Embroidered Fine Binding of Herbert’s Dune and Other Projects of Erin Fletcher [iBB Podcast #32]

This time, we talk to Erin Fletcher, a bookbinder from Boston well-known for her embroidered bindings. Besides using embroidery in her bookbinding, Erin has an amazing blog with tons of interviews with other bookbinders (which acts more as an archive now), a very inspiring Instagram account, teaching, and many other things!

This video was recorded in 2022, so the most recent projects by Erin Fletcher are not reflected in it. Since then, Erin has moved to Austin, Texas. North Bennet Street School is back to in-person-only workshops. And some other minor changes may have happened 🙂

Obviously, the workshop is different now as well. But that doesn’t make the ideas from Erin’s old studio unusable!

Besides the already mentioned binding of Frank Herbert’s Dune, we discussed exploring the topic of human-skin bindings in the mushroom-themed binding of the Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom, fine binding of La Prose du Transsibérien by poet Blaise Cendrars and artist Sonia Delaunay within the Drop Dead Gorgeous project, Erin’s take on 2001: A Space Odyssey and even more!

At the end of the video, Erin takes us on a tour of her workshop. That may be quite inspiring for people who don’t have a lot of space for their crafting. Erin’s studio is a room of 12 m2 (130 sq ft.)

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Join us on:

00:00 – Beginning
02:09 – Mushroom-themed binding of the Dark Archives by Megan Rosenbloom
06:58 – Using vegan leather in bookbinding
08:14 – Blogging about bookbinding. Bookbinding-themed social media. Interviewing bookbinders
10:50 – The most exciting interview
12:03 – The importance of Instagram for a bookbinder
13:44 – Separating work between studio work and workshop
16:06 – Teaching bookbinding online
16:57 – The best size of the class
19:37 – International students
20:07 – Inches or millimeters?
21:14 – Developing and rehearsing workshops
22:22 – Favorite book structures
25:21 – Studying at the American Academy of Bookbinding
27:20 – Studying at the North Bennet Street School. Introduction to bookbinding
29:46 – How embroidery on leather became an integral part of Erin’s style
31:02 – Bookbinder’s goals
32:23 – Lewandowski’s Dune
32:45 – Erin’s Dune binding
35:08 – History of embroidered bindings
37:10 – Modern bookbinders who do embroidery in bookbinding
38:49 – Drop Dead Gorgeous binding
42:31 – Designing bindings
43:36 – Is there a place for improvisation in Erin’s bindings?
45:23 – 2001: A Space Odyssey
47:21 – Workshop tour

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