Book Art · Book Artists

Other People’s Beautiful Books, created, designed and collected

Embroidered Book Cover
Embroidered Book Cover

A beautiful handmade book arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

It came all the way from Greece. Had lovely postage stamps on the package.

Can you believe how extraordinary this stamp is?
Can you believe how extraordinary this stamp is?

I wasn’t looking to purchase a book, but I stumbled across an image of this one on Pinterest and was completely drawn in. I could see that the binding was hand stitched

but the straight lines and the long curve on the cover also looked like the were stitched. I suppose I could have asked the seller about the stitching but I chose to buy the book and see for myself. Yes, all those line are embroidered with a cotton thread.

This book, and as it turns out, as well as many others, are created by Chara Dimopoulou. There’s a wonderful interview of Chara on the Etsy Greek Street Team site, which is written in both in Greek and English.

Chara Dimopoulou, images and desk
Chara Dimopoulou, images and desk

She mentions using a bodkin to make her holes. Hadn’t heard of that tool. Would love to know more. Did some on-line search, but there’s lots of bodkins so I’m still not quite sure what she’s using to make holes, and which holes she is using the bodkin to make. I can’t help wonder about tools.

~Addendum: Chara emailed me and told me that what she uses is a tiny awl, not a bodkin, as was translated. Glad this error showed up, though, as now I know what a bodkin is…and isn’t. ~

I was so excited about receiving this book that I made a little video showing the unpacking:

 

This will be the second book that I have with sewing featured on the cover that is now in my collection. The first one was given to me by my daughter for Christmas 2018.

Post-it note holder by Stefani Tadio
Post-it note holder by Stefani Tadio, Rochester NY

I spent a year admiring this bit of embroidery. This year I’ve been using it, allowing it to get dog-eared. Actually using it is a completely acceptable way of enjoying it, but it’s something I sometimes have a hard time doing.

As I was thinking of writing this post I saw that Mindell Dubansky put out an announcement about the beautiful book covers of Margaret Armstrong

Book Design by Margaret Armstrong
Book Design by Margaret Armstrong

Margaret Armstrong was a prolific designer of gold embossed book covers.

Book Cover and Spine Desgin by Margaret Atwood
Book Cover and Spine Design by Margaret Armstrong

Armstrong was actively drawing and designing book covers for fifty years, starting in 1890, which places her directly in the Art Nouveau era. I have to say that once I started looking at her designs, I descended right into her rabbit hole. So much beautiful work to see.

She didn’t just make covers for other authors’ books.

Book Cover by Margaret Armstrong
Book Cover by Margaret Armstrong

Look who the author is! Here’s one of her exquisite drawings from this book.

Indain Paint Brush by Margaret Atwood
Indian Paint Brush by Margaret Armstrong

Here’s a cover that isn’t gold embossed but is every bit as lovely as the others. Or maybe there is some gold embossing here. Not sure.

Bookcover Design by Margaret Armstrong
Book Cover Design by Margaret Armstrong

 

Looking at these lovely covers I went looking for the books that make up my small collection of gold embossed covers.

Darkness and Daylight in New York
Darkness and Daylight in New York

“My small collection” means two books. I actually enjoy reading the stories of in Darkness and Daylight in New York, though they can be rather brutal to read. Not a good chapter for many people during the era this was written.

Great Composer, Elson
Great Composer, Elson

Haven’t read this one at all. For me, it’s all about the cover.

So many beautiful books. No, I don’t think they are going to ever become obsolete.

 

 

 

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