Bound by: Timothy Ely


Colfax, WA: Timothy C. Ely, 2017. Unique. Fine art binding. Fine.


8 spreads of original art by Ely using watercolor, dyes, gum arabic, and other pigments. Artist's statement: I am fond of the simple numbers and the shapes they generate. Within them are properties and unless they are known, they appear to be secret. The secrets are known but at various historical nodes something like the pentagon was regarded as suspicious and its properties were guarded. Much could be said of this. Five containers were selected with five rather random splashes of clear water and a mordant and five bottles of dry dye stuff. To each of these was added an unmeasured amount of dye. The dyes were used to gesturally prepare folios for geometrical and diagrammatic work. When all was dry, the sheets were divided into 5 units vertically and these divisions were scored or penciled in. With various devices like pentagonal forms and numerical templates such as used by sign painters, the book called 5 began to get some life. Conceptual pieces like this book often ferment for long periods between other projects. As this one was maturing in both mind and in procedure, I happened on an idea for a wooden board binding and a method of clasping that I liked the smell of. Normally experimental books are tested against reality with smaller less ambitious models. However, DRAWINGS AND DIGRESSIONS [exhibition at the Schack Art Center, January 11-February 8, 2018] was to open in less than two months and I decided to raise the sails and experiment on this larger book. Wooden board bindings have an elegance and the old medieval models lacked for a contemporary wood shop and in that was my technical advantage. The boards for this book are segmented, that is, pieced like a quilt. This allowed for all sorts of design directions as well as having small mobile parts that could be worked in ways that a solid wood board with all its inherent problems are avoided. Same with the clasps. I have not solved the problem and may never, with parts going missing over time. What I have solved is the hinge. The clasps on this book are very simple and are potentially loaded with new directions. these are beginnings but I find inspiration in them as an old friend and maker of jewelry signed off on them as a really good idea. I am fond of this book and pleased with what it will offer up as the contemporary wooden board and clasp notion, echoing a medieval wave at history can generate as a new direction. -Timothy Ely, 2018 Drum leaf binding. Wooden boards with resins, wax and pigments, brass and steel clasp system, cloth spine. Housed in custom dropback box by the artist. Created and bound by Timothy Ely in 2017. 27.5cm x 31cm.