“Above the gemmed azure…the starry blue…”Liber Al Vel Legis


The client who requested this project is great at coming up with his own design specifications. He was inspired by a previous project I did where I impressed gold and silver dots into a leather box in order to make it look like a deep space display of stars. For this he requested the same technique and wanted book covers filled with stars. I directed him to the blue “Sokoto” Nigerian goat, perhaps one of the finest bookbinding leather available and he envisioned stars. At that point I took the reins. I am never happy with one level of design and do not relish redoing something I already did on another project. To simply add stars on a leather cover would be flat. After one stamping of one size and shape of stars I added another, and another after that. I changed the design of each star stamp, which I cut personally in my bindery, the color and the placement. with the covers opened I realized I could give the appearance of the Milky Way in the otherwise random star display and thus the final result is a lovely bejewelled looking starry night sky cover.

I am relatively new to marbling paper and had been stuck in a “one method” approach. For this I finally branched out, as I always do in my methods, to what will work and not what I am “supposed to do” in any given situation. With different marbling inks I was able to achieve finer pinpoint specs on the paper and with different paper a deeper richer appearance to the inks. The result was a cosmic pictorial display….perhaps like a Hubble picture of deep space.

“The Book of Thoth” is now evocative of those lines from “Liber Al Vel Legis” in which the one who dictated the book describes the goddess Nuit…

” Above, the gemmed azure is
The naked splendour of Nuit;
She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit.
The winged globe, the starry blue,
Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu! (Liber Al Vel Legis, A:.C:.)