The Art & Craft of Leatherwork
by Cécile Francis-Lewis
Seely, Service & Co, 1928
||A decent, browsable book.
||Useful in parts, though directed more at leatherworkers than binders.
This book was recommended to me by one of Scotland's finest binders when we were discussing several obscure leather decoration techniques. Although rooted in the artistic sensibilities of its time, and directed primarily at leatherworkers rather than binders, it is certainly comprehensive.
- The Good Stuff
- The techniques are described in step by step detail, with line drawings of the designs used. The book covers a wide variety of decorational methods,, including several different modelling, carving, hammering, and tooling techniques.
- Could Do Better
- There are two things about this book that make it harder to use for bookbinding, neither of which are Lewis-Francis' fault.
- First, it is very much a product of its time, meaning that many of the substances and tools described in it are hard to obtain now. In addition, it suffers from the lack of color photos; black and white simple does not convey much of what the author is trying to describe.
- Second, it is a leatherworking book, so much of the text is taken up with things that don't have much relevance to bookbinding. One has to pick things up in dribs and drabs rather than having a single, step-by-step descriotion of what to do.
- Best Bit
- I was interested in the dedication:
Dedicated to her Highness Nawab Sultan Jahan, Begum of Bhopal, G.C.F.I, G.C. I.E, G.B.C.I., to whose sympathy & encouragement I owe so much.
I would love to know the story behind that.