" La Tete Or " by Morina Mongin. Designed and bound by Robert Wu, Toronto 2017. This binding is made for an upcoming exhibition at Laure and Éric Busser's bookstore in the Latin Quarter in Paris from March 21th to 31th, and then at their booth at the Salon du Livre Rare au Grand Palais from 5 to 9 April 2017.
Morina Mongin is a Paris based fine binder who wrote this little poetry book about us the bookbinders/gilders...She is the creator of La Reliure Contemporaine and invited a small group of fine binders working in the great French tradition to bind this little book for the salon.
My inspirations for this binding are Japonisme and Chinoiserie - when the East (my heritage) meets the West. Stylistically, it's naturally fitting for me and very appropriate for this occasion as it is the first showing of my binding in Paris, France. I am thrilled to be part of it and was told that the show will be featured also in the French book magazine Art et Metiers du Livre!
The book measures 5" x 5" x 1/2" thick. It is bound in the French simplified style. The spine is covered with red goatskin and titled in gold. The headbands are made with yellow calfskin. The cover boards are covered in white goatskin with onlays of various decorative coloured leather. The inlaid eggshell panels are made by me as well and added with sunago (gold flecks). Inside marbled papers in red are hand marbled by me. The top edge is coloured in red and gauffered in gold. I decided to make a Chinese/Japanese style folding box with bone clasps. I love this type of traditional Chinese folding box because it reminds me of layering quality of kimonos and origami. It's covered with gorgeous Japanese silk/rayon fabric and lined with cork and gold flecked Japanese monigami paper. The overall folding box measures 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 1" thick. I am very happy with the way everything turned out. The designs were executed and composed right on the covers without using any template for this binding to keep the spontaneity and improvisation alive! It's more fun that way and I hope I have achieved design of timeless quality.