David John Lawrence
Irving, Texas


Winner: 2012 DeGolyer Award for American Bookbinding


David John Lawrence began his study of hand bookbinding at the Craft Guild of Dallas in 1998, studying with Pamela Leutz and Sally Key. He has also studied in the Czech Republic with Jan and Jarmila Sobota. He is a member of the Guild of Book Workers, Society of Czech Bookbinders, and Designer Bookbinders of America. Most recently he received the Master of Bookbinding in Artistic Bookbinding by the Society of Czech Bookbinders (2010), Jury Prize for Design at the Fifth Helen Warren DeGolyer Triennial Exhibition and Competition for American Bookbinding (2009), and First Prize from the Society of Czech Bookbinders and the Museum of Western Bohemia (2009).


Proposal

Full black goatskin over bas-relief boards (triangles composed of card stock and board of varying thicknesses), raised onlays of white alum tawed calfskin with single gold tooled line along short side of each triangle; hand embroidered double-core headbands of red and yellow silk; flyleaves and doublures of marbled paper by Catherine Levine; top edge marbled and gilded; title tooled on spine in blind. Chemise in black goatskin and marbled paper, lined in wool felt; title on spine of chemise gold tooled.

Didot's 1788 printing of De imitatione Christi is presented in the most basic color scheme with black ink on white paper. My presentation of that palette is to reverse it: an image of a crown of thorns, symbolic of self-giving, in white on a black background embellished by the occasional glimmer of light reflecting off gold tooling. Rather than intertwined branches, the crown is composed of shards indicative of the fractured and fractious state of the church and its competing claims on how rightly to live out the life of the Christ for the world.

Link to award binding.

Example

The Four Gospels: The Gospel According to St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke and St. John. Decorations by E. R. Weiss and introduction by Ernest Sutherland Bates. Leipzig: Printed for the members of the Limited Editions Club by Poeschel & Trepte, 1932.

Full beige goatskin over bas-relief boards depicting the Holy Spirit as a descending dove, onlays of goatskin, calfskin, and kangaroo skin in various colors; surface gilding; hand-embroidered headbands of purple and pale yellow silk; flyleaves and doublures of cork over gilt paper; clamshell box with label from original slipcase.