It’s for a selection of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poems, collected under the title of one poem: As kingfishers catch fire. It’s an intricate design that Giordano has done and full of craftsmanship and small details, which fit the poem perfectly. You can even see some lovely work in progress photos here on her Tumblr
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
- from the Gutenberg edition.
Giordano has done several other book cover designs using embroidery — her one for Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea is simple yet brilliant, the textures something you rarely see on a book. She’s had an Etsy shop (on hiatus as of 10th March 2015) so perhaps some of these pieces, or something like them, will be on sale there, but until then she’s also got items on sale on Society6.
Her cover concept reminded me of the enormous and stunning (literally you could use it to stun someone it’s that heavy) embroidered cover for Maggie’s Harvest that Penguin Australia did in 2008.
I actually have a copy from when I worked at Penguin, which is why I know how heavy it is as I carried it home after finding it under my desk and no one else claiming it. Mine’s a bit dusty, but the feel of the fabric and embroidery is luscious — that really is thread, not just the illusion in an image. As book covers a so very flat and smooth in general, it is really something else to have a book that feels so very different and that tactility makes it stand out and puts it in another league from eBooks.