Saturday, May 23, 2009

Victorine Bound

I just completed a custom book order for artist Tricia Sellmer. She asked me to bind 24 copies of her work, Victorine Meurent Erased, which combines Tricia's artwork and writings about 19th century artist Victorine Meurent.

For this project, I used a handmade abaca and comfrey paper for the cover, and bound it using a Japanese stab binding.

Quite a lot of the work in doing a custom binding goes into planning and working out the dimensions of a design. Here, I've finished cutting and hand-tearing some of the covers:


And here, I'm getting ready to sew the cover and text together. At the top of the photo is an unbound copy of the text, showing some of Tricia's artwork.

And here are three of the finished books.


The covers were letterpress printed by Howard Glossop, and the text was printed by master printmaker Linda Jules. There weren't any extra copies, so I had to be very careful not to make any mistakes, like putting the text in upside down, or putting holes in the wrong places, or cutting the covers the wrong size, etc., etc., etc. Even with a seemingly simple binding like this, there are a surprising number of ways to mess it up, as there are so many little details to remember. Fortunately, there weren't any nasty surprises along the way.
I like how the cover of this book looks a bit like the face of a tombstone. Which fits, as Tricia's project was to unearth this forgotten artist.

6 comments:

Kitty said...

Beautiful - real works of art.

acornmoon said...

I know how much work goes into a hand bound book! These editions are lovely, I especially like the natural materials you have chosen and the torn edge works so well.

dinahmow said...

"...a surprising number of ways to mess it up..."
Oh! Aint it the truth! In front of me(as a scribble pad now) is a back cover with the holes punched on the wrong side...

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi Barbara - thanks for paying my blog a visit. Hope you enjoyed it.
I love your book and am interested in the idea of "comfrey paper" - I do textile work and my garden has comfrey - is it possible to make paper from it?

moonbindery said...

I got the paper from a papermaker in Bellingham, Washington, who makes it from abaca fibre (and also possibly hemp or cotton fibre -- I'm not sure of the exact composition). The comfrey leaves are added in to give it more texture -- they are the little flecks of darker colour in the paper. It's really wonderful paper, strong and with a velvety feel. Hope that answers your question.

britney said...

It's a real art awesome man!!
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Britney
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