This year I committed myself to create more artistic bindings, to let creativity play a bigger role in my work. That used to be the norm until I became a first time mom, a bit more than two years ago. Then something shifted and my priority and biggest passion became my son, who without a doubt is my most beautiful and successful work of art! This year however I discovered that artistic life and mommy life can coexist wonderfully, as a matter of fact they can nourish each other and help each other grow. So when I was presented with the challenge of a new artistic project, the binding of six volumes, whose theme was Number Six, I felt I was finally able to create something special. It took me a long time, funny enough it took me about 6 months to complete the project, but I am happy with the results.
Book I - On Perfection
The cover is decorated by 3 panels on each side, 6 in total, covered in gold leaf, antiqued and painted with leather paints. The front cover depicts an interpretation of da Vinci's Vitruvian man, symbol of perfect human in mathematical terms. The back cover depicts the alchemical symbol of gold.
Book II - On Fortune and Good Luck
This binding features the motif of Hamsa, the right hand that symbolizes good luck, fortune and protection. It is bound in blue color leather in accordance with the color blue of the eye. Gold for the decoration because it is the color of richness, money and fortune.
Book III - The Lovers
Book IV - On Astrology
The design of the cover is inspired by the Mayan calendar based on the birth of Venus which in this ancient civilisation was thought to be a star that rises and sets every morning and evening. The calendar consists of 20 symbols, each one counted 13 times in the cycle. To the Maya, this calendar was called the Tzolk'in (sacred).
Book V - The Wheel of Life
The 5th volume was inspired by the symbolism of Saṃsāra wheel in Buddhism. The wheel is the depiction of the cycles of life death and rebirth - there as the representation of the snake biting its tale. Rebirths occur in six realms of existence (represented by circles), three good (heavenly, demi-god, human) and three evil (animal, ghosts, hellish). Samsara ends if a person attains nirvana, the "blowing out" of the desires and the gaining of true insight into impermanence and non-self reality."
Book VI - The 6th Sense
The cover design is based on a quote that was written in Braille German alphabet. Every letter cell is made up of six dots, two columns consisting of three dots on each side. To reproduce it, the bookbinding technique called Blind Tooling was used, which produces a decorative effect by engraving the damp leather by manual pressure, each little square and dot at a time. The result is fascinating and has a very tactile feel to it. The chromatic used is purposely very simple, the book being almost monochromatic, in order not to take away from the tactile experience.
I really enjoyed working on this challenge. I was lucky to be given complete creative freedom and no deadlines, as well as to have the honor to create these for a wonderful person. It is probably the most well rounded collection of volumes I bound so far.