This article was sent to me today. I imagine doing a wonderful cover for my own copy of the Alchemist, or Zarathustra…
“ANY BOOKLOVER KNOWS the pleasure of handling a cherished volume, whether it’s a first edition from a favorite novelist or the Shakespeare sonnets your spouse used to woo you. But some bibliophiles are going a step further, commissioning craftsmen to create bespoke bindings for their beloved books.
Picture your favorite tome dressed in the sort of flamboyant haute-couture gown today’s off-the-peg paperbacks can only dream of. These “creative bindings,” as they are known, are unique, crafted from the finest materials and the result of hundreds of hours of meticulous labor.
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“Anybody who unexpectedly comes across creative bookbinding is simply awed by its beauty,” says Paul C. Delrue, a binder based in Denbighshire, Wales, who has been transforming books with complex, intricate designs in leather for more than 40 years.
Denis Collins, a longtime collector who has commissioned nearly 30 fine bindings over the years, agrees: “At its best, bookbinding combines craft skills of a high order with the ability to do something that is artistically beautiful.”
Binding is not a speedy business. Depending on the volume, between 30 and 100 separate steps are involved. In bigger workshops, like the Bindery in London, where 14 craftsmen work, the tasks are split between a designer; a seamstress; a forwarder, who prepares and covers the book with cloth or leather; and a finisher, who decorates and titles it with gold or other metals. This means that, at a push, the team can design and bind a cloth book in two weeks and a leather one in six, but most binders working alone will only make a handful of books a year.
In the latter camp is Tracey Rowledge, a 42-year-old artist based in London…” cFull article here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578327752642827098.html?mod=rss_Arts_and_Entertainment