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Here in RI | The Beauty of Bespoke Books

Here in RI | The Beauty of Bespoke Books

Providence-based bookbinder Jim DiMarcantonio 86 IL makes limited-edition masterpieces by hand.

As the publishing world continues to hurtle into the digital age eschewing the printed word in favor of the ephemeral, Rhode Island-based bookbinder Jim DiMarcantonio 86 IL remains excited by the age-old craft of making books by hand.

A recent project features prints by fellow RISD alum Savannah Carlin 17 PR.

He still runs Hope Street Bindery and Box Company, the business he launched in Providence in 1988 (just two years after graduating from RISD), and now employs two other artisans in the operation, too: fellow alums Stephanie Tyson MFA 19 PR and Nick Costantino MFA 19 PR, who work together on high-end custom projects featuring leather, vellum and gold.

“We’re currently working on hand-bound books with custom boxes for MIT and The Frick Collection,” says DiMarcantonio, “and we just finished a really cool edition of 51 drum-leaf bindings for renowned painter Alex Katz.”

ADA pays homage to painter Alex Katz's muse—his wife.

The project, titled ADA after the artist’s wife and muse, includes 10 aquatints and a copperplate gravure, with text letter-pressed by Printmaking faculty member Dan Wood 94 PR.

“All 670 prints were crated and shipped to us from the printmaker in Florida,” DiMarcantonio adds. “The cover art was taken from a previous trade edition, but I chose and designed the new binding, the edges of the prints were painted and then carefully split apart and we did all the assembly here in the shop.”

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