Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Pond Garden (2003) Revisited

When I started painting books back around 2000 I created them in a size I could bind myself: around 6 by 9 inches. But in 2003 I decided to try a bigger one, Pond Garden, it measured 13 by 20 inches, and that was way bigger than I could handle.

So I took it to a bookbinder down the street, he'd been recommended by a knowledgeable friend; but when it came back the guy had cut my sheets and three-hole punched them! Turns out, the company I'd been sent to had changed hands the week before and the new owner just couldn't cut it. Or rather, he had cut it. And punched it. And ruined it.

I was miserable, but I learned from my mistake and from that point on, took my books to a true master binder, John Demerritt in Emeryville. No one does better work than John, he's an authentic genius when it comes to binding, knows every trick in the book (sorry about that), and has exquisite taste and a perfectly refined eye.

Recently I showed that first book to John and he knew immediately how to salvage it: he stripped it apart, cut and pasted the pages back together using thin strips of mauve handmade paper; finally he re-sewed the folios and I now have my book back––eleven years later.

How I appreciate John's expertise!


  1. beautiful work, ward. it's rose de Heer. trying to get in touch vis a vis a small job. call or write. rose@rosedeHeerdesign.com. your website seems to be misbehaving.

  2. Rose: I didn't see this until tonight: thank you for the kind words! Sorry I didn't contact you back in March; sounds really too late at this point. So simply: thank you.