DeGolyer Exhibition and Bookbinding Competition, 2015

William Franklin
Carrollton, Texas


William Franklin has been an amateur binder for six years, working with Catherine Burkhard of Dallas. He teaches literature, composition, and creative writing at North Central Texas College, incorporating the history of physical and digital books into his courses. A photographer with a longstanding interest in digital imagery, he is particularly intrigued with the interface of digital imaging in various aspects of physical and digital art books.


Proposal:

As The Restoration of Leather Bindings is a book on leather work, the subject of leather must be integrated into the design of this binding. But closer examination reveals a book with over one hundred illustrations, many of which are photographs. This binding seeks to honor the evolving tradition of illustration in binding design, with particular reference to English bookbinder Stuart Brockman, whose bindings provided the inspiration to begin working with images under transparent vellum. 

The entire book will be bound in terra cotta Harmatan goat skin.  Inlaid into a frame built of layers of binder's board, the front cover features a photograph taken and printed by the binder, applied to heavy matte paper, and covered with transparent vellum.  Inlaid into the back cover is a composition incorporating the iconic but uncredited "working hands" photograph with the binder's photograph, both under a piece of transparent vellum, together with some tools and leathers. Edge-to-edge doublures featuring the traditional "working hands" image will be printed on Arches Aquarelle Rag paper. The flysheets will be printed on Canon Matte Photographic paper. The headbands will be sewn into the text block in a French double pattern composed of various colors of silk echoing those in the photographs.


Example

Robert J. Miller, editor. The Complete Gospels: Annotated Scholars Version. San Francisco: Harper, 1994.

This well-used paperback had a broken spine, necessitating repair utilizing a single-sheet reconstruction. While viewing an exhibition of the Designer Bookbinders at Oxford University a few years ago, I saw a book bound by Stuart Brockman featuring a cover bound with a watercolor painting covered with transparent vellum. Visiting Brockman at his bindery, he provided some advice on techniques and I began work on this project.  The cover image is an inkjet print on matte paper of my original digital image entitled "The End of the World." The transparent vellum was affixed to the image, then used to cover the boards for the binding. The edges of the text block were decorated with blown acrylic spray; the headbands are sewn in.