Nicky Oliver
  • by Deborah Levy
    Penguin Random Hous, 2016
    222 x138 x 25mm
    bound 2016

    Full leather binding with hand dyed goatskin. Unsupported link stitch with a Fraynot hinge attachment. Edges washed with acrylic in a diesel blue. French double silk end-bands. The doublures are made with layers of green and blue tissue paper which have been distressed. Deep blue suede flyleaves adhered to the verso is a layer of coloured tissue, upon which a medusa jellyfish has been blocked with hologram foil. Recessed craquelle onlays front and back with the addition of a ring of sparkly stones to the front board. Foil tooled.

    "This novel, set in Almeria in Andalusia on the Playa de los Muertos, is rich with themes and imagery. I chose a couple of reoccurring elements; water and the ocean for the background, creating sweeping and wild strokes with the dyes to symbolise the fractious relationship the protagonist, Sofia, has with her Mother. Circles and domes, in different forms, are peppered throughout the text - I chose these shapes for the design structure. Sofia is on a quest for a cure for her Mother's mysterious illness - this is represented by the pharmaceutical cross. The ring of 'diamonds' is a nod to the cheap, bling watch bought at a market."
  • by Graham Greene
    Eurogrphica, Helsinki, 1988
    Printed by Tipografica Nobili and signed by the author
    243 x 174 x 26mm
    bound 2011
    Private collection, UK

    The text block is sewn with an unsupported link stitch and has a Fraynot hinge attachment. The endpapers are screen printed and the edges have been gilded with silver leaf. Silk sewn headbands. The cover is a fair goatskin which has a reverse-transfer print. This print has then been dyed with leather dyes. The title on the spine is back pared, silver leather onlays. Black and silver foil tooling and line work.

    The imagery was taken from a couple of stills from the film, The Third Man. The front board is of Harry Lime, the protagonist, trapped within the sewers of Vienna. The back board is of Holly Martins approaching The Great Wheel of the Prater Amusement Park in Vienna, which is still there and working!
  • by A. C. Swinburne
    Copper engravings by John Buckland-Wright
    Golden Cockerel Press, London, 1950
    232 x 155 x 15mm
    bound 2016

    Full fair goat dyed with leather dyes using a miniature sponge to create a mosaic style pattern. Sewn on tapes. Acrylic wash and gold leaf top edge. Double silk endbands. Suede flyleaves. 22crt gold leaf to front and back boards. Black leather onlays. Recessed vellum and walnut burl vaneers to the front and back boards.

    Pasiphae; the immortal daughter of the sun god Helios, wife of King Minos of Crete. Legend has it that her husband displeased the god Poseidon and, as an act of revenge, Poseidon cursed Pasiphae to fall madly in love with Minos' prized white bull. To satisfy her lust for the creature, she employed the services of the great craftman Daedalus to create a wooden cow - so that she could be 'coupled' with the beast. The result of the union was the birth of Asterion, better known as The Minotaur.

    The book, when opened, reveals Pasiphae's torso entwined with large golden bull horns. The recessed wooden veneers and vellum represent the cow.
  • Illustrated by John Liddell
    Incline Press, 2001
    227 x 178 x 16mm
    bound 2016

    Ultra flat back structure, full leather binding with a Fraynot hinge attachment. Foil tooled leather headbands and leather joints. Fly leaves and doublures have been painted and stencil printed. The alum tawed goatskin cover has been dyed with various leather dyes and stenciled in dull, black foil.

    "The design of this book was inspired by the beautiful pictorial narrative within. I wanted there to be a continuation from cover to content so I matched the colours and the printed texture of the lino cuts."
  • Nicky discovered bookbinding while studying for a Graphic Design and Illustration degree in Bath in 1996 and has pursued the craft ever since.
  • In 2008 and 2009, Nicky was awarded the Folio Society Second Prize and the Friends of John Rylands Finishing Prize respectively for her entries in Designer Bookbinders Annual Competition.
  • After having worked for several years in a couple of trade binderies she established her own business, Black Fox Bindery, in 2009.
  • In 2010, Nicky was elected a licentiate of the Designer Bookbinders. In that same year she won the 'Silver Triple'; First Prize Open Choice Book, Folio Society First Prize Set Book and the Edgar Mansfield Silver Medal 
  • Other awards include; 2012 Friends of John Rylands Finishing Prize, 2013 Distinguished Winner Shakespeare Trophy Designer Bookbinders International Competition, 2014 Best Craft Binding Overall Category Elizabeth Soutar Competition and Folio Society Second Prize Set Book Designer Bookbinders Annual Competition. 2015 Highly Commended - Maker of the Year from the Heritage Craft Association. 2016 Best Creative Binding Elizabeth Soutar Competition.
  • She was elected a Fellow of the Designer Bookbinders in 2016
  • Nicky has presented lectures and workshops on various binding and decorative techniques in the UK and abroad.
  • Many of her pieces are in public collections including the John Rylands Library (Manchester), Elizabeth Soutar Library (Edinburgh) and The British Library (London) as well as in private collections in the UK and abroad.

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