O.k., we admit it. We’ve been hopeless at keeping up this blog. You know the story: a book long past deadline, too many conflicting printerly commitments, chaos on the home front… Stuff, as they say, happens (or something like that). Months go by, and the blog slips farther and farther down the lengthening to-do list.
Then, last month, Nancy Nitzberg sent us this photo, and with one email reminded us why we are keeping this blog. Nancy’s design binding of Walking Around Cambridge with William Blake captures and enhances that blend of 19th and 21st-century poetry and place that Graham envisioned when he asked illustrator Rose Harries to take a copy of that poem with her as she brought her sketchbook and pencil to the streets of Cambridge.
My intention is to use tangible artifacts related to the original work to subtly connect the reader to the text and illustrations within, without overshadowing the literary content.
Dark blue goatskin with onlays comprised of a vintage English textile designed by William Morris (produced by Liberty of London). The textile is arranged to create a “Cambridge style” panel motif; gold-tooled design elements. Marbled endpapers (nonpareil pattern) made by Payhembury of Cambridgeshire, England. Leather joints, hand-sewn silk endbands. Gold-stamped spine label (with some tooling). The text block was sewn with linen thread on three cords that were laced into the boards. The choice of English materials reflects the English origin of the printed work (that of the author, illustrator and printer), and the colors of ink used for the images.
Nancy’s binding is part of the trienniel Helen Warren DeGolyer exhibition of design binding at Bridwell Library of Southern Methodist University this summer. An electronic version of this exhibition can be seen here.
A few copies of Cambridge are still available on our website