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Dulce María Luna

Introduction

Dulce María Luna Torres was born in Mexico City in 1964. She first discovered bookbinding as a child in her father's workshop, where she acquired the dexterity and skills required for bookbinding. Dulce received a degree in Hispanic Language and Literature at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, becoming a professor of literature and writing. She also worked as an editor in the Mexican publishing house Fondo de Cultura Económica.

In 1990 she opened her workshop, La Antigua Binding. Dulce has completed various projects for writers, publishers, and companies; she has developed and taught bookbinding workshops, and participated in exhibitions and contests. She designed and produced cases for the Mexican Pre-Hispanic Codex, edited by the Fondo de Cultura Economica, and produced writing materials for the catalogs of Kate's Paperie and Rizzoli, in New York City.

Dulce has taken specialized bookbinding courses in Spain with various notable teachers. She participated in the 1st International Exhibition of Artistic Bindings of the Llar del Llibre workshop, in Alicante, studying with Javier Abellán, who contributed significantly to her training as an artistic bookbinder. She competed in the World Biennial of Art Bookbinding in Paris, from 2005 to 2022. She won the Villa de Saint Rèmy lès Chevreuse prize in 2007. She received a fellowship from the National Fund for Culture and the Arts, supporting her efforts to popularize the arts of bookbinding, conservation, and care. In 2010 she received funding to attend an artistic binding program in Osaka, Japan.

In 2003, Dulce presented her work in an exhibition titled, "Pliegues de la Memoria" (Folds of Memory) and has exhibited her work around the world. She has taught workshops to audiences of all ages, but especially to children, evangelizing the book. She has reached more than 35,000 participants in Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, France and the United States. More recently the exhibition, expanded to include poetry and fiber arts, appeared at the Library of Mexico. Retitled "Poetic Journey," it is a celebration of Dulce’s 50-year journey with the book. Now the exhibition has crossed the border to be hosted by the American Bookbinders Museum from June to August, 2023, in San Francisco, California.

Objects

Around the World in Eighty Days
Around the World in Eighty Days

Le tour du monde en quatre vingt jours/(Around the World in Eighty Days, original French edition), by Jules Verne Prepared for the International Competition of the 8th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2005: “Un calendr [...]

Miguel Hernandez
Miguel Hernandez

Miguel Hernandez, by Jose Luis Ferris. Prepared for the 1st International Art Bookbinding Exhibition, held by the “Llar del Llibre” Workshop in Alicante, Spain. Bound in natural sheepskin leather, with acrylic-tinted carved edges, amate paper [...]

Violeta
Violeta

Violeta. Journal bound in Valencian dyed sheepskin leather, with carved edges, the journal covers in turn form the protection box, French endpapers, bridles and nail details. It was sewn on a loom with linen thread. Year 2003. Dimensions 18x12 [...]

Blanca
Blanca

Blanca. Collage with sheepskin on both sides. Cuts in the inner sheets and registers of henequen thread. Year 2003. Dimensions 24x18 cm.

Maria
Maria

María. Italian fabric diary with cotton thread details, handmade bridles and painted edges. Year 2003. Dimensions 24x18 cm.  

Elisa
Elisa

Elisa. Journal made with red and black suede, carved edges and details that come from the seam, French endpapers and separator with suede details. Year 2002. Dimensions 19x12.5 cm.

Ángel
Ángel

Diary Technique: leather spine, embossed, and hand-painted paper. 12 x 8.5 cm  2000

Ángel and Aurora
Ángel and Aurora

Diary Technique: parchment with carved edges and exposed seam. 18 x 10 cm  2001  

Emergency Diary: Letters to Go
Emergency Diary: Letters to Go

Technique: made in Spanish marbled leather. 17 x 2.5  cm 2002

Prehispanic Notebook (2)
Prehispanic Notebook (2)

Technique: Bound in amate paper. 8 x 5 cm  2005

Prehispanic Notebook (4)
Prehispanic Notebook (4)

