Cultivation-A Spectacular Harvest
This summer, I accepted a commission to create a custom binding around the theme of ‘cultivation’ for a client who wished to honor the marriage of her good friends with the gift of a unique wedding journal. This ‘Cultivation’ commission was a new challenge in several ways: it required custom dying of multiple goat leather onlays (leather pared paper thin and then adhered and pressed into a leather binding) to achieve the original grape and vine design. As my client wanted a ruled book-which are only available in pre-sewn acid-free journal blanks- I also experimented with a newer and more durable form of cloth hinging the case-binding to ensure that the book would last for years despite lacking the support traditionally supplied by a french groove.
The theme of ‘cultivation’ comes from the subject of an original poem written by my client in honor of the wedding. My client requested I calligraph this poem somewhere in the book, and I was happy to oblige-using a half-Uncial-inspired hand. The book also features my hand-marbled paper in the front and back end sheet sections.
All in all, it was a challenging, but rewarding project: my client was thrilled when I sent the book to her a couple of weeks ago, and I am inspired to pursue more challenging leather onlays in future commissions. ‘Cultivation’ truly yielded a spectacular harvest.