Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This was a fun project but I have to say I was a bit hesitant when my client said that he wanted his book printed on parchment. The thought of cutting, folding and stitching animal skin made my pescatarian stomach a bit uneasy, but I decided I was up for the challenge.

After the book layout was complete, the paper was purchased from Pergamena in New York, sent out to a printing company that specializes in printing on parchment and then shipped to me in Long Beach. When it arrived at the studio, I cautiously opened the package and was surprisingly delighted at what I saw. Each page was unique and beautiful with varying textures and colors, no two were alike.

Of course working with parchment is nothing like working with paper so it was a learning process, fortunately a smooth one. Each sheet had to be trimmed carefully as the printing was not consistently in the same place on each sheet. Then each sheet was scored, folded and pressed overnight. Next the signatures were collated, station holes punched and finally the book block was stitched, glued up, pressed again and then into the guillotine for a final trimming. The client wanted suede endsheets with a decorative border stitching. He also wanted the endsheets to be one continuous piece so I cut the suede to fit the bookblock, ran it through the sewing machine for the decorative stitching and then stitched the suede wrap to the bookblock.

The raised ligature on the front cover was hand cut and then carefully covered in a dark brown leather. The book's title, "Unrequited" was foil stamped on the spine in 22K gold on the Kwikprint and finally the bookblock was cased in, pressed for a few days and turned over to a very happy client who then passed the gift on to it's intended recipient.