Technique: Bound in jutecloth, symbol in amate paper. 17.5 x 12cm  1997

Keychain Notebooks
Keychain Notebooks

Technique: Miniature binding on paper. 6 x 5 cm  2014

Joined
Joined

Technique: French seam, exposed. Two newspapers linked together. 23.5 x 17.5 cm  2006

Diary with Rhinestones (2)
Diary with Rhinestones (2)

Technique: made with parchment paper. Exposed seam with Murano glass and silver. 8 x 12 cm  2005

Case for Engravings
Case for Engravings

Technique: Notebook and explanatory book, joined together, with box. Made in Italian fabric. 24 x 17.5 cm   2004

Chip Notepad
Chip Notepad

Technique: shaving with cloth. 6x.5 cm, 2010.

United
United

Diary, Technique: Several blocks, joined together, and one loose. Technique: cloth and cotton thread.23.5 x 18 x 10 cm, 18 x 23.5 cm, 2007.

The Nest
The Nest

Diary, Technique: bound in leather spine and amate paper, with detail made with skin shavings. 23.5 x 18 cm, 2007.

Japanese Binding (2)
Japanese Binding (2)

Japanese Binding (2), Three exercises in traditional Japanese bookbinding carried out in the workshop of Mtra. Eiko Nakao, in the City of Osaka, Japan. 16 x 21 cm., 15.5 x 20.5 cm and 16 x 16 cm 2010

Erotic Block
Erotic Block

Erotic Block,Block for intimate use with personal data sheets, envelope for condoms, birth control pills and security spring. Interior details alluding to the user according to gender. Cover drawing by Elisa Luna. 12 x 8.5 cm 2002

USB Carrying Case
USB Carrying Case

USB Carrying Case, Technique: fabric and paper 3.5 x 8 cm 2018

L’aiguille Creuse (The Hollow Needle)
L’aiguille Creuse (The Hollow Needle)

L’aiguille creuse (The Hollow Needle, original French edition), by Maurice Leblanc Prepared for the International Competition of the 12th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2013. Technique: bound in cloth and hemp thread [...]

The Magic Mountain
The Magic Mountain

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann Technique: bound in “shagreen” goatskin. Edges carved and painted with acrylic. Marble dust and oil. Details in different materials.The image alludes to what can, among many other things, be found on the mount [...]

The Metamorphosis
The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka Technique: bound in “shagreen” goatskin. Three superimposed and sculpted skins. Sewn with cotton thread and scartivanas on the spine. Carved edges. The image alludes to the transformation of man into an insect [...]

Selma
Selma

Selma by Jutta Bauer Technique: “felting”, made by the textile designer Mariel Andrea Tapia Luna. Bound in handmade cloth, felted with carded, dyed and raw wool, 100% Mexican. Sewn with cotton thread. Edges carved and stained with acrylic. 11. [...]

Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage
Vendredi ou la Vie Sauvage

Vendredi ou la vie sauvage (Friday or the Wild Life, original French edition), by Michel Tournier Prepared for the International Competition of the 13th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2015. Technique: bound in “chagr [...]

L’art d’être Grand-Père
L’art d’être Grand-Père

L’art d’être grand-père (The Art of Being a Grandfather, original French edition), by Victor Hugo Prepared for the International Competition of the 14th World Biennial of Art Bookbinding, held in Paris, France, in 2017. Technique: the cover of [...]

L’étranger (The Stranger 1)
L’étranger (The Stranger 1)

L’étranger (The Stranger, original French edition), by Albert Camus. Prepared for the International Competition of the 15th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2019. Technique: cloth binding, hemp thread and amate paper. [...]

The Spider
The Spider

The Spider, One of four textile pieces made with cotton thread on cardboard and glue, with the technique of “The thread of life”. The signature thread has been dyed with blood. 45 x 43.5 cm, 2019.

The Poetic Egg
The Poetic Egg

Project that combines poetry with flexible expression on an eggshell as a support.  2019

Egg (2)
Egg (2)

Project that combines poetry with flexible expression on an eggshell as a support.  2019

Egg (4)
Egg (4)

Project that combines poetry with flexible expression on an eggshell as a support.  2019

Paper Rebozos (2)
Paper Rebozos (2)

Rebozos of Paper ““Of Matter” (2). Technique: Rebozos and huipil woven with thread and paper, which are conceived as poetic writing supports. It is a confluence between textile art and bookbinding. Made on a four-frame floor loom. Natural cott [...]

