Bokeh: A Little Book of Flowers

by Gaylord Schanilec
Illustrated by Gaylord Schanilec
Published by Midnight Paper Sales, Wisconsin, USA, 2020 (Copy 87 of 120)
Book dimensions: H 215 x W 158 x D 21mm
Box dimensions: H 272 x W 220 x D 87mm
Sample board #68
Bound in 2023
Bound for the Covered:Discovered Designer Bookbinders Exhibition in March 2024

About the book:

This is the third book in Gaylord Schanilec’s trilogy documenting his journey or struggle with the reality of growing old (the other two are his Little Book of Birds and Ninja Press’s Departures). After a quarter of a century living in the rural midwest, Gaylord Schanilec moved to the city where he observes the isolation of urban life and the tenacious existence of the plants, birds and animals living there.

There are 8 colour wood engravings of flowers alongside poems set in Polipholis, Bembo and Blado types and printed on Velke Losiny and Zerkall paper.

About the binding:

  • A stub binding bound in grey goatskin.
  • The front cover of the book has three large suede onlays in the shape of flowers, painted with acrylic paints.
  • The onlays are embroidered with black and white thread details, and additional fine lines drawn in ink.
  • There is additional embroidery on the front and back of the binding: a series of parallel lines sewn in black, pink and yellow threads.
  • The title of the book is placed on the spine and is a mixture of: embroidery; onlays; plus the central ‘W’ of ‘FLOWERS” is cut through the grey leather and backed with yellow leather behind.
  • The top edge of the book is coloured with finely painted coloured lines.
  • The endbands are double core and covered in leather with additional thread detail.
  • The book has edge-to-edge pink paper doublures.
  • The box is made of Poplar, with a hinged lid and a leather title label and sewn detail on the top.
  • The box is lined with leather and paper, with the book sitting within a well.
  • The underneath of the lid has an additional wood engraved print, supplied with the text block, mounted into it.

Design Description:

This book contains eight very beautiful, coloured wood engravings of flowers. The author and artist, Gaylord Schanilec, documents his journey or struggle with the reality of growing old through a series of poems which accompany the images. He uses traditional wood engraving processes to create his illustrations, often focussing his attention on the wildlife, landscape and culture of the upper Mississippi, USA.

The binding is bound on stubs, folded from yellow Satogami paper, and is covered in grey goatskin. The design of the book was created to give the appearance of a series of three wood engraved poppies, with a series of fine parallel lines running from them to look like cut marks. The top decorated edge of the book mirrors these lines with thinly painted strips of colour adorning it.

The binding is housed in a tulip wood box, with an accompanying wood engraved print mounted into the lid of the enclosure. The box is lined with pink and yellow Satogami paper, and the well of the base is lined with pink suede. The lid of the box is titled and has sewn detail added to match the cover design of the binding.

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