British Wild Flowers

by W. J. Stokoe
Illustrated by John E. Sowerby
Published by Frederick Warne, London, 1937 (First Edition)
Book dimensions: H 147 x W 110 x D 34mm
Box dimensions: H 164 x W 130 x D 60mm
Sample board #57
Bound in 2022
Collection of Neale Albert, New York, USA

About the book:
A reference book containing two hundred species of British Wild Flowers with two hundred illustrations, some of which in colour.

About the binding:

  • The book is bound in dark maroon goatskin with onlays in pink, blue, yellow and white across the binding.
  • The leather is scattered with French knots and dashes of coloured threads.
  • The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured threads using a variety of embroidery stitches.
  • The title of the book was sewn using a negative space embroidery technique, building up little threads outside the outline of the letters.
  • The text block is sewn on green and pink stubs to allow better opening of the pages which were in the wrong grain direction.
  • The top edge of the binding is hand painted with red campion petals using acrylic paints.
  • The endpapers were created using two colours of acrylic paint, pink and green, and a crackle glaze medium.
  • The endbands are made using an off-cut of the crackle glaze paper stuck round a core, laminated together with some hot pink leather.
  • The binding is housed in a tulip wood box, lined with paper and felt.

Design Description:
The design of this binding was inspired by walks through the Somerset countryside during the Covid pandemic lockdown in 2020 and 2021. With the pace of life slowing right down, time was taken to observe the wildlife and flowers around me which in turn led to this binding being done as a personal project. Living in a hamlet on the outskirts of Shepton Mallet with the countryside right outside my door I throughly enjoyed working on this binding, looking closely at petals of flowers found in the reference book. With no constraints associated with it being a commissioned binding I worked on this binding alongside other projects, largely doing the embroidery work in evenings.

More details about this binding can be read over two blog posts, starting here.

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