This hand embroidered binding was commissioned for a very unusual bible. This is a Viking Studio edition of the breathtakingly beautiful Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, originally published in a limited letterpress edition by Pennyroyal Caxton Press, Inc. in 1999. The book was designed and illustrated by renowned Barry Moser, and the main feature is his poignant illustrations. The best word I could think of to describe his engravings is sombre. Thoughtful and sorrowful. They are monochrome and ascetic, with no sign of the usual exaggeration or exaltation. It was a challenge to design a cover that would complement and be respectful towards the illustrations without fruitlessly even attempting to copy the brilliant work of the master.
I based the design on a simple cross, and softened it with damask motifs. I used only two hand embroidery stitches: queen stitch (tiny diamonds forming the cross) and turkey stitch (fluffy damask motifs), and only two types of natural thread: cotton and wool. The embroidered cross hugs the edges of the front cover, and the embroidery flows over the spine to the back cover. I used only one strand of thread to do all the embroidery. As a result the needle has been guided back and forth through the fabric more than two hundred fifty times per every square centimeter.
The book was expertly re-bound by book restorer Dace Zalite.
Pure linen fabric, cotton and wool threads, size of the book: 31 x 20.5 x 5.5 cm (8.1 x 12.2 x 2.2 in).
Here you can read more about the unique Caxton Bible, about Viking Studio, and about Barry Moser.