Leather bound long-stitch book for Mira Wunderer

As a bookbinder I can’t imagine anything better happening to me than this: Being approached by an artist to create a unique book that will serve as a base for her artwork and that should be created using the best materials.
This is exactly what happened. Apart from doing large scale works, the painter Mira Wunderer sometimes creates a whole sequence inside of a book.

She wanted a durable, large book to carry everywhere, using 300 g/m² Hahnemühle etching board. She would fill it with aquarelle paintings.

I went for a long-stitch binding through a leather cover, to create a book that doesn’t need any glue in the binding, that opens flat and that can handle the humidity. 

I used two goat skins, which I applied to each other, achieving different colours on the inside and outside of the cover and creating a very soft and yet somewhat thick material.
I honestly had no idea how to best apply the skins to each other, but after some testing it turned out that the regular PVA-based bookbinding glue does an amazing job when thinly applied onto both surfaces. 

The green signs in the picture above are just my weights. I pressed the glued goat skins between several layers of grey board, MDF boards and those pretty heavy weights.

The thing with long-stitch bindings is that there is quite a gap between the signatures. And since we settled on black as the inside color of the cover, this gap somehow needed to be covered. I used a longer extra sheet of the etching board that I positioned between the cover and the signatures. 

The cover looked much better with rounded corners.

A year after making the book, Mira Wunderer ordered two more books from me.

When we met I took the opportunity to take some pictures of the previous book having turned into her work of art.