Gold Tooled Leather Ornaments by Toben Lewis
When bookbinders are preparing to bind a leather book they will often first make a plaquette. This is a small board covered in the same leather as the book, on which the binder can practice the decorative techniques that will be employed on the finished product. Every piece of leather and vellum is different, even if they come from the same tannery at the same time. So this gives the bookbinder a feel for the material and (hopefully) means they make any initial mistakes in a relatively safe manner before attempting the final book.
Traditional gold tooling is something that takes a great deal of practice and time to get right. And as Toben is currently learning this advanced aspect of bookbinding, he has a lot of gold tooled plaquettes around and about my studio. Which got him thinking… if he made some very small plaquettes, and a suitably seasonal pattern, those might look pretty cool hanging from the branches of a Christmas tree.
And so this limited edition of seven tree decorations was born.
Each ornament is covered with veg tanned leather on both sides, except for the white decoration which is covered with parchment. The decorative pattern is made with 23.5k gold leaf, applied using traditional brass bookbinding tools and glaire, built up in layers so it shines brightly. They are 3.5cm x 3.5cm in size. This listing is for an individual ornament from the seven produced in this edition. Choose from one of the three shades of blue, two shades of red, the white parchment, or the sole green ornament.