Winter's Tale

Showcase Image
Bound by Nicky Oliver

Winter's Tale
by Neale M. Albert
Piccolo Press 2021
Bound in 2023
Binding dimensions 80 x 67 x 32mm

Technique - Hand-dyed Shoji paper strips to the front and back folds of the text-block. Concertina front and back boards bound in hand-dyed Hewit goatskin. The endpaper doublures have been hand-painted with watercolour inks, acrylic inks and leather dyes with a flourish of 23ct gold leaf. The leather panels are decorated with hand-dyed onlays: a mixture of goat, calf and kangaroo and finished with foil tooling and 23ct gold leaf.

The The box - This style of box is a take on the structure called The Neck Box. It is covered in black book-cloth and has a green Suedel lining. The two parts are secured with magnets. The hand-dyed leather label and the two small inlays have been tooled with real gold foil.

The Design - I wanted to extend the concertina of the text-block to the front and back boards as this provided me with a larger canvas to create a frieze. I extracted a few of the flowers from Neale's beautiful photographs and combined them with a few of my own.

I researched the hidden meanings behind each of the flowers and I chose ones which reflected the emotions and themes within Shakespeare's Winter's Tale:
- Dahlia (dishonesty)
- Bird's Foot (Revenge)
- Pansy (thoughts of lovers)
- Abuliton (strength and perseverance)
- Nasturtium (patriotism, love and strength)
- Orange Lily (hatred, pride and wealth)
- Balloon (eternal love and sincerity)
- Pink Orchid (grace, fertility and elegance) - Cornflower (life and fertility)

Within the design, the dahlia and the orchid have been split in half. Depending on the arrangement of the boards, each half can be reunited, allowing a small variation of the composition.

You can see more of Nicky's work on her web site, Black Fox Bindery and on Instagram at @blackfoxbindery.