The covering was done in five stages.  The top black section, incorporating a third of the spine and the head cap, was pared, applied and turned in first, leaving an over-lap all round. The yellow, cut roughly to shape, was pared on the turn in edges. The edge of the black on the lower cover and the yellow that was to fit against it were trimmed out on the bevel and the yellow piece applied, turned in and the corners formed. The rectangle of green and the second piece of black were scarf joined. When dry they were pared along the lower black and green edge. The black and yellow on the book were trimmed out to accept the rectangle of green and the two-colored section was applied and turned in. Finally the curving line on the upper cover and the purple leather were bevelled and the purple leather applied and turned in.

The design of five concentric circles was achieved with onlay and stamping. Yellow leather was pared very thin, lined on the face with paper, marked out with a compass and cut out by hand using a scalpel. The circles were then pasted out and applied, the boards were nipped in a press and over the spine the onlays were worked down with a bone folder through paper. Once firmly in place the paper surface was dampened and removed. The blue and green circles were stamped, using colored foils and magnesium dies. Finally the spine was lettered in gold using individual handle letters.

Poems by Wallace Stevens

The paste down and decorative flyleaf continue the theme of circles. Circles of mylar masked areas from the gold sprinkle, and produced an interesting effect when removed, as can be seen in the close up.

The idea for the design came from lines in Stevens’ poem Disillusionment of Ten O’Clock:

           None are green,

           Or purple with green rings,

           Or green with yellow rings,

           Or yellow with blue rings.        

The head of the book was colored with graphite and sprinkled with gold while the graphite was still wet.

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© 2006

Deborah Evetts Book Conservation, LLC

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