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Bound by Coleen Curry

Decadence and Modernism in European and Russian Literature and Culture, Aesthetics and Anxiety in the late 1890s by Jonathan Stone
Published by Palgrave MacMillan
Printed in 2019
Date of Binding - 2020
Size - 218 x 160 x 25mm (8.5 x 6.5 x 1in)

Description: Full Hewit Faircalf leather, sewn on 5 cords and laced on boards, with edge-to-edge calf leather doublures. Leather treatments include layers of image transfers, multiple dye applications, and debossing. Several layers of gold foils and gold leaf applied throughout the treatment processes, sanded and burnished. Japanese silk embroidered end bands. Untitled. Custom designed fly leaves scanned, and ink jet printed, with archival pigment inks on an Epson Stylus Pro 3888, onto Moenkopi Washi Unryu paper from Awagami. Same paper used on enclosure.

Statement: My design inspiration was motivated by Gustav Moreau's painting Salome Dancing Before Herod (Salome Tattooed) (1874) on page 110. The painting's rich browns and glorious reds offer a color palette consistent with leather books during the fin de siècle.

Stone's description of the painting on page 111 provided further impetus for the techniques applied:

"The play between surface and depth is easily seen through the medium of painting. Moreau can draw spectators into the recesses of the scene while simultaneously emphasizing the twodimensionality of the canvas. They can employ two points of view, two ways of looking at the image. The one seeks out hints and symbolic associations while the other imbues the visible and appreciable aspects of the painting with a wealth of meaning. The ensuing tension between looking deeply into the work and stopping at its surface creates an unfinished sensation. The viewer is expected to engage the canvas as both a symbolist in search of ephemeral truths and a Decadent who finds significance in the tangible realm of outward appearances. These two incompatible aesthetic and epistemological modes are once again combined now through the act of looking at the painting."

By applying multiple layers of image transfers, dyeing, and gold my aim was to create the perception and dimensionality of a brilliant, old, eroding, not yet decayed binding. Various debossed materials produce a canvas-like sense and invite the reader to experience the contrast between texture and depth.

Coleen and her work can be found at Coleen Curry Fine Bookbinding


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