Paper Rebozos, “Of Matter” (1)
Paper Rebozos, “Of Matter” (1)

Rebozos of Paper ““Of Matter” (1). Technique: Rebozos and huipil woven with thread and paper, which are conceived as poetic writing supports. It is a confluence between textile art and bookbinding. Made on a four-frame floor loom. Natural cott [...]

Alejandro
Alejandro

Alejandro. Portablock with thread detail on the cover. Year 2006. Dimensions 12x8.5cm.  

Inés
Inés

Journal. Technique: Made with cotton thread and inlaid beads.16x10 cm  2004

Fan Notebook
Fan Notebook

Technique: made of cotton fabric and Ingres Fabriano cardboard. 16.5 x 3.2 cm (closed)  2002

Beatriz
Beatriz

Diary Technique: Pigskin with sheepskin mosaic and embossing; the edges are carved and painted, hand-painted guards and metal register. 18x12  cm  2002.

Prehispanic Notebook (1)
Prehispanic Notebook (1)

Technique: marbled sheepskin leather and Ingres Fabriano paper, bound in the Spanish style and hand-painted endpapers. 26 x 17.5 cm  2002

Prehispanic Notebook (3)
Prehispanic Notebook (3)

Technique: Bound in amate paper. 17.7 x 24 cm  2005

Prehistoric Portablock
Prehistoric Portablock

Technique: Made of cloth and amate paper with a pre-Hispanic symbol. 24 x 16cm  2007

Mariel Binding Package
Mariel Binding Package

Prepared for the course-workshop of Introduction to Bookbinding, for children. 26 x 17.5 cm  2002

Zara
Zara

Diary. Technique: goatskin (moroccan) with embossed details, irregularly shaped. Record with metal thread, and French guards. 23.5 x 16.5 cm  1993

Diary with Rhinestones (1)
Diary with Rhinestones (1)

Technique: made with parchment paper. Exposed seam with Murano glass and silver. 8 x 12 cm  2005

Diary with Rhinestones (3)
Diary with Rhinestones (3)

Technique: made with parchment paper. Exposed seam with Murano glass and silver. 8 x 12 cm   2005

Alpha and Omega
Alpha and Omega

Technique: made of goatskin (morocco) and embossed. The image alludes to the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet, which symbolizes the beginning and the end of all things in ancient medieval tradition. 17.5 x 12.5 cm  1996

Mexican Prehistoric Codices
Mexican Prehistoric Codices

Cases made for facsimile and explanatory book of the Codices published by the Fondo de Cultura Económica. 15,000 copies made by hand. Technique: made with jute cloth and amate paper. 29 cm x 30.5 cm, 31 x 30.5cm, 1990 - 1996.

Censorship Diary
Censorship Diary

Technique: bound in full leather, sheep, with detail in cotton thread. 17.5 x 11.5 cm, 2006.

Japanese Binding (1)
Japanese Binding (1)

Japanese Binding (1), Three exercises in traditional Japanese bookbinding carried out in the workshop of Mtra. Eiko Nakao, in the City of Osaka, Japan. 16 x 21 cm., 15.5 x 20.5 cm and 16 x 16 cm 2010

Japanese Binding (3)
Japanese Binding (3)

Japanese Binding (3), Three exercises in traditional Japanese bookbinding carried out in the workshop of Mtra. Eiko Nakao, in the City of Osaka, Japan. 16 x 21 cm., 15.5 x 20.5 cm and 16 x 16 cm 2010

Le Mariage de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)
Le Mariage de Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro)

The Mariage of Figaro, edición original en francés, de Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais   Prepared for the International Competition of the 10th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, 2009. The book presents the two theater masks a [...]

