My heart and my hands keep on moving from traditional techniques towards contemporary trends, and back, with the book’s first purpose in mind : to be read, a book has to open, function, and close properly. This while I explore new materials, and invent new structures.

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Limp binding of suede and leather

In 1997, there were no tobacco leaves to be found in stores. One could buy cigarette tobacco, yes, but not whole tobacco leaves to be rolled into a cigar. So I bought 3 cigars, placed them with a damp cloth in a plastic bag during the night . The next morning, I was able to unroll the cigars and handle the long leaves, which I pasted down on boards like shingles on a roof. Without any kind of protection, this binding has endured handling and sniffing from many curious booklovers. The cigar perfume vanished over time, though.

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Les années secrètes de la vie d'un homme,
by Éric Sabatier

Hibiscus petals, very fragile, which actually changed colour from bright red to blueish red when pasted down.

Azed, a manuscript spelling book by famous Québec author Pierre Morency, edited by Les Lieurs de Livres in a limited edition of three, bound in suede, with gold thread lacing.

Full suede binding
The flexibility of traditional Japanese bindings

A spine covered with turbot skins for Inishbream, by Teresa Kishkan
Secrets, secrets… a book that cannot be opened but in which I actually wrote down some of my thoughts about love and its many pitfalls.

Is it necessary to add that this binding conceals tales to make anybody blush…
A binding of stamped leather with a parchment window for End Grain, by Jan and Crispin Elsted, Barbarian Press.

Laced in boards covered with salmon skin
Handmade paper and horse tails of hemp on The Horse Educator, printed in 1876

A dos-à-dos binding for three old remedy recipes, from Pharmacopée universelle, by Nicolas Lemery (1741)

© copyright Denis Larocque, photographer & webmaster