Books: Designer Bindings

‘Poems to Hold or Let Go’ by Rosemary Dobson

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Long-stitch binding with flexible goat skin cover,
parchment onlays and blind-tooling.

This is a beautiful private press book printed by Caren Florance at Ampersand Duck. I made this binding for an exhibition called Books to Hold or Let Go at the Craft ACT gallery in Canberra. This is my take on the concept of holding / letting go: the front cover is a combination of elements all in order, visually depicting various poetry lines. So on the front cover the design ‘holds together’. On the back cover elements are falling apart, disintegrating, letting go of the cover…

The design is built on silk-laminated goatskin cover with the main onlays being leather-laminated dyed and painted parchment. The edges of the covers are blind-tooled freehand and minor detailing is stiched in black sewing thread. The binding is housed in a paper wrapper, made of painted watercolour paper with an antique button closure.
When completing this binding, I suddenly realised that for years now, whenever I’m to send a binding to a client and never to see it again, I’ve always wanted to hold on to the book at least for a few days before letting it go – reaching an emotional detachment. Aptly fitting to the theme of this exhibition.