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This is the last commission for 2014; Two full leather design bindings of Don Quixote.

Don Quixote Volumes 1 and 2 - Dimitri's Bookbinding cornerΔον Κιχώτης από τις εκδόσεις Εξάντας. Καλλιτεχνικές βιβλιοδεσίες όλο δέρμα βαμμένο στο χέρι και με αερογράφο. Χειροποίητα εσώφυλλα και κεφαλάρια ραμμένα στο χέρι με μεταξωτή κλωστή. Διακόσμηση στο χέρι βασισμένη σε σχέδια του Νταλί.

Miss R -the client behind this commission- was very interested in the binding process and we discussed about the various details that lead to the creation of a bound book. At the end it was agreed to make two case bindings but spiced up a bit with some of the elements usually found in fine french leather bindings.

Don Quixote Green covers - Dimitri's Bookbinding cornerDon Quixote Spines - Dimitri's Bookbinding cornerThere was a lot of thought devoted to the visual outcome. Miss R. liked my binding of Eliot and its color palette, however I prefer to avoid replicating bindings I’ve made in the past so I proposed this design to satisfy my client but also give the books a unique identity, aiming at a special aesthetic result when the two volumes sit on a shelf.

The decoration was challenging. This Greek edition (now out of print) is, apart from very thorough, full of Dali’s sketches and paintings about the story of Don Quixote. I pondered on what should the covers look like and finally decided it would be futile to try and compete with Dali by making a design of my own, whatever that may be. So the most obvious and reasonable approach was to give Dali the spotlight by reproducing some of his sketches.

Don Quixote Endleaves - Dimitri's Bookbinding cornerThe leather had to be dyed in 3 separate stages. First I dyed the green sides because even if I did some slight mistake later it wouldn’t show on the much darker green. Everything went smoothly in the end but hey, better safe than sorry right? Then I dyed the other half of each leather with a light yellow to use as a base color for the airbrushing. When this dried I covered the leathers and brought out my trusty airbrush. I’ve posted a picture of before and (almost) after for you to get an idea. Airbrushing leather is great fun and opens a world of coloring possibilities and techniques. I’ve only tried it a few times and must definitely find time to do some serious/crazy experimenting!

Airbrushing leatherOnly downside is that when you use an airbrush the dyes don’t really penetrate the leather, instead they just “sit” on the surface, so a thorough coating with a sealer afterwards is a must.

Don Quixote Headband - Dimitri's Bookbinding cornerTo give the books a bit of a luxurious touch I sewed headbands with silk thread and used handmade marble paper for the endleaves. I also did some simple tooling on the leather headcaps and my-oh-my it does add character!

To create this binding I used my Stylus set, my Bookbinding Finishing Multitool and my Versatile typeholder.

Lots of work but it has been a pleasure binding these two volumes, quite happy with the result. Hope you liked them as well!

With this post I’d like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!

Don Quixote Flat - Dimitri's Bookbinding corner