Fig wedding album

I was commissioned by an Italian client to make this wedding album as a gift for Micaela and David’s wedding in Tuscany. Each guest at the wedding was given an etched print of a still life with figs, created by artist friend Roberto Rampinelli. These figs provided the perfect focus for the album.

Having browsed my collection of cover papers, the client asked me to create a one-off, brightly-patterned paste paper using the fig motif. Paste papers have been used for more than 400 years by bookbinders: pigmented starch paste allows designs to be created on the paper, while also strengthening the paper. I made a lively orange paper with figs dotted throughout, providing a lovely contrast to the subtle grey cloth cover.

The pages of the album are made from a heavyweight, off-white etching paper with a rich, velvety texture. I also created ‘guards’ along the spine – these are the brown card tabs along the spine-edge of each signature. These guards create extra space to allow the wedding album to expand when photographs are placed in it.

This style of album is a Secret Belgian binding, a method invented in 1980 by Belgian bookbinder Anne Goy, mixing the aesthetic of a Japanese stab stitch binding with western binding techniques.

The slipcase, which will protect the wedding album over the coming decades, is created using the same book cloth and fig motif, printed out using archival inks on fine-art paper. This handmade wedding measures 20 x 30 x 4 cms.