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ImageBinding design for the limited edition of Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories, published by The Folio Society. Gouache and ink on Havana Canson Mi-Teintes paper, approximately 325 x 245mm.

I wanted to use copper gouache along with the gold and silver, but Winsor & Newton had long stopped its production, and I had mislaid my sole tube of it some time ago. So I mixed some antique copper powder into the gold as an expedient. It didn’t quite give off the fieriness of true copper, but it was serviceable enough just to give an idea of the different metallic foils to be used for the actual binding.

You can see the final binding in this post. Some of the very fine details had inevitably to be given up (in particular those of the little animal heads in the four corners), as spreading does occur during the blocking process. The ‘copper’ of the original design also became this rather wonderful, slightly brownish but still metallic foil in the final binding. We had two other alternatives which were tried out, but one was too orange and the other too dark a brown.

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