This is a collection of work produced for exhibitions, competitions and private commissions. My design approach starts from within the piece; reading, studying and researching the text. Then the creative process begins which goes through several stages.
Where possible, I purchase a paperback version of the text and this becomes my first sketchbook. I flag the pages with slithers of post-it notes and fill the margins with pencil drawings circling keywords and themes. These ideas get transferred to a second sketchbook then onto large pieces of stretched printing paper. I explore with different mediums; paint, various printing techniques, collage and ink until I find the most suitable one for the book, not only in relation to the content but the size of the book and the weight of the paper.
Quite often my first idea gets discarded after having undergone the various processes, but the idea still needs to be explored – exorcised even. It is the process that is vital. This is where the “happy accidents” can occur, an unplanned incident or the marrying up of different techniques, each of which have been honed over many years.
I work from inside the book to the outside. The endpapers and doublures are designed first then the rest of the binding can take shape, moving onto the edges of the pages, the end-bands, and then the cover. So that the essence of the book spills from within. I would like the new owner of a Black Fox Design Binding to already have a sense of the content from the look and feel of the finished piece.
Each of the bindings are housed in a titled, hand-made drop back box for protection. The colours and materials used will complement the binding.