Eric Alstrom, Okemos, Michigan

The Book of Origins

As I was contemplating my design for the Book of Origins, several events coalesced together: in my research of Amerindian themes, the idea of twins kept emerging, usually as the "good twin" and "bad twin" pair. It was at this time that my wife and I discovered she was pregnant with twins. My binding features twins floating in the ether, connected by their umbilical cords and the "O" in the word Origins/Origines. Modified Simplified Binding (after Sün Evrard), sewn on three spun-nylon fiber tapes with laminated boards. Hahnamülle Ingres endpapers and leather endbands. Book and box covered in red, blue and gray goatskin with Claire Maziarczyk paste papers. The cut-aways of the twins are filled with dyed mica. Title done in leather onlays, reads "Origines" upwards and "Origins" downwards, sharing a common "O," which connects the twin's umbilical cords. The design extends onto the slipcase. 8-5/8 x 5-7/8 x 1-1/16 inches. Bound 2005.

Three Flights

This book, made in celebration of the 100th anniversary of motorized flight, is about the myth of flight, the theory of flight and the reality of flight as told through the myth of Icarus, the writings of Leonardo DaVinci, and the story of the Wright Brothers. The pages are acrylic and photocopy transfer decorated Rives BFK. Collage elements are laser printed and photocopy transferred on a variety of papers including moriki solid-dyed tissue and Hahnemühle Ingres. The binding is done after the Simplified Binding of Sün Evrard with Hewit leather, moriki endpapers, and original collages. 5-3/4 x 17-1/2 x 1-1/4 inches. Bound 2003.

Eric Alstrom has been involved with the book arts since 1989. He received his initial training in conservation and binding in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the University of Michigan under James Craven and the Bessenberg Bindery. From 1994 through 1998 he was the book conservator at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Eric then moved to Hanover, NH to become Dartmouth College's first collections conservator. Besides his duties in the conservation lab, he also taught in the Book Arts Program at the College. In April, 2004, Eric became head of conservation at Michigan State University. Eric teaches binding and book arts workshops and his design bindings and artists books have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Website at

Special Collections Research Center
Syracuse University Library
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Last modified: June 09, 2012 12:35 PM
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