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Bound by Gabby Cooksey

By Ralph W Emerson
Photography by Gabby Cooksey
Published by Springtide Press, Tacoma WA, 2020
327 x 250 x 21mm

A Distinguished Silver Prize award winner at the Designer Bookbinders International Competition 2022 - A Gathering of Leaves

Blue Pentland goatskin; brown paper hinges in a Pianel binding with hand-sawn brass cut-outs attached with eight-six flush rivets. Gold foil title. Brown paper pastedown and soft case. The image of roots is taken from the text block, with added layers.

"The text of the book is a poem by Ralph Emerson called Blight, it talks about climate change but from the 1840s. It's a very bleak point of view and the photographs I took try to match that despondent nature. My favorite photograph is from an upturned root ball of a massive tree that looks like a spider once I manipulated the image on Photoshop. I chose that to be my design binding cover and to mimic the spider in brass. At the time, I was learning how to do flush rivets with Jim Croft in Idaho so I wanted to combine this new found knowledge with layers of brass on this fairly tall book (330mm tall). In the image, there is a clear break in background, mid-ground and foreground, so that's how I broke up the brass image too. The binding is a Pianel binding I learned from Ben Elbel and the beauty of it is that you can work on the covers separately and attach them to the binding towards the end. I cut each piece of brass out with a jeweller's saw and then sanded the surface and edges. I mark the brass map onto the cover, peel away the binders board, and make sure the brass fits snug. I then covered the boards in blue Pentland goat skin. The brass is added with 80+ flush rivets coated with a special wax at the end."

Gabby and her work can be found on her web site at www.boundbycooksey.com.


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