“Music” Miniature Decorated Panel

Book dimensions: H 76.2mm x W 76.2mm x D 5mm
Bound in 2020
Commissioned as part of a series on the same theme by Neale Albert, New York, USA.

About the book:

This series of boards was inspired by a collection of full size boards which Neale Albert was shown during a trip to the UK in 2018. This project gave Neale the idea for a new project: a series of miniature designer bound boards on the theme of music, three inches square in size. In early 2019 myself and a number of other binders were asked to participate in this project. Each binder was given total control of the design of their piece, the only common ground between them was to be the size and the musical theme.

About the binding:

  • The board is covered in dark blue bull skin which is embroidered with small seed stitches in a variety of colours.
  • The cello is made from a combination of rosewood and elm veneers, inlaid into the leather.
  • The wood veneered sections have wire and and gold leaf onlays applied to them.
  • The reverse is covered in vellum which is also embroidered.

Design Description:

When I thought about the theme my thoughts naturally turned to cellos as I played up until the age of 20. I made it all the way up to Grade 8 and was a member of both the orchestra at my secondary school as well as a local music centre. I even made it into the local paper in 1998 as my school orchestra was part of a successful world record attempt for the most young musicians playing at once – 4000 of us!

The design for the board was taken from a technical drawing that I borrowed from a neighbour, Kai-Thomas Roth who is a luthier specialising exclusively in making bowed stringed instruments. What he lent me was a drawing of a “Violoncello Piccolo” made by Johann Christian Hoffmann in Leipzig in 1732. This violoncello is a small cello that is played braced against the shoulder rather than between the legs. This instrument is also a five-string version of the instrument, standard cellos have just four strings.

For more information please visit the blog post I wrote about this project here.

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