Cthulhu Adorned

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I have become focused on making bindings that are both extraordinary for their level of layering and richness and also useful as a readable book. The leather and metal, precious stones and tooling should blend to make a binding that is part theme art piece and part masterful binding. These are the books that look the way I imagine a book “should” look while still being correct as a binding and not just acting as a prop.


H.P. Lovecraft wrote macabre and unique horror stories at the beginning of the 20th century. He has rightfully been credited as the father of weird fiction and the creator of a unique genre of horror and suspense called the Cthulhu Mythos – named after one of the main entities in one of his most popular stories. Although Lovecraft wrote many amazing horror stories, some I even prefer to “The Call of Cthulhu”, I chose Cthulhu for the main theme in my binding for, “The Fiction Works of H.P. Lovecraft”.

The primary fantastic aspect of Lovecraft’s entity Cthulhu is it’s octopus or squid-like features. Many of Lovecraft’s stories suggest a mythology wherein many races of beings populated the earth in far antediluvian epochs. These creatures are alien to humanity for many reasons but some have a commonality to aspects of our reality in that they have fungoid, bug-like, or octopoid features. So tentacles are found in many entities in many stories. Thus I chose tentacles as a main design element in this binding.

Black goat skin leather is the night sky adorned with a starry display of gold, silver and antiqued gold hand tooled stars. Over the night sky green goatskin tentacles extend forth from a central title plate to create a macabre art nouveau pattern. Over this all – hand hammered brass ornaments attached with hand made brass rivets make this tome a heavy piece of binding art. An Octopoid latch catch seams to extend from the stars and the latch is yet another tentacle hand hammered and polished. Along the fore edge the Call to Cthulhu is stamped in green, Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn- “In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming”….to make this an opus to one of Lovecraft’s most popular tale. Although he wrote so many extraordinary tales one of the most iconic has become the main theme for this muti-layered Mythos binding.