Saturday, February 22, 2020

Old Man and the Sea

We saw Fritz Otto helping turn that delicious mackerel into parchment. Here the binding one of the half-skins was used on, Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. The other half goes in the skin archive. Below the binding I just completed.

Here the top-edge Fritz Otto made. Acrylics in paste with some stippling for waves...
The book is still in-process, and the colored flyleaf will be tipped to the next leaf
just along the fore-edge as one of the last steps.

The mackerel skin was backed with gray Morike paper and cut out to match the
contours of the skin. The mackerel is a standing for the swordfish in the story.
Scars/distressed areas on the skin represent the life and death struggle of fish and Santiago.
The book was sewn on three thongs of shark leather, a metaphor
for the sharks that ate Santiago's swordfish...

This is a Dorfner-style open-joint binding. The parchment
was not covered or trimmed back, so shows the contours
of the fish. Doublure and flyleaf Cave Paper "layered indigo day."

The boards were covered in Pergamena dyed goat
parchment, title stamped in graphite foil.

Here the completed binding. Shark thong ends capped by weathered
wood representing Santiago's boat. 

Book Arts arts du livre Canada (Vol 10., Nr. 2, 2019)

"Fish Tales, experiments with fish skin for bookbinding
The New Bookbinder: Journal of Designer Bookbinders (2020)


  1. beautiful binding and so organic with the fish material you used

  2. Lieber Peter, unglaublich ich habe so was noch nie gesehen.Ich frage mich, wie sich das Buch anfühlt beim lesen. Großartig!

    1. Klaus, das Buch fühlt sich eigentlich wie jeder Pergamenteinband an. Die Deckel aus Ziege haben etwas Oberflächenstruktur, die Makrele am Rücken fühlt sich eher wie Tyvek an. Ich halte es gerne in der Hand, aber viele sind angeekelt schon beim Gedanke... Denen ist nicht zu helfen. ;-)

  3. Peter, ein wundervoller, absolut passender Einband für Old Man and the Sea! Danke fürs Teilen!