Inspiring Bookbinding Projects of November

Time to discuss some of the inspiring bookbinding projects of November. As usual, the projects were chosen for the post are quite diverse, and include many things from fine and design binding to boxmaking. Some of them are quite accessible, even for beginners.

Amber Journals by Stopan

Stopan is a bookbinder from Sofia (Bulgaria). His trademark is plain leather bindings with gold and blind tooling inspired by traditional motifs and ornaments mixed with experimentation.

This project involved some blind tooling that was followed by partial gold tooling of some of the previously tooled elements.

Here’s a description from Stopan:

The crimson goatskin does wonders with the contrast and provides a beautiful background with its grained surface. Each book comes with its own personal mahogany pen, made by my father. He also made the matte sterling silver clasps.

The book is sewn on three hemp cords. 14 signatures of 32 pages plus endsheets making a total volume of 450 pages. The paper is 80 gsm, archival quality, cream-colored, smooth and a joy to write with dip pens, fountain pens or pencils. The endpapers are decorated with handmade paper leaves with flowing hand-painted red ink borders.

You can follow Stopan on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube or by visiting his website. You can also support him on Patreon.

A Shropshire Lad by A. E. Housman — Bound by Kathy Abbott

This binding by a British bookbinder Kathy Abbott was recently bought by the Boston Athenaeum (USA). A great example of a very straightforward design that’s simultaneously quite striking.

Bound in full recessed chocolate goatskin with red handmade paper onlays. Top edge gilded in Caplain leaf.

Kathy was kind to share some of the notes she made during the project:

The only challenge on this binding was after covering: the cutaway areas of the ‘paths’ created a concave on the inside of the board, as the leather on the outside pulled the thinner areas of the board.  I had to fill and sand the inside of the board to counteract this pull, to make the boards completely smooth and flat on the inside.  The next challenge was onlaying thin handmade paper along the bevels of the ‘paths’.  It is very difficult to keep these straight and under tension, and in position without snapping the paper.  I love the way that these paper strips change colour depending on the light and that they appear and disappear depending on where you stand.

Kathy will be teaching a ten-week course at the City Lit in London. Every Tuesday from 15th Jan 2020. It is a ‘free’ class: meaning that intermediate/advanced level students can work on anything they like with my guidance in the well-equipped bindery.

To find more about Kathy’s work, please follow her on Facebook and Instagram or visit her website.

You can also find Kathy’s binding in our post dedicated to the participants of the OPEN • SET bookbinding competition.

Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Biała foka by Czesław Centkiewicz — Bound by Pracownia Leśna 6

Pracownia Leśna 6 is a Polish bindery that focuses on design bindings.

The book Biała foka was written by a Polish polar explorer by Czesław Centkiewicz and tells about the first Polish expedition to the Bear Island in 1932.

Another example of a striking design achieved by just several lines.

Here is a comment from the binders:

We used white goat leather for the binding and red pigment foil for tooling the covers. We think it was the biggest challenge because white leather didn’t want to cooperate with foil. Probably we made it in the end just because we had a lucky day.

The dust jacket and the box are covered with cloth decorated with “crushed” white pigment foil. We used the same technique to decorate headbands and endpapers.

The first page is an original paperbound cover but taken from a different edition of the book.

Please don’t forget to follow Pracownia Leśna 6 on Facebook and Instagram.

Batwing Boxes by Johan Wallin

Johan is a music teacher from Kronoberg (Sweden). However, his spare time is often spent on bookbinding. Here are several batwing boxes he has made recently. In my opinion, they resemble some sci-fi characters even more than a bat’s wing =)

Well, or Pac-Man =)

You can follow Johan on Instagram.

Ventar i vinden (Waiting in the Wind) — Bound by Ingeir Djuvik

Another work from a hobby bookbinder whom we already mentioned on iBookBinding not once.

“Ventar i vinden” (“Waiting in the Wind”) is a collaboration of a poet Helge Torvund and photo artist Ingvar Moi.

The book is huge! 40x35x5 cm, 6,5 kilos. Full Harmatan leather

Please follow Ingeir on Facebook to keep up with his new projects!

You will also find many of Ingeir’s works in this post dedicated to him.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman — Bound by Lyra’s Books (Richard Tong)

Richard was trained bookbinding by master binder Brian Settle. He still works at Ludlow Bookbinders along with operating his own bindery Lyra’s Books. He recently shared photos of two similar bindings of Coraline by Neil Gaiman with a comment that a third binding will be made for the author of the book.

First editions (2002), signed by the author Neil Gaiman.

Bright blue goatskin leather from Harmatan and Oakridge Leathers Ltd. Yellow buttons are leather onlays. All page edges gilded by hand. Each book comes with a solander box for protection.

You can follow Lyra’s Books on Instagram and Facebook. There’s a lot to see there!

Long Stitch Bindings from Anastasia Golovina

Anastasia is a past student of mine whos bookbinding projects always make me proud. She is an architect, artist, and all-around creative person. Right from the first workshops, she attended she made me envious of some books she made even with the simplest structures.

Here are some of the projects she made this autumn. It’s even more fitting, considering the upcoming premiere of the ninth (and final) episode of Star Wars!

Please find Anastasia on Facebook and Instagram!

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