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The contrasting colours of the text, the texture of the paper, as well as the subject matter influenced Rachel’s choice of materials and design which reflects a winter landscape with snowy mountains under a starry night sky. The white snow has been turned red by blood from the fighting bears. Bound using double boards covered with sanded high grained red and palladium tooled black goat leather; it has white velum onlays wrapped around the boards and across the spine.
Chris was inspired to design a binding that would harmonise with the wood engravings. He developed a simple binding in white deerskin with onlays in morocco and tooling in silver. The deerskin is an unusual leather to use for binding and has a somewhat unevenly marked surface that suggests a snowscape. The black inlay of a line of mountains and the silver tooled dots as stars enhanced this idea. Chris has added a line of bear footprints in silver and a further onlay in red to suggest the blood of the battle. The bright endpapers add a further touch of colour as a foil for the mainly black and white theme of the binding and the book itself.
Don likes to use his own paste papers in his design bindings. As these tend to be impressionistic leaving the reader to use his or her own imagination Don felt that he needed something else to convey immediately something of the violence of the combat between these two powerful bears. Something that, he felt, would match the highly visual text. He achieved this with the use of acrylics and the result appears on the front and back boards. The binding is in Bradel style and is done in a suitably violent colour of calf with red Nepalese paper employed in the endpapers.
Inspired by the gold claws of the bear, this binding is in tan, full goat skin leather, with drop spine technique and onlays of hand made decorative paper. It has light green endpapers and the clamshell box has decorative paper onlays to the front cover and a leather label.
The descriptive text inspired Kathryn with many possibilities for her binding and over the course of a few days she developed her design from her drawings. Kathryn likes to use traditional bookbinding materials and techniques and she felt in this instance that would compliment the book. From the tooled red leather covers to the silk endbands to the handmade paper flyleaves and doublures she has tried to capture an essence of this dramatic story.
“Unbound” reflects the vast, open white space being freed from evil. Full printed alum goat skin in ivory white with raised images of the two fighting bears, Iorek Byrnison on the front cover and Iofur Raknison on the back. White leather headbands and black leather inner hinges. The black endpapers have the embossed image of a bear on the lower corners and are slightly cockled reflecting the eerie cold north. The edges are uncut to match the handmade paper and add to the ruggedness of the story. Joan chose black and white to reflect the fight between “good and evil”. The box is covered in soft black leather and lined with black felt.
Fifty numbered copies half-bound by hand in calf with marbled boards. Each volume has been meticulously printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press one sheet and one colour at a time on mould made Somerset paper. In addition to signing the book, Philip Pullman has inscribed each copy with a line of text. Each volume is encased in its own slip case trimmed in leather and accompanied by a set of six woodcut images used within the book. Each print is signed by the author and artist and is produced in a format suitable for framing.
Two hundred numbered copies printed offset on Mohawk paper and half-bound by hand in Colarado blood red cloth with hand marbled boards. Each of these beautifully produced volumes is signed by the author.
The six powerful woodcut images used within the book can be purchased as an individual set suitable for framing. Each has been meticulously printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press one sheet at a time on paper handmade at the famous Ruscombe Mill in France. They are housed in a custom made portfolio and each print has been signed by both author and artist.
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