Friday, 14 June 2013

Book Fore-Edge Painting

Before I started researching leather binding and binderies I was looking into page edge gilding. This  fascinated me as a child and was one of the few things that kept me entertained during Sunday worship. I have always been amazed and enchanted by gold gilding on the edge of books but whilst trying to find out how it is created I stumbled across this.

Fore-edge paintings are created when the page block is fanned and an image painted on the surface. In the video the page edges have been gilded, as a result the image disappears when the book is not fanned. But the fun doesn't stop there. One image can be applied on each side of the edge and on large volumes two images can be applied on each edge. With each book having three edges six to twelve images can be applied in this way to each book.

Split Double

Since 1970, Martin Frost has produced well over 3300 Fore-edge and Miniature Paintings and his site is well worth cheking out

Book Art

I've been researching book covers and book binding over the last couple of weeks. It's only when you start researching something in detail that you realise how little you know about the subject. Not only that but after looking into binding and the book as a piece of art I've realised that print may be in decline but it will never go away.

The artist that has impressed me the most is Philip Smith. His work is truly inspired and he is a great innovator pioneering his own techniques and methods to create art like this.

However this is not my favourite piece of his work. He has 3 on line galleries here and the description below details the process for creating a one off cover for, 'THE LORD OF THE RINGS' this cover is truly spectatctular.

by J.R.R. Tolkien
Book-box made from binders board, balsawood and with brass-reinforced epoxy-putty modelling. Covered with goatskin. Various parts of goatskin are used; strips, emulsified or individual flesh side and grain side parings, and maril. The box has two compartments for the book and a map folder. The leather clasp is designed to match the of images on both sides. The skull (supposedly of a Ringwrailh King; the contorted upper spires now represent the crown) is designed to work with a raking light to give deep relief to the modeling. The nine dead ringwraiths' headstones line the lower edge of the box.

Size: 342 x 180 x 70mm
Bound 1990-91

His other works are just as inspiring.