Britten's Aldeburgh

  • Britten’s Aldeburgh
  • By John Craig
  • With eighty-one engravings and three two-colour linocuts by the author
  • The Whittington Press, Herefordshire, 1997
  • Book: 325mm x 240mm x 18mm
  • Box:
  • Bound in 2014
  • Collection of Dr. David Arrowsmith, UK, bequeathed to the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Full leather binding in scarf-jointed natural and turquoise goatskin with miscellaneous leather onlays in blue, grey, black and yellow
The leather is embroidered over the onlays with silk threads using a variety of different embroidery stitches
The two fishermen’s huts are inlaid oak veneer
The binding is tooled with specks of gold using hand-made finishing tools
The endpapers are patterned with watercolour paint and salt, and tooled with specks of gold foil
The top and bottom edges of the binding are sponged with watercolour paint to match the endpapers
Tulip wood box with routed channels holding decorated panels in place
Front and back panels are constructed from frosted acrylic with more of the patterned endpaper papers behind
A horizon line and the title of the book are drilled and embroidered through the acrylic
Description of Design

This book was commissioned from me in 2011 following a binding I had done on another Whittington Presses publication, ‘Locks of the Oxford Canal’, also by John Craig with similar engravings throughout. Once I had read the text I knew immediately that I wanted to base my design on the seaside element of Aldeburgh. 

For the endpapers and doublures I experimented with a technique of washing watercolour paints onto paper, and before they dried adding large salt crystals. The salt draws away the colour from the paint and once brushed off leaves a wonderful patterned paper that I reminded me of the sea. I added gold foiled flecks to the paper, like light catching the waves on the sea.