Designer Bookbinders are seeking a Treasurer
If you are interested in taking on this key and interesting role, or know of a suitable person, please ask for more information by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Traditional French Pochoir Workshop
This is a unique opportunity to learn this technique from Kitty Maryatt during her visit to the UK. Kitty Maryatt is Director Emerita of the Scripps College Press, California, and studied pochoir with Atelier Coloris in Ploubazlenac, France. Inspired by Sonia Delaunay's magnificent imagery in her recreation of 'La Prose du Transsibérien', she will teach participants the French process of stencil techniques using aluminium plates, French pochoir brushes and Winsor-Newton Designers Gouache. After cutting the aluminium plates, an edition of five prints will be completed in the workshop, as well as the participants being able to develop their own individual pochoir projects.
The workshop will run from 8.30am to 4.30pm each day. Fee £180, plus a materials fee of £75 per person payable at the workshop. Please book your space via Eventbrite: La Pochoir Workshop. Limited spaces.
'As some of you may now have heard, our beloved father and friend, Nicolas, founder and creator of The Old Stile Press, died on July 31st 2021 after a short illness and recent diagnosis of cancer. This came as a shock to all our family and has been especially saddening given we had just moved from Scotland in order to be closer to him.
Dad was the creator and inspiration for The Old Stile Press and his vision and ability to work with artists to create these beautiful publications was second to none.
Life and the Old Stile Press very much goes on and I will continue to run the press in all it's capacity. Although there will be no further publications, all books will be available via the website. All contact details will remain the same, but do please keep up to date with our website and we will shortly launch a new Facebook page which I will share with you soon.
The current situation may lead to a delay in fulfilment but please be assured that our books are available for purchase as always and we hope to see many of you at book fairs when Covid restrictions allow.'
Cressida and Daniel, The Old Stile Press Ltd
Crafts Council Maker's Eye: Stories of Craft
An eclectic display of work celebrating the breadth, diversity, and qualities of craft, this exhibition is open until 9th October 2021 at Crafts Council Gallery, 44a Pentonville Road, Angel, London N1 9BY.
Blissetts are looking for an enthusiastic individual to join their specialist department who undertake leather work, box making, tooling and blocking, restoration, fine binding, plus many other projects undertaken on a regular basis.
Based in Brentford, West London, close to tube, rail and bus links.
Full-time position available immediately. 37.5 hours per week: Monday to Thursday 7.30am to 4pm and 7.30am to 1pm Friday.
The successful applicant will either have bookbinding experience or the ability to work well with their hands and have a specific interest in training as a bookbinder.
Salary dependent on the applicant's experience.
Key skills required are: attention to detail, the ability to work well in a team, the enthusiasm to make the highest quality/beautiful products.
Contact: Chris Blissett: email@example.com Tel: 020 8992 3965
Contemporary Binders of La Prose Du Transsibérien
This is a free event that is open to the public on Saturday 26th June. You can register for the Guild of Book Workers Event here.
Shepherds Bookbinders, London
Designer Bookbinders Online Lecture Series
Fine Books and Collections Online Magazine
DBUK Competition 2020/21: Winners announced!
Cockpit Arts Awards
Find out more and apply here.
Book Arts Newsletter
48pp of Exhibitions, Announcements, Courses, Conferences, Lectures & Workshops, Opportunities, Book Fairs and Events, Internet News, New Publications, Reports & Reviews and Stop Press!
Cover artist: Peter Morgan - I Am The Messenger.
SoB/DB 2020/2021 season Joint Workshops: UPDATE
It is with great reluctance that we have decided to cancel the 20/21 season of Joint Workshops. As you will be aware Government guidelines suggest that only after 21 June will more than six people be allowed to gather together indoors. All our planned sessions are before this date. We aim to re-establish the whole programme of six workshops during the 21/22 season.
We will work to see if it will be possible to run the three workshops already twice postponed from 2019 over this coming summer. (Contemporary Paper Conservation Binding with Kathy Abbott, Conservation Enclosures with Anne-Marie Miller and Paper Cut Drum-Leaf Artists' Book with Kip Perdue and Mark Cockram.) In which case dates and venues will follow as soon as possible.
If anyone who has paid for a workshop and has, or has not, advised the organisers that they are due a refund but has not yet been refunded, would you please contact Sarah Burns asap. We shall start afresh for the next season with costs of 185 and non-members £205.
On Retirement: A Message from Jeff Clements
Dear colleagues of all ages,
Soon I will be 87, I was elected to The Guild of Contemporary Bookbinders in 1957 and my last fine binding was produced three years ago for the 'Collect' exhibition. It has been said that I am the last of the 'founding fathers'!
My health and capabilities have faded rather during the last year or so and although my brain usually functions within the norms of common sense my physical expertise has become rather erratic! Concentration is not what it was and reading a book is easier than binding one...
So with all the new and very lively developments taking place in and around Designer Bookbinders, I wish to announce my retirement from the field, whilst of course, remaining a faithful Honorary Fellow.