María
María

María, by Jorge Isaacs Technique: bound in sheepskin leather with box. 21 x 15.5 cm 2016

Les Fables (Fables)
Les Fables (Fables)

Original French edition by Jean de la Fontaine. Prepared for the International Competition from the 11th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2011. Technique: bound in “shagreen” goatskin, with a classic structure. On the [...]

Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, by Friedrich Nietzsche Technique: bound in “shagreen” goatskin. With gold titles and cotton thread details on the covers. Edges carved and stained with acrylic.18.5 x 12 cm 2015

The Clown
The Clown

Opinions of a Clown, by Heinrich BöllTechnique: bound in goatskin (morocco), with an embossed leather flap on the spine. Hand-painted endpapers and edges painted with acrylic. Cardboard lids with holes allude to a Gothic temple with its staine [...]

The Tin Drum
The Tin Drum

The Tin Drum by Günter Grass. Technique: bound in “shagreen” goatskin. Edges painted with acrylic. Two stainless steel plates have been embedded in the cover flaps and the cover of the original edition has been used on the front cover. The des [...]

Pedro Páramo
Pedro Páramo

Pedro Páramo, by Juan Rulfo Prepared for the exhibition “Pliegues de la Memoria” presented at the “Juan Rulfo” Bookstore, of the Fondo de Cultura Económica, in Madrid, Spain, in May and June 2018. Technique: the construction of the shawl, that [...]

Le Lion (The Lion)
Le Lion (The Lion)

Le lion (The Lion, original French edition), by Joseph Kessel Prepared for the International Competition of the 16th World Art Bookbinding Biennial, held in Paris, France, in 2022. The design of the bookbinding refers to the mystery of the Afr [...]

L’étranger (The Stranger 2)
L’étranger (The Stranger 2)

L’étranger (The Stranger, original French edition), by Albert Camus. Prepared for the International Competition of the 15th World Biennial of Art Binding, held in Paris, France, in 2019. Bound in paper and thread. The cover has been painted wi [...]

The Moon
The Moon

One of four textile pieces made with cotton thread on cardboard and glue, with the technique of “The thread of life”. The signature thread has been dyed with blood. 38.5 x 48 cm  2013

The Beetle
The Beetle

The Beetle. One of four textile pieces made with cotton thread on cardboard and glue, with the technique of “The thread of life”. The signature thread has been dyed with blood. 42.5 x 40 cm, 2014.

Egg (1)
Egg (1)

Project that combines poetry with flexible expression on an eggshell as a support.  2019

Egg (3)
Egg (3)

Project that combines poetry with flexible expression on an eggshell as a support.  2019

Paper Huipil
Paper Huipil

Huipil of Paper ““Of Matter.” Technique: Rebozos and huipil woven with thread and paper, which are conceived as poetic writing supports. It is a confluence between textile art and bookbinding. Made on a four-frame floor loom. Natural cotton an [...]

Poetic Journey

The Bindings of Dulce María Luna   50 years

Since the age of five, Dulce Maria Luna has been binding books in the workshop of her father, a traditional artisan from Mexico City. Surrounded by the processes and materials of the trade–paper, glue, leather, and thread–she found that binding was not just a craft but a means of expression.

Later, Dulce Maria studied language and literature, which fueled her interest in poetry. These two arts, which converge around the book, developed her desire to reflect the literary contents of books in the physical manifestation of each volume. This exhibition is the result of this passion, which is now in its fiftieth year, and displays representative steps in that journey.

In addition to her artistic work, Dulce María is also an activist, offering bookbinding courses and workshops (for children, young people and adults), and combining that work with poetry, weaving and performance, to spread this art to different parts of Mexico—as well as Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Spain, France and the United States. She has also been an annual exhibitor at the World Biennial of Art Bookbinding held in Paris.

A new step in her path is shared with us at the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco. This very exciting trajectory combines a confluence of cultures within bookbinding. Here we find diverse books of Mexican, French and German literature, converted into poetic pieces that are the result of her ongoing approach to Design Bindings. Completing this exhibition are poems, textiles, and pictures embroidered with thread; all are the product of her exploration and life’s adventure.

Alejandro Tapia Mendoza
Director de Ars Optika Editores
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