Handmade Illustrated Classic Books (Canceled)
Pride and Prejudice, Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn, Alice in Wonderland and Treasure Island
Our Limited Edition Books
Our limited edition books are hand made by us in our Australian studio, numbered by hand and strictly limited. The print run is limited to 2,000 copies, however, only half will be available during this campaign at a reduced price.
The books are beautifully illustrated with a wrap-around book cover, endpaper and internal illustrations. Each edition also has its own special features and is personally signed by the bookbinder to make it extra special.
Our books are of difference sizes and widths, so that they can seamlessly fit with your current book collection, rather than stand out like a sore thumb or just be a big block on your shelf. But they are definitely more beautiful than your average book!
Key Features of all Editions:
- Smooth, white, archival and 100% recycled paper
- Strong, durable paper covering material
- Wrap-around book cover design, no blurbs or barcodes to hinder the artwork
- A minimum of 6 internal full-color illustrations
- Hand sewn endbands with carefully chosen colours and patterns
- Beautiful artwork by highly talented artists.
Our first publication is Jane Austen’s most famous novel Pride and Prejudice. It is illustrated by Mekel, a fashion illustrator. There are so many editions of Pride and Prejudice, however, for our edition Mekel has put the focus on the fashion while adding elegant splashes of watercolour to create a beautiful and graceful edition of Pride and Prejudice.
- 249mm x 161mm (9 x 6 inches) - spine width 250mm (10 inches)
- 6 full-page, full-color illustrations
- Beautiful drop cap at every new chapter.
We've collected Mark Twain's most famous novels into one volume: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. We've teamed up with Guy Shield for this project. He's an immensely talented artist with a keen eye for detail and his vintage inspired art style perfectly captures the essence of these two American classic stories.
- 204mm x 124mm (8 x 4 inches) - spine width 350mm (14 inches)
- 7 full-page, full-color illustrations
- 2 different endpapers detailing the prominent characters in both book titles.
Our third publication is Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Our edition will have both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-glass. Stephanie Cowley has taken the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and modernised them by using beautiful watercolour.
- 204mm x 124mm (8 x 4 inches) - spine width 340mm (13 inches)
- Over 90 watercolour illustrations
- An original book cover and end paper design as well as an original frontispiece for Through the Looking-glass
- Colourful lettering within the text.
Last but not least is Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. Traditionally considered a children's novel, we've teamed up with Emilis Emka to illustrate a more grown up version of this classic pirate tale. Emilis' digital art beautifully captures the essence of what a pirate's life entailed.⠀
- 221mm x 146mm ( 8 x 5 inches) - spine width 270mm (11 inches)
- 6 full-page, full-color illustrations
- Compass design on every page.
Our limited edition books make perfect gifts. Why not add a special message for that extra personal touch?
During this campaign we are offering this service for free! Just let us know if you want this service when we reach out to you with the Kickstarter survey. Please note that messages are limited to 150 characters and will be printed as provided.
We have produced very limited edition prints for this campaign. These prints will be hand signed by the artist, numbered in a run of 10.
We are an Australian family-owned publishing company - a husband and wife team. We love how a book can stretch the imagination, bring you on a journey or simply inspire and entertain you. We’ve always been drawn to beautifully made hardcover books; our library is full of them. But we noticed that beautiful and modern illustrated books are few and far between.
We created this project to bring both classic literature and modern art together into timeless creations so that other people like us can feel the joy from owning, holding, smelling (yes, that's a thing!) and reading a beautiful illustrated hardcover book.
There’s no shortcuts or funny business in what we do. We’re really proud of the fact that our books are handmade by us in our Australian studio using bookbinding techniques that are centuries old.
We use high quality material with modern printing technology to ensure that every detail of the artwork is beautifully displayed. We also use a mixture of traditional techniques and material to hand bind our books. We're literally hands-on during the entire book binding process - the only machine used will be a printer.
- We fold the paper and sew the signatures together with a needle and thread
- We round and back the books with a backing hammer to create that elegant curve on the spine
- The endbands are hand sewn (not glued on) on the top and bottom of the spine, a true hallmark of a hardcover book
- We attach the book casing with the beautiful book cover design.
Lots of time, love, care and attention will be going into making our books... but at the end of the day we want our books to be read and re-read, experienced and treasured.
