Erin Fletcher

In 2012, Erin Fletcher opened Herringbone Bindery, providing custom one-of-a-kind and edition hand bookbinding and box-making for various clients and institutions. She is most recognized for her embroidered leather bindings which have been exhibited worldwide and can be found in both private and institutional collections in the United States. In 2021, her work was exhibited in Atlanta, Boston, Hanover, London, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and The Hague.

Erin Fletcher is a graduate of the Bookbinding Program at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. She received training in both historical and contemporary bookbinding techniques from Jeff Altepeter and conservation practices from Martha Kearsley. Post-graduation, Erin was hired as a workshop instructor at NBSS and has been teaching techniques in bookbinding and book arts to adults and middle school students. Erin has also taught for other institutions around the country, such as Maine Media Workshops + College, Guild of Book Workers, and the San Francisco Center for the Book. Erin continues to pursue her own education through independent training with other binders and by taking workshops at the Rare Book School and the American Academy of Bookbinding.

She is an active member in the Guild of Book Workers, having served as the Programs Chair and Chapter Chair for the New England Chapter for four and five years respectively. She is currently serving on the DEI and Exhibits Committees. Erin is also a member of other affiliated organizations such as Designer Bookbinders, ARA-Canada, and Surface Design Association. A selection of her piece Remedies, was recently featured in the SDA's Exhibition in Print and given the Fiber Reinterpreted award.

Example Binding
McPhee, John, et al.
Roadkills: A Collection of Prose and Poetry
Etching and wood engravings by Alan James Robinson
Easthampton, MA: Cheloniidae Press, 1981.

Bound as a French-style fine binding with partially hand-dyed fair goatskin. Back-pared onlays in handmade pink paper (Hook Pottery), mulberry cowhide, dark blue eel, light blue carp, dark brown goatskin, and purple ostrich skin. Horizon embroidered with bright blue embroidery floss. Coyote created with a series of tan to beige leather back-pared onlays and embroidered with various brown tones in cotton floss. A range of hand tools gilt in variegated leaf. Leather wrapped endbands in seafoam green buffalo skin. Handmade pink paper (Hook Pottery) edge-to-edge doublures embellished with embroidery in cotton floss and striped paste paper onlays. Light blue goatskin hinge extends from embroidery to joint. Flyleaves and endpapers are handmade papers (Hook Pottery) in black and red wheatstraw.

Book is housed in a clamshell box covered in rose buffalo skin and raspberry bookcloth. The trays are covered in the same bookcloth and lined with aubergine suede. Title is hand embroidered in bright blue cotton floss over blue goatskin onlays. Handmade fishing flies (Drew Griffith) housed in compartments covered in handmade orchid purple paper (Katie MacGregor).

Design Description:

The design touches on each of the five poems written by Toni Morrison and their relationship to one another. The onlays are laid out in five rows of oddly-shaped pieces that have been hand-dyed. The layers of leather dye and acrylic paint have been both carefully and chaotically applied to evoke particular moments from the work inside. The lines "red cherries become jam" or "fish mistake my hair for home" became inspiration. She was particularly struck by the line "silence kneads your fear" from “Someone Leans Near”. Fletcher first read these poems during the summer of 2020, when so much agony, pain, confusion and hopelessness rocked our communities and she felt caught in this entanglement of depression with no clear way to get out.

The design is overwhelming and exhausting as it forces your eye to dart from corner to corner to read every little detail of the hand-dyed onlays. Once the viewer opens the book a reprise will emerge from the delicately sprinkled paste down and flyleaf. The noise from the cover will dissipate as silence is introduced before the reader engages with the work of Toni Morrison and Kara Walker.

The text will be bound as a French-style fine binding in corrida red buffalo skin. The back-bared onlays will be hand-dyed fair calfskin. Due to the unpredictable nature of leather dyeing, results may vary slightly from the proposal if awarded. The design will be embellished with hand embroidery using magenta and wine cotton floss that will run across the covers and spine.

The title will be hand-tooled down the spine in metallic pink (Five) and metallic magenta (Poems) foil with Gill Sans handle letters. The endbands will be wrapped in pink leather and wrapped with strands of wine cotton floss. The interior side of the binding will be covered with sprinkled Hook Pottery paper in terra cotta with matching corrida red leather hinges. The paper will be sprinkled with acryla gouache in dark grey, light grey and rose pink. The endpapers will be in Tiziano burgundy and violet.

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Roadkills%3A+A+Collection+of+Prose+and+Poetry+by+John+McPhee%2C+Gillian+Conoley%2C+Gary+Snyder%2C+Madeline+DeFrees%2C+William+Stafford+and+Richard+Eberhart+with+etching+and+wood+engravings+by+Alan+James+Robinson%2C+Cheloniidae+Press%2C+1981.%0D%0A">Roadkills: A Collection of Prose and Poetry by John McPhee, Gillian Conoley, Gary Snyder, Madeline DeFrees, William Stafford and Richard Eberhart with etching and wood engravings by Alan James Robinson, Cheloniidae Press, 1981.<br />
</a>

Erin Fletcher example binding

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Roadkills%3A+A+Collection+of+Prose+and+Poetry+by+John+McPhee%2C+Gillian+Conoley%2C+Gary+Snyder%2C+Madeline+DeFrees%2C+William+Stafford+and+Richard+Eberhart+with+etching+and+wood+engravings+by+Alan+James+Robinson%2C+Cheloniidae+Press%2C+1981.%0D%0A">Roadkills: A Collection of Prose and Poetry by John McPhee, Gillian Conoley, Gary Snyder, Madeline DeFrees, William Stafford and Richard Eberhart with etching and wood engravings by Alan James Robinson, Cheloniidae Press, 1981.<br />
</a>

Erin Fletcher example binding front doublures

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=50&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Erin+Fletcher+proposal">Erin Fletcher proposal</a>

Erin Fletcher design proposal

Erin Fletcher