The Compass Rose

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Bound by Juliayn Coleman

The Compass Rose by Ursula K. Le Guin
USA: Harper & Row, 1982
Bound 2023, Oakland, CA
21.1 x 15 x 2.7 cm

1970s-era paper textblock which has been fully disbound, washed, and sized by the binder, then section headings have been marbled using suminagashi. The binding is full alum-tawed Hewit goatskin, also marbled using suminagashi. Alum-tawed Hewit calf onlays (unmarbled) and moon gold tooling, with a moon gold head edge. Alum-tawed Hewit goat doublures. Flyleaves are Cave Paper: Snow, with remaining endsheets being abaca text weight from the Morgan Conservatory.

I had originally planned a much busier design for this binding, but awoke from a dream in which I was using suminagashi marbling on leather, and realized that was exactly what I wanted to do. I immediately did some tests with scraps of the alum-tawed that I had planned to use for the covers, and it worked beautifully. As is always true with marbling, you can never be 100% sure that it will come off perfectly without air bubbles or other imperfections, and I had never marbled as large of a piece of leather as the cover I had carefully pared. I only had one try for a good pull. I strongly encourage practicing suminagashi with paper first, as I have done for many years.

You can see more of Juliayn's work on her web site, Book Island Bindery.


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