James Tapley

Sarasota, Florida
James Tapley considers himself fortunate to have known and learned from many great American binders of the last generation including Carolyn Horton, Arno Werner, Laura Young, and Stella Patri. He operates a small one-man workshop where he undertakes a wide range of bookbinding including small edition binding, design binding, conservation, and restoration.

Example Binding:
Henry Vaughan. 
Sacred Poems being a Selection.
London: Ballantyne Press, 1897.
Decorations engraved by Charles Ricketts. One of 210 copies.

The book is sewn on five frayed linen cords, all text block edges left rough, and bound in full Oasis goatskin using a modified, but traditional, French style. The binding is decorated with multicolored leather onlays to an abstracted cruciform design with occasional colored foil tooling.

Design Description: 
A traditional Islamic envelope binding in tawed goat with violet goatskin onlays and kozo doublures and flyleaves. The head will be gilt in the rough before sewing and the boards decorated with blocked gilt corner pieces in an interlaced foliage pattern while the onlayed center panels will be blocked in gilt with the Muslim Profession of Faith against a foliate ground. Tapley explains that Anne and T. J. Cobden-Sanderson were social justice warriors of the first order who devoted their lives and the work of the Doves Press to the progressive and inclusive causes and politics of their time. If alive today they would be the first to recognize and celebrate Islamic contributions to their bookbinding (these include the arabesque patterns, center and corner pieces layout, and gold tooling which dominate Doves Press bindings) as well as Muslim contributions to our larger society and faith community. "I wish to use this opportunity to do the same and unite the West’s three great faith traditions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in this one work."

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James Tapley example binding

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James Tapley design proposal

James Tapley