A Custom Binding: An engagement for the books.

We had the pleasure of creating, I dare say, the most beautiful binding for a marriage proposal ever!  My client and I met several times over about a year and a half discussing, designing, and finalizing this binding/ring box.  I was able to apply several different artistic mediums to create this binding; it was a challenge and a blast at the same time!  

Book Stats:

  • The design in collaboration with our client was a sort of an Arabian Nights theme, but mostly what our client had imagined he wanted the binding to look like.  I hand drew the front and back cover images and then had them made into printing plates. 
  • 14 page poem written by our client, I then hand calligraphed on watercolor paper with a dip pen and ink.
  • Two capital letters illuminated with watercolor and 22k shell gold.
  • Two thirds of the text block is converted into a box to hold an engagement ring, lined with silk and crushed velvet.
  • Text block sewn on five raised cords, laced into wooden boards, covered in alum tawed goat from Siegal Leather. 
  • Doublure and fly leaf are of ivory domestic watered silk.
  • Boards, silk pages, and text block gauffering tooled in silver using approximately 1,822 individual tool impressions. 
  • Illustrations on the front and back boards printed with letter press plates and painted with watercolors and 22k shell gold. 
  • Boards inset with 20 peach diamond-cut sapphires, 11 green diamond-cut Tsavorite garnets, 6 blue diamond-cut sapphires, and 6 red rubies.  
  • Double core French end bands in pink and light green twisted silk.
  • Total building and binding time: 108 hours.

See the process in photos.

We hope the lovely couple lives happily ever!