Chela Metzger studied hand bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School under the guidance of Mark Esser, graduating in 1993. She has also studied at the Paper and Book Intensive, Rare Book School, and the American Institute for Conservation. Her bindings are greatly influenced and informed by her work as a book conservator and lecturer on the history of the book.
Parchment bound over sturdy cover boards, highlighting the living patterns of goatskin parchment without flattening the skin in any way by using adhesives. Five parchment lacings weave through the cover creating a variety of crosses. On the front, a forcefully scribed circular pattern shows the results of effort, care, and irreversible change on the skin. On the back, the lacings outline a space where change can still happen. The circular pattern is echoed in the engraved orb of the frontispiece, with Christ holding a graver tool. Endpapers of handmade linen stock that best matches the color of both the text paper and the parchment cover, sewn on, and held down under the visible turn-ins. Endbands sewn first with linen thread for strength and flexibility, then embroidered with gold and silver silk threads in a traditional endband pattern.
Bird Book. Blank book created in 2005 and exhibited in the Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary Exhibition.
Blank book covered in full goat parchment using a laced-case structure. Text sewn on parchment straps laced through cover, silk front-bead endband sewn on flat parchment core. Covering parchment attached to case using mechanical non-adhesive methods. Wings and nest cut from goatskin parchment.