this traveler mug is made from a 16-oz. mason jar wrapped in vegetable-tanned leather — four of goforthgoods’ ‘signature colors’ are available! choose from natural, saddle, mocha, or black. too effing cool.
week marks the completion of my latest binding, the second edition that I have done of the same text block. The book is, “Flowers
From Shakespeare’s Garden: A Posy From the Plays”, the first of
which I bound in 2012 for the Designer Bookbinders
International Bookbinding Competition, the
theme of which was William Shakespeare. Although not a
play-script, the book contains
quotes from many of the plays and all of these quotes include names
of flowers. The illustrator, Walter Crane, depicts throughout the book figures wearing outfits made up of each of the flowers illustrating the text.
was thrilled to be one of the shortlisted “Distinguished
Prizewinners” in the competition, receiving
a silver Shakespeare “nib” trophy engraved with my name, designed by the
jeweller and goldsmith Gerry Summers.
The first physical step was to “pull” the book to remove the original cover and to take it back down into sections. However when
I pulled the book I realised that the pages were actually all single sheets
that had been stub bound before being cased in.
to trim the pages at the point that they had been punched for the
stub sewing and then make them up into sections using Japanese paper
sections were then sewn up and the book rounded and backed. The edges
were sanded and the top edge was coloured using acrylic paint.
design of the binding was chosen to illustrate the flowers mentioned within the text. A different composition was drawn up for the endpapers,
doublures and the cover and I decided to print the pattern for the
endpapers and doublures using the soft-plate offset method. I did a
variety of prints using different coloured inks and paper until I was
happy with the result.
then worked on the sample board in order to plan the colours of the
body leather and some of the onlays, this is board number 44 in my
I was happy with this I planned the rest of the onlay colours, using
a line drawing of the cover design and sticking small swatches of the
chosen leather colour onto it for reference.
of the onlays were then stuck to the body leather and back-pared
before the embroidery could be started. Each flower was embroidered
using a variety of different stitches, pricking the holes through the
leather using a tracing paper template to ensure they were in the
wanted to include some gold-plated brass pieces in the binding so
selected two of the flower types to apply this to. One of which was
the centres of the daisies, I filed the end of a piece of brass rod
into a dome shape and then added dots by punching small holes with a
metal centre punch.
patterned ends were then cut off using a metal piercing saw and the
backs sanded flat.
the back of these I soldered some wire posts so that they
could be inserted through drilled holes in the book boards, they were
then gold-plated. I like to mechanically fix these pieces in place
rather than trusting glues over time and I find this is a very secure
these pieces were to be inserted through the boards I had to work out
where I needed to place the stitches around them so that they would
line up once the leather was on the book.
this was done I was able to finish the embroidery…
of thousands of stitches later I felt I was ready to take the plunge
and paste the leather to the book – always the bit that scares me!
the leather had dried following the pasting to the book I could get
on with the tooling. I did a mixture of 22 carat gold, carbon and
blind tooling to add detail to some of the flowers. I tooled these shapes using hand-made finishing tools.
didn’t want the book to be titled as I felt that would detract from
the cover design, so I made a label for the box instead. I wanted
this to be in the font used on the title page of the book for which I
had no suitable handle letters. To get around this I pierced the
letters from coloured paper and backed this with 22 carat gold leaf
that was adhered to a piece of paper.
box itself was made from tulip wood, with the flowers pattern cut
into the lid of the box with a CNC machine.
book has now been photographed, packaged up and is on it’s way to the
USA – I hope it gets there safely! Once it gets there it
will be on display in an
exhibition entitled “The
poet of them all”: William Shakespeare and Miniature Designer
Bindings from the Collection of Neale and Margaret Albert. This
will be taking place at the Grolier Club in New
York, USA, from March 23rd to May 28th, followed by the
Yale Centre for British Art, USA, from June 16th through September
21st. I also have one other little book in the exhibition, a
miniature binding of, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”.