Archive for category Binding
At the end of August I attended the Society of Bookbinders conference at Leeds University. As usual, I had a great time. I met with a lot of old friends and made some new ones. My niece Annette was there as well. I attended the following presentations: Don Etherington (Stiff board vellum with slotted spine); Tracey Rowledge (Gold tooling on paper); Kate Brett (History of paper marbling); Stuart Brockman (Gold finishing); Stephan Ortbauer (Small books, big books) and Peter Jones (Composite boards). All of them were informative and interesting. I should have run to the studio immediately on my return to put things into practice but the New Year holidays have interfered. Here are the books I put into the exhibition there. The first is Pamela Silver’s book “Maybe I Saw Myself as Black, Maybe as Christian” for which I printed the text. The beading was done by Temma Gentles of Toronto. The next is my “Sloppy Retro”, a book of designs from various bindings I have done over the years, without the concern for neatness that usually haunts my work.
On the way there I visited with friends in London and went to see the Designer Bookbinders traveling exhibition at the St Bride Institute. I also dropped in on Mark Cockram at his studio. He didn’t come to Leeds so I couldn’t buy him the beer that I owe him or collect the one he owes me. My Shakespeare binding in the DB exhibit:It is made up of hundreds of thin strips of different coloured leather glued together to form the profile of WS on the front and a maril-like panel on the back with the same profile marked with green leather, with WS himself peeking through on the spine. The show is traveling around the world and the schedule can be seen on the Designer Bookbinders web site.
After the Bible Box was safely in the hands of the Pope, I was asked to create an exact replica, which I did immediately. I was under the impression that it was for President Peres and had visions of a photo of me handing it over, but it turned out to be for the Visitors’ Centre at the Technion. At least I will be able to visit it when I’m in Haifa.
A couple of weeks ago I got a call from the Technion in Haifa asking if I could make a box that looked like an old book. I said that I could and they told me that they were working on a very special project. Someone there had engraved the entire Hebrew Bible (called the Tanach) onto a gold-plated silicon chip .5-mm. square and they wanted a box that looked like an old Bible to present it in. They left the design and execution up to me.
Part way through the construction, I was told that the chip was going to be presented to Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Israel.
I used a copy of a finishing tool from the 13th century to make a design that created a magen David (Star of David) in the background leather. I was a bit nervous about making a box without having the material that was going into it, but when the chip in its glass case was brought to me, everything fit together perfectly.
The people who made the chip took it with the box to President Peres and the following week he presented it to the Pope. Unfortunately I was not invited to either presentation.