Erin Fletcher : Fine Binding & Edition Binding
The Raven – by Edgar Allan Poe
With Etchings and Wood Engravings by Alan James Robinson
Cheloniidæ Press, 1986

French-style fine binding with laced-in boards. Bound in sanded blackberry goatskin with back-pared onlays in various handmade papers, eel skin and vellum. Onlays are embellished with embroidery and colored pencil. Leather wrapped endbands in mauve buffalo skin with bands of dark purple threads. Edge-to-edge doublures in two different styles of paste papers (one made by the binder). Matching leather hinges (not sanded). Stone marbled fly leaves handmade by the binder with ochre and amethyst handmade paper endpapers.

Binding is housed in a clamshell box. Top layer is cut to mimic the silhouette of a raven covered in black paper. Lower layer covered in black buffalo skin. Title is embellished on the spine with embroidered back-pared onlays in mauve and wheatstraw red handmade papers. Trays covered in black Canapetta bookcloth and lined with dusty rose Novasuede.

16.9cm x 26.5cm x 2.8cm – Completed 2023

Artist Statement
When designing for such an iconic text, my goal was to create a binding that didn’t immediately read as The Raven. The binding must be fully open to get the full sense of the story.

The design captures the raven mid-flight on its approach to the bust of Pallas (also known as Athena, goddess of war). Both elements were created by layering different materials and textures. These pieces were then embellished with embroidery and colored pencil. They are set to a backdrop of a rich blackberry that has been slightly sanded to evoke a soft velvety texture.

Upon opening the binding, one is presented with an interpretation of Night’s Plutonian shore (also known as river Styx) or the boundary between Earth and the Underworld. This is done by layering together different styles of paste papers against a stone marbled paper for the fly leaves.