Custom Leather Book
Going to Wings
About the Project
This year kicked off with a fantastic project that was commissioned as a gift for the author! In early January, I received an email asking if I’d be willing/able to create a one-of-a-kind edition, designed specifically with the author in mind.
I am always thrilled to get work like this because I have always felt that this is one of the foundational motivators for me as a bookbinder. I work on countless books throughout my day, often for personal libraries of special collectors. While it does not happen very often, I personally love creating special books for the authors who wrote them. There is something hermetically balanced about doing this and I always derive great joy in the finished work.
To achieve this design, we rely on an old and seldom practiced technique in the worlds of both traditional & contemporary bookbinding: cuir-ciselé.
Working with veg-tanned sheepskin, we’d carve the design on the front cover, then dye it Forest Green. The client also requested a decorated border to be stamped on both the front and back covers.
One of the main reasons cuir-ciselé is often avoided is simply due because of how time-consuming it is.
While the design is relatively simple, drying and wetting the leather repeatedly takes a few days to fully work itself out. The leather needs to be 100% dry before any coloring is applied.
The final product is a fantastic combination of modern and classical methods. With a water-based Forest Green dye, we captured the depth and life of the skin with multiple layers of application. Finishing it off with an Atom wax gave the book a glorious shine that was both subtle and brilliant.
Boston Harbor Bookbindery is experienced in designing custom, one-of-a-kind books for each client.
Whether you’d like to restore a family heirloom, re-bind a personal favorite, or print a book from scratch; we have just what you need to make your dreams a reality.