Stuart Williams: His World and His Art – by William Corbett with an essay by Adrienne Jacobson
Pressed Wafer, Brooklyn, NY 2017
Private Collection, US
French-style fine binding with laced-in boards. Bound in hand-painted fair calfskin with back-pared onlays in hand-dyed yellow, dark grey and dark blue goatskin. Onlays are embellished with embroidery. Paper sequins lasercut from Katie MacGregor handmade paper and tacked on with embroidery floss. Leather wrapped endbands in turquoise buffalo skin with wraps of orange-red thread. Stonehenge paper edge-to-edge doublures tooled in blind and with matte grey foil. Hinges match hand-dyed dark grey goatskin. Handmade abaca/cotton paper flyleaves in periwinkle.
Binding is housed in clamshell box covered in yellow goatskin and Stonehenge paper. Leather spine embroidered in royal blue embroidery floss to mimic artist’s signature. Sides tooled in similar design to doublures. Trays covered in handmade abaca/cotton paper in coral and periwinkle and lined with light grey Silsuede.
27.5cm x 25.5cm x 2.1cm – Completed 2020
Stuart Williams viewed the world around him with curiosity and delight, which was visible in his artistic expression. With minimal art supplies and experience, Williams created incredibly complex landscapes and vibrant personalities in his subjects. Using mainly marker on paper, the underlying pencil sketch was often visible, giving the viewer a glimpse of his process.
I wanted to capture the aesthetic nature of Williams’ work through my own method and materials. I used leather dye, gouache and embroidery to recreate one of Williams’ pieces for the cover of the binding. Inside I chose to blind tool a grid, to signify a turning point in Williams’ process. Once he learned the importance of laying out a grid first, he was able to adequately play around with depth and proportion in his later work.
I felt free of constraints while working to recreate Williams’ aesthetic. So in a sense this binding feels like a turning point within my own work.