The Story Of A Bookplate

This section illustrates a bookplate commission from the first ideas to finished plate.

I knew that I would enjoy working on this project as soon as I read the first email from my client as so many of the ideas suggested were sympathetic to me.

It was decided to feature a hare running in front of a Gothic ruin by moonlight. As part of my preparation, I made rough drawings of hares:

As you can see - first thoughts are often very sketchy indeed:

However, the drawing was quickly refined - this time in ink. I decided to make the hare's limbs escape from the confines of the main area of the design:

Eventually, I made a careful final ink drawing to engrave from:

It was time to start engraving. I darkened the surface of an endgrain block of English boxwood and drew the design carefully in reverse in black ink. I could then take my tools and start to engrave:

Here is the finished block. This was fixed in the bed of an Albion Handpress, inked and the bookplates were printed.

As the plates were "pulled" from the press, they were left to dry on the ceiling drying racks

Here is the finished bookplate:

Many thanks for Jo and Mark for letting me share this project with you.

Do please contact me if you would like to discuss the creation of a bookplate for your own pleasure or as a gift