You can judge a book by its cover : a brief survey of materials [Charrière, Gérard, 1935-]

Bound in full purple Oasis leather with multicolored onlays, palladium, blind and iridescent colored foil tooling; headbands sewn in red and green; gauffered top edges; hand-decorated endpapers; in a purple and yellow leather drop-spine box with curved spine; box lined in suede.

Charrière was born in Fribourg, Switzerland in 1935. From 1965 to 1968 he studied at L’Ecole des Arts et Metieres de Bale and obtained his diploma de relieur-dorure. He took advanced studies in bookbinding design, drawing and tooling at the Lycée Technique Estienne, Paris with Mondange. He worked at the Newberry Library in Chicago, Illinois from 1965 to 1968. From 1968 to 1972 he did work for various private collections. In 1974 he studied oil and acrylic painting with Baranik and sketching at the Art Students League in New York. From 1975 to 2001 he lived and worked in his studio in New York, however he returned to Europe and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. Gérard has had many one man shows in museums and libraries, and his bindings are in public and private collections the world over. In many of his bindings he uses paintings, nails, oxidized copper, aluminum cans, wood, feathers and leather onlays and inlays. He said in 1998, “All the unusual material I find, objects very often found in the street in New York, these I use when the material in some way reflects the text of the book. A binding not only holds a book together, protecting and preserving it, it is an extension of its literary and artistic content. It is a third creation, which must not clash with the mood of its author or of the artist’s illustrations. These last fifteen years, besides my commissioned bindings, I have been concentrating on painting and one of a kind books.

"I designed the cover to represent the binding of a book, onto the book itself. It is bound in full oasis leather with multicolored onlays, palladium, blind and iridescent colored foil tooling. The endpapers are hand decorated."

--Gérard Charrière