Growing up, Mekel always loved to draw. Especially girls in pretty dresses. She thought about being a fashion designer, however quickly realised she hated sewing, and went on to study graphic arts instead. After working for over 10 years as a graphic designer for different boutique agencies in Perth, Australia, Mekel started kickin' goals as a full-time illustrator. Her first professional assignments were illustrating 'More Money for Shoes' a book by Melissa Browne, and was chosen by Urban Walkabout to illustrate the front covers of their Perth guides over the course of two seasons. You may have seen her handwritten logo for Betts Shoes, shoebox and large watercolour murals for the iconic Australian store. She has been interviewed by Vanity Fair and featured as one of their '5 must-follow fashion illustrators', and is known for her delicate linework, large scale watercolours and pops of bright colour.
Mekel now works with clients across the world, including Twinings, TOPSHOP, Westfield, Elle and Revlon, on a vast range of projects, including a 90 metre underground watercolour mural on the Sunshine Coast, Victoria Secret fashion illustrations, and artwork for packaging and advertising. Mekel has held three solo exhibitions, her first in 2013 for the Perth Fashion Festival, 2014 'Wanderlust' for Urban Couture and 2016 for the First Monday in May Perth premiere.
You can view her work at www.mekel.net or www.instagram.com/mekel_illustration.
Guy Shield is an illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Guy has drawn for magazines, newspapers and agencies all over the world. He has worked with clients such as WIRED, Apple, Rolling Stone and The Boston Globe. He has an obsession with scenic storytelling, often depicting detail-rich scenes that weigh heavily on their use of colour and light to help guide viewers into the story. He works primarily digitally, and occasionally with brush and ink. His work is influenced by both traditional art forms such as Japanese wood block artists, and modern artists and illustrators. He spends his spare time cooking, reading and travelling.
You can view his work at www.guyshield.com or www.instagram.com/guyshield.
Stephanie Cowley is a self-taught artist inspired by the effervescence of nature which she captures through watercolour. Stephanie lived all over the world during her teen years and early 20's. From the UK to India to Portugal a set of paints would always accompany her. However, it wasn't until she moved to Port Douglas on the Great Barrier Reef that painting miraculously took over her life. Where the rainforest meets the reef inspiration became overwhelming, Stephanie quickly made a name for herself selling work to locals and visitors alike.
Her style ranges from semi- abstracted artwork to highly intricate illustrations all with her signature sense of whimsy. Her range of artwork aims to spread awareness for all creatures great and small and to make people fall back in love with nature. Stephanie's artworks and illustrations have received international interest and can be found in collections globally. She now resides on the Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia running a busy studio with her partner Dave and Golden Retriever Bear.
You can view her work at www.stephanieelizabethartwork.com or www.instagram.com/stephanieelizabethartwork.
Emilis Emka is a 29 year old digital artist from Vilnius, Lithuania. While Emilis still considers himself an up and coming digital artist, he has been drawing with pencil and paper since he was a small child, observing his father drawing vehicles and planes. Since then he has been drawing almost daily and considers himself a self-taught artist. While Emilis loves painting nature and characters, he has always had a soft spot for dark fantasy themes. “I am extremely happy that I can do the things that I like the most for a living, after all we only live one life, and we need to make the most of it.”
You can view his work at www.instagram.com/emilis_emka or www.artstation.com/emilisemka.
We would love your support in bringing these beautiful books to life! Make a pledge and get your hands on it - it's really that simple.
The money we raise during this campaign will help pay for the production costs of creating the books, including artist fees, materials and equipment, production and labour fees. Any extra funds will be put towards development and production of future books.
We considered including other rewards as part of this project, but we decided to keep it simple and just focus on the books and the art.
Thanks again for your support.
Michael & Melanie
Learn more about us at waterbell.co or find us on Instagram or Facebook @waterbellbooks.
Risks and challenges
We know there are risks and challenges in making handcrafted books, particularly at this level of production. Bookbinding isn't easy. Problems can and will come up in ways that we cannot predict. However, we're working hard on mitigating those risks and challenges.
We've done our homework. We've tallied up the cost to pay the artists, as well as the equipment, material and labour. We're keeping the shipping packaging simple so as not to create unnecessary waste and cost. Our goal is to raise sufficient funds to be able to cover the production costs of making our books, anything extra will go towards future publications.
Shipping is included in every reward. We know shipping can be expensive, but don't worry, we've done our research. We're using the most cost effective shipping option which includes tracking and insurance.
We are confident that this project will turn out beautifully and hope to deliver by July 2019. That said, it ultimately depends on the success of the campaign. If it exceeds beyond our expectations we will endeavour to fulfill orders as soon as possible and provide progress updates along the way.
**Published editions may differ slightly from mock-ups pictured above.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)