ontto harmaa - in the end it all worked out for the best

In the end it all worked out for the best. My wrists healed, I had a few days to spare creating an entirely new binding to enter in the Nordic bookbinding exhibition (one that was much more wrist friendly design-wise), and I find I like the end result more and more as each day passes.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

One of my starting points for designing a binding for Ontto harmaa by Olli-Pekka Tennilä(of which I bound another copy last year) was that I wanted to avoid using the colour grey. The name can be translated as "hollow grey", and as I didn't want the book design to illustrate what exact kind of shade of grey the book was talking about - it felt the definition should be left up in the air. But in the end I couldn't find a more fitting colour linen for the covers (really, really loved the yellow leather I used the first time around, tho) and decided to go with the grey that simply looked the best out of all the options. I haven't regretted the choice: the typewritten binary code looks perfect on it - just the right contrast, texture, variety.

The numbers 1 and 0 are a recurring element in Ontto harmaa, so the idea of using binary code in the design was the one that I built on right from the start. But since Ontto harmaa is a book full of warmth too, the use of a natural material with an organic feel on the covers balanced things off beautifully.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

One of my favourite parts of the sewn boards binding structure is the point where I get to pick the colour and material for lining the spine and the visible board edges. I usually use either paper or linen, but this time I went with this fantastic pink goat skin and I love it.

Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. The book Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.
Designer binding by Kaija Rantakari, 2017. A variation of the sewn boards binding with typewritten binary code linen covers and pink leather spine lining. Ontto harmaa is a Finnish poetry book by Olli-Pekka Tennilä.

Now the book is out of my hands. It will be touring the Nordic countries in 2018-2019 and it will be a while before I get to hold it again. It really is a lovely thing to hold. Light and somehow so very compact at the same time.

Finishing this project means the start of my bookbinding hiatus. For the most part of the summer my studio is four hours away and so are my supplies - I hope it will be enough to keep me focused on writing my poetry book. Despite being away from the studio, I will be posting some cut-up poetry pieces here (and tons of other stuff on Instagram) as well as some new posts with bookbinding tips and info about the next Instagram Office Hours session (sorry, thought I could squeeze one in before the end of May, but it's going to take a while longer still!). So, don't go anywhere even though my blog updates are more irregular than usual <3

xxx,

K