tango. After some research we chose [the popular song] Balada para un loco [by poet Hector Ferrer].

    Sometime later she had finished the book, she sent it to me by mail, and I worked on the binding. Both of us worked totally free on our feelings.

    BaladaParaUnLoco2-SolReboraBaladaParaUnLoco3-SolRebora

    Nancy found a way to make a translation, which is very difficult for Tango. With the text and the song, she found a base to create the book.

    Later I bound the book, working with the same process I use for every design binding, but with the plus that I had been part of the creating process of the text in some way. I sent the design to Nancy before I began, (even if she didn’t ask it) and she liked it very much, so I started to work on it.

    It was a wonderful experience.

    Did you find inspiration in the text or do you draw from another source?
    To explain my way to work on a design or to find inspiration I have quite a clear process of work.

    As a starting point in the design process, I engaged in the act of reading the text of the book to be bound or I inquire about the context and history of the edition. To continue as a general basis of the process, I found very necessary to observe carefully all the aspects of the book:

    – Typography: The design of the typeface, its predominant form, size and color.
    – Print Layout: Book cover, typographic case and blank surfaces around the text.
    – Paper: Color, texture and paper weight.
    – Illustrations: Techniques used for illustrations, predominant color, size and quantity thereof.
    – Size and shape of the book: I observe the size of the book, number of booklets [signatures], leaflets or free sheets, and finally the weight of the book.

    From the evaluation of these conditions, I can begin to work on the design of the binding:
    – Structure and construction process: What may be the most appropriate structure and format and sewing by weight.
    – Materials to use: wire, paper, paperboard, leather, fabric, or alternative materials such as acrylic, wood, metal, etc.
    – Textures: Choosing textures in every material used for union or for opposition to the qualities that brings the book.
    – Colors: Colors of the materials I decide to use.
    – Design: Drawings, designs, models, colors and material testing.

    I think the openness and the preservation are the most important points on the construction process of a contemporary design binding, together with “good techniques and aesthetic criteria”.

    These are technical conditions that a binding should have to preserve the criteria that the book brings from the edition, which is accompanied by an aesthetic thought of form and color text, based on the text, work which is responsible editors, designers and illustrators.

    The design and the aesthetics or the artistic expression of the binding should be integrated to create one piece with intellectual and sensory reading from the outside. Finally, I would say the construction techniques of the structure, along with the design of the cover and applied materials, play together to achieve this unit.


  7. Bookbinder of the Month: Sol Rébora

    November 2, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    SolRebora

    The design on these two bindings are very stylistic of Sol Rebora’s fine binding work. I wanted to ask her about the technique behind this signature look.

    These bindings are bound in a similar fashion with the boards built up with 7 different layers. Are these layers covered in leather off the book and then attached?
    The way I used to build the different layers of relief is:
    I cover the lower layers first, then I use some cardboard, with different thicknesses, and finally I cover the cardboards with very thin leather, working within traditional onlay techniques.

    SolRebora2

    The binding on the left is Cartas de Anastasio el Pollo. The binding is covered in calfskin at the spine with the remaining portion covered in various goatskin relief onlays. The edge to edge doublures are matching the leather near the fore edge of the covers. Sol shared an image of one of the illustrations, which demonstrates her inspiration for the binding design.

    CartasDeAnastasioElPollo-SolRebora CartasDeAnastasioElPollo2-SolRebora

    The binding on the right is Acuarelas. Published by Livraria Kozmos Editora in 1991, this artful text includes watercolors by Lieutenant Robert Pearce. The binding is full leather constructed in four sections. The spine and front edges are covered in a beige goatskin, the central panel is natural box calf and the relief onlays are a series of blue goatskin. The latter has been worked to get different tones of the same color.

    The title has been tooled in gold along the spine.

    Acuarelas-SolReboraAcuarelas2-SolRebora

    The doublures are also beige goatskin, with a single vertical line tooled in gold. The flyleaves are also goatskin from Argentina.

    From Sol on the design concept:
    The design is based on the watercolours in the book, which show outlines of the Brazilian coast taken from the sea. To simulate the movement of the water, I took photos of the water in a swimming pool, printed the pictures and working with a transparent paper, copied the strongest lines. I then developed them to get the feeling of movement. The pieces of blue leather were sanded and burnished to get different tones of the same color.

    Acuarelas3-SolRebora


  8. 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 >


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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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