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Introduction

Furthermore, his experiences have encouraged him to include still more wood in the book covers. Initially, he preserved the traditional body of the work, with the strings and leather back overlapping onto the front and back covers. He then rapidly adopte d the technique named "Bradel" which relies for its effect, amongst others, on the clear separation with grooves, of the backing of the book from the front and back covers; this creates a greater surface for decoration than in previous book binding systems. The design of such a book cover, made completely in wood, left the problem of the joint between the covers and the back of the book. The answer was found, this thanks to a hinge made of a wooden casing , through which an invisible steel rod was inserted. All Alain Taral's book covers have henceforth been produced using this principle. A precious book cover is always protected by a case, this of course, in the case of Alain Taral, being a veneer of precious wood, either natural or stained.

Be his compositions figurative, geometric or of letters, all the decors designed by Alain Taral live on; in devoting himself to the art of book-binding, he has been guided by the spirit of the book - its text,illustrations, structure... The artist also knows how to juggle with the intrinsic qualities of his materials.Wood offers naturally, by virtue of its structure (grain, tones), unlimited decorative wealth and sometimes, the unexpected, which Alain Taral seeks to preserve and enhance, and indeed offers pride of place, particularly to the choice of style "Jansenist".
Alain Taral's "Feuille à Feuille" studio is situated on a hillside in Provence, a place of tranquillity and reflection-an ideal atmosphere for being creative. He also has at his disposal, the Jean Aicard Museum at Solliès-Ville where his work is exhibited to the public. Private collections together with those in the public domain, have enriched the creative works of Alain Taral, the quality of which are widely recognised by amateur book binders both in France and abroad. (Text extract from catalogue of exhibition in library Fata Libelli.)
 
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