Gallery  |  Trevor Jones: 1931-2012

  • Trevor Jones
  • binding1
    by Franúois Marie Arouet de Voltaire
    Bound 1990

    Exposed sewing structure, calf sides with paste resist and spirit leather-dye craquelé decoration, and reference to traditional half-binding spine & corners.

    The book is sewn with double cream silk thread, through a Fraynot continuous guard for the first and last four sections, onto four unbleached linen braids.

    Doublures of yellow goatskin with inlays. Top edge gilt with oxidised silver before sewing.
  • binding2
    by George Mackay Brown
    Bound 1982
  • binding3
    by Aleksandr Puškin
    Officina Bodoni, Verona 1968
    295 x 204mm
    Bound 1992

    The poem by Pushkin, here printed in Cyrillic text and Italian translation, concerns the fate of a humble clerk driven mad by the death of the girl he loves, when the Neva burst its banks in the winter of 1824 flooding St Petersburg. He dreams that the equestrian statue of Peter the Great is pursuing him.

    A figured vellum was selected for the sides, and the markings on the area of skin chosen suggested the design. The progress of this design, worked on both sides of the vellum with spirit leather dyed, stencils, Friskfilm, and resists, gave me many headaches, mainly from fear of doing too much. There seemed to be a haunted figure already present in the natural markings of the vellum and the danger was that attempts to add definition would destroy the mystery. At the end of the first attempt, the figure on the front board emerged as part simian, part owl, so I decided to make him emphatically human. The process, spraying layer upon layer of dye through a variety of meshes, masking some areas and abrading others with extra‑fine glasspaper, gave an exhilarating freedom far greater than when using the dyes on leather ‑ nearer perhaps to painting on canvas. The design was completed with tooling in palladium.

    The book is sewn with linen thread through a continuous guard of Fraynot on to four vellum bands. The sewing structure is exposed on the spine of the binding. The vellum sides are lined with handmade paper. Inlaid leather pieces surround slots for the vellum bands. The other areas of the spine are covered in leather with raised false bands to protect the exposed sewing thread. Doublures and joints of archival goatskin also carry dyed designs.

After having been introduced to bookbinding by Arthur Johnson at Hornsey College of Art, Trevor became a founder member of the Guild of Contemporary Bookbinders and, after they became Designer Bookbinders, was their President from 1983-85.

After five years of art and craft in Middlesex schools and twenty-five as a lecturer at St John's College, York, he retired from teaching in 1984 to concentrate on his designed bindings. The diversity of techniques he employed and the variety of his designs may be attributed to a constant need to surprise both himself and those who commissioned his bindings.

Trevor exhibited widely in Britain and internationally, and his bindings can be found in institutions and private collections in the UK, Europe and the USA.