Gallery  |  Hannah Brown

  • William Blake’s Watercolour Designs for the Poems of Thomas Gray
    Trianon Press, Paris, 1972, for the William Blake Trust, London
    352 x 432 x 85mm
    Bound 2013
    Private Collection, UK

    Full leather binding in scarf-jointed maroon and green goatskin with miscellaneous coloured leather onlays and inlays. The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured silks and metallic threads using a variety of embroidery stitches. Sections of the cover leather are washed with acrylic paint before embroidering. The endpapers and doublures are printed, drawn and embroidered with cotton and metallic threads. The back endpaper has a hand-drawn cat on it, with gold foil-tooled whiskers. There are holes cut into the front and back boards enabling the endpapers to be viewed through them, the inside of the holes are lined with coloured papers.

    I chose to base my design on the poem from the book, ‘Ode on the Death of the Favourite Cat, Drowned in a Tub of Gold Fishes’, using the fish as the statement feature on the front, and an additional fish tail depicted on the back. The cat is viewed through one of the circular windows on the back of the binding, as if under water. The exuberance of Blake’s illustrations led to the colourful design choices, the circles like bubbles on the water, reflecting the colours of the fish.
  • Brush Up Your Shakespeare
    By Cole Porter (Words and Music from the musical play ‘Kiss Me Kate’)
    Illustrated by Seymour Chwast
    Designed and Printed by the Tideline Press (Leonard Seastone)
    Piccolo Press, New York, 2009
    80 x 80 x 18mm
    Bound 2010

    Wooden boards backed with lacquered brass, joined together with hand-made brass rivets. Images of musical notes and staves routed into the wood using a CNC machine. Leather inlays in lime green, dark grey and light grey, one inlay concealing two magnets to act as a closing mechanism for the book. Miscellaneous linear images and words of parts of the ‘Brush Up Your Shakespeare’ song hand sewn into the wood using green, white and grey cotton thread. Cream and Brown ‘brads’ hammered into the wood and hand-pierced musical notes showing the brass behind. Leather-covered vellum strap containing a magnet at either end to keep the book closed. Hand-drawn and painted end papers in lime green with gold-tooled buttons on the jackets of the two men. Book edges painted in acrylic in three different shades of grey.

    Wooden box using the same techniques and materials as the book inside. Title of book printed onto lime green paper and sewn to the top of the box using gold thread. Leather hinge and outer edges of the box covered in pared dark grey leather. Lined in light grey felt with a wide green ribbon to enable the book to be lifted out
  • Flowers from Shakespeare's Garden: A Posy from the Plays
    Pictured by Walter Crane
    Cassell and Co. Ltd, London, 1906
    186 x 253 x 20mm
    Bound 2012
    Collection of John Hodgson, UK

    Full leather binding in purple goatskin with miscellaneous coloured leather onlays. The leather is embroidered over the onlays with coloured silks and metallic threads using a variety of embroidery stitches. There are nine gold plated brass pieces attached to the boards. Carbon tooling and flecks of gold tooling scattered over the whole book, done using hand-made finishing tools. The endpapers and doublures are printed using a soft-plate off-set printing method, and embellished with coloured threads and tooling.

    Tulipwood box, mitred and held together with bog oak keys at each of the box corners. The lid has a line drawing that has been computer routed on to the surface. The bottom internal box pad has a single embroidered flower sewn on it.

    The book contains quotes from Shakespeare plays, all of these quotes containing names of flowers. Walter Crane who, throughout the book, depicts figures wearing outfits made up of each of the flowers illustrates all of these quotes. The cover, doublure and endpaper design is made up of each of the flowers mentioned in the book.

Hannah graduated with a BA (Hons) in Three Dimensional Crafts from Brighton University in 2004. She began studying bookbinding during evening classes at Brighton University before transferring to classes at The Institute in London in 2005. She worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum for seven and a half years as a mount-making technician but has now left in order to move to France for a year. She has transferred her studio from North West London to near Avignon and is currently working on a number of commissions and other speculative pieces.

She was elected as a Licenciate member of Designer Bookbinders in 2009 after winning first prize in the 2008 Designer Bookbinders Competition. She was also awarded the Mansfield Medal for best book in the same competition. Hannah has since won the Friends of the John Rylands Prize for Finishing in 2010. She is a committee member of the Society of Bookbinders and plays an active role in the London and South Region of the Society and has also jointly taken over the running of the SoB International Competition.