Bindings for Calligraphic Manuscripts

Flowered Alphabet, 2001, rebound in 2011, unique book, 6.5 by 5.5 inches (h x w), 71 pages. The text, an alphabetical list of flowers, is lettered in watercolor and gouache on MacGregor and VInzani handmade papers.  The book is interleaved with pages of floral postage stamps.

A bookbinding protects the text block and is the structure that allows the book to open and close.  Function is important but what other considerations are important when choosing a binding?  A good binding design and decoration can give an idea of what is inside the book and invite the reader in.

Ten years ago I lettered and bound this small alphabet book. The binding was unsuccessful and I tucked the project away in a bookcase. Recently I decided to pass the book onto binder, Joelle Webber of Mermaid Bindery, for rebinding.

Joelle used bright colors to match the paper and lettering colors found inside the book. She covered the boards in green silk and used scarlet red silk on the clamshell box. The box is decorated with a postage stamp outlined with fabric taken from the original binding. Most importantly the binding structure opens up flat to show the full page spreads.

Clamshell box and open book right and a series of page spreads below. Thanks for reading this blog, check out Joelle’s work at:

Nancy Leavitt  Priscilla Juvelis www.juvelisbooks.comgouache on handmade papergouache lettering and postage stamps

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One Response to Bindings for Calligraphic Manuscripts

  1. velma says:

    this is beautiful, a wonderful book, and the words, the flower names, delight.

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