Erin Fletcher : Fine Binding & Edition Binding
The Crucible – by Arthur Miller
Published by The Penguin Group, New York, 2003

Collection of University of Virginia, US

Double fan-glued with faux shoulders in a Bradel style binding. Bound in oyster white silk with hand embroidered design and applique of white and dark brown silks. Doublures in dark brown silk. Endpapers are antique and custard Hahnemuhle Ingres. Hand-sewn heads with polyester thread. Edges painted in light yellow.

13.2cm x 20.4cm x 2cm - Completed in 2011

Exhibition History
  • Exhibited in Chicago Public Library - One Book, Many Interpretations: Second Edition 2011-2012
  • Awarded Best Binding for The Crucible - Catalog PDF

Artist Statement
The Crucible is a fictional account of the historical events leading to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 as a comparison to the Red Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy, the face of the House of Un-American Activities Committee began a search for communist supporters, sometimes resulting in forced or inaccurate accusations. Inspired by these two events, Arthur Miller wrote The Crucible in 1952 as a commentary on how human paranoia and suspicion can lead to collapse of reputations and unlawful executions.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, an abundance of embroidered bindings appear in England. Traditionally bound in silk, velvet or canvas, these bind¬ings were hand embroidered with imagery inspired by the text to be bound. Taking cue from Miller's use of allegory, I incorporated techniques and layouts of these venerable bindings to create a contemporary embroidered binding of The Crucible.

The headbands were hand sewn with light yellow and white thread. Each strand of white thread represents one of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.