The Tempest

  • By William Shakespeare
  • Printed and Designed by Mark McMurray
  • Canton, New York: Caliban Press, 2001
  • Copy #103 of 125
  • Book: 320mm x 230mm x 30mm
  • Box: 338mm x 247mm x 47mm
  • Bound in 2016
  • Private collection, USA

Full leather binding bound in fair calf which has been aniline dyed in a mottled effect.
Across the cover are a variety of coloured leather onlays.
Detail is added to these onlays with different embroidery stitches using coloured silks.
Blind, carbon and gold tooling is applied over the whole book using hand-made finishing tools.
The endpapers have been decorated by rolling gold letterpress ink onto the surface whilst the paper was on top of a textured surface, picking up the pattern from underneath.
Small books are depicted floating across these pages amongst carbon-tooled words.
The box is made of oak with an embroidered, frosted acrylic lid.
Inspiration for Design
The cover design is dominated by a wave (The Tempest), which originates on the left-hand side of the binding on a small island and builds in size and power across the cover. The wave begins as five lines, like a musical stave, and transforms into the words of Ariel's song which is written in calligraphic script that gets larger as it crosses the cover. The words are illustrated using a variety of leather onlays, threads and tooling, to create the texture of a stormy sea. French knots in a variety of colours create the look of foam on the waves.
There is a boat crashing around in the sea; breaking in two and throwing silhouetted figures overboard. This boat is made up with leather onlays and tooling, with the ropes and ladders sewn using fine threads. Gold-tooled lightning emanates from the top edge of the front cover, traveling down and hitting parts of the boat as it splits up.
Prospero is depicted to the far left-hand side of the front doublure. The words of Prospero's epilogue are tooled across the pages as if coming from his mouth in calm waves. He has learned sorcery from books and uses it whilst on the island to protect Miranda, however at the end of the play, during his epilogue, he intends to drown his books and renounce magic. The floating books illustrate his magic leaving him.