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Mister C, the patron saint of Greek bookbinders, graced my bindery a while back with a commission involving a beautiful 2-section book from Incline Press titled “Minerva, Mantone and Circes”. He only provided one guideline: to base the design around the title’s initials.

This is one of the bindings done in collaboration with Mia Heath. The creative freedom granted by Mister C. and the peculiarity of the book definitely invited some experimentation, so we stepped out of our bookbinding comfort zones and tried new things.

Work was divided as follows: I would do the forwarding (binding the book/structure) while Mia would do the finishing (design/tooling the decoration).

The book was simply too thin for any of the standard structures so I came up with this stub binding / clamshell box hybrid. I sewed the sections onto a sheet folded like an accordion and then attached that onto a core similar to the ones often used to create a curved spine in book cases/boxes. I also chose to incorporate the book’s original covers in 2 flaps, also doubling as endpapers, made of a vivid yellow striped paper which complemented the unusual color of the pages.

Mia came up with the design and tooled it. The border motifs were inspired by traditional decorations, which fit well with the book’s content and also with Mister C’s preference for a more classical style. However, the twist lies in the main design, which at first glance might seem to be extra flourishes but instead makes unconventional use of standard decorative tools to create the lower half of a female body.
Can you spot the three initials?

Finally, I felt like the book needed some kind of enclosure to protect but also underline its luxurious feel but couldn’t see it a regular slipcase. The idea of a pouch came up and went for a lustrous golden satin fabric, which makes it feel as if you are undressing the book.