I was very fortunate to be elected those many years ago, there were very few of us at the time and friends including Edgar Mansfield, Ivor Robinson, Trevor Jones and Bernard Middleton immediately became treasured colleagues, with many more following on. Without the Guild, later Designer Bookbinders it would have been impossible to achieve at least a hundred and sixty contemporary fine bindings, many of which were shared with Katinka Keus, my partner, only a very few are still sleeping comfortably here in the studio!
In those early days, Japanese paper, sellotape, PVA, spokeshaves and Brockman paring machines were fantasies. The aims and objectives of our efforts were clear at the time and with Edgar Mansfield's unbridled enthusiasm we really were busy reflecting contemporary art and design. Probably the most evident permanent achievements have been The New Bookbinder journal and the Horizons conferences which placed us in the forefront of designed bindings, particularly in Europe and America.
There are now a number of 'designer bookbinders' around the world all following the adventurous spirit of our efforts. It has always been so fascinating to see how each Fellow and Licentiate has a completely personal style, both as a creative artist and craftsperson, may this always be so!
The links with collectors, individually or as representatives of historical collections have been an essential factor for the success of Designer Bookbinders and the suppliers of materials a valuable stimulus for ideas and methods. I wish our rather curious ship of tools, techniques, taste and experiment, considerable success in the future and am honoured to have been a part of it.
Jeff Clements MBE, Hon FDB, Hon MDE. NDD.
The Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition 2020
Join us at the National Library of Scotland for this virtual showcase of Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition 2020 winners at 5pm on Thursday 25th February. This competition, sponsored by the Elizabeth Soutar Trustees and set up in the memory of Elizabeth's parents Manus and Janet in 1993, offers bookbinders across Europe the opportunity to showcase their creative and craft talents. Our 2020 competition had the 1980s as the theme and entrants to the competition were able to respond in very inventive and personal ways to this broad category.
We invite you to an online event to view the winning designs, and to hear from the bookbinders about their responses to the competition brief and their creative process. This unique and special event promises to highlight some of the best bookbinding skills and talents from across Europe and to celebrate their success. Details here.
The Designer Bookbinders UK Competition - Update
All the entries in the exhibition will remain anonymous until after the awards have been announced. Due to the pandemic, some of the judging will need to be done remotely so we need to preserve entrants' anonymity in order to ensure complete fairness. We will ensure, though, that we have at least one Fellow physically present at the judging in order to ensure a high standard of technical competence. The judges are: Bill Amberg, internationally renowned leather designer, Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research at University of West of England and Editor of the Artist's Book Yearbook, DB Fellow Derek Hood, DB President Rachel Ward Sale.
We are delighted to announce that the 'St. Brides Prize for Finishing' has now been renamed the 'Bernard C. Middleton Prize for Finishing' as a tribute to one of the UK's finest bookbinders. The prize's sponsor Flora Ginn writes: The Finishing Prize is in memory of Bernard C Middleton in whose Broadwick Street workshop the early meetings of our society were held. Although perhaps best known for his antiquarian book restoration, as a young binder he was passionate about design reflecting the age. This combined with his technical excellence resulted in a demand from enthusiastic collectors. I hope this award will inspire and encourage bookbinders to harmonise design with fine finishing.
In addition we would also like to welcome three new prize sponsors: John Purcell Paper Prize, Ratchfords Non-Leather Prize and The Circles of Art Prize for Artistic Innovation, and also take this opportunity to thank all the prize sponsors, especially the Folio Society, for their continued support over the years. A full list of prizes and their sponsors can be found here.
The awards ceremony will be held at 6.30pm on Friday 30th April via Zoom. Unfortunately there is a limit of only 300 places. We will, of course, be inviting all entrants, sponsors, Fellows and Licentiates to attend but there may be a few spare places for other interested parties. Do please get in touch if you would like to be included. These will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Sue Doggett and Kate Holland
Designer Bookbinders are very pleased to announce 'Architecture and Bookbinding'
The box and boards are now available for sale as a complete set, POA. Any interested parties should please contact Lester Capon directly. We also have a number of 'Architecture and Bookbinding' pamphlets available for sale at £5.00 containing images of all the boards and descriptions from the binders who made them.
Full details and pictures of all the boards can be see in the Exhibitions section.
Notification of Book Sale
Online Sale: Modern Literature, Private Press and Illustrated Books.
Saving the Art of Bookbinding in the UK
Rising Star Awards 2021
To find out how to apply visit the Printing Charity website.
The Clothworkers' Company and West Dean College
New DB Secretary
I would like to say a huge 'Thank you' to Pippa Smith who, as you know, has taken over the role. I couldn't have asked for an easier transition and I know Pippa will do a sterling job which I hope she will thoroughly enjoy, as did I.
Being in the role for so many years meant I had the pleasure of working with many Presidents and they were all fantastic. In my last couple of years Rachel Ward-Sale gave me so much support through some difficult times and I cannot thank her enough for this. The warmth and humour of Jack London made him a wonderful Treasurer to work alongside and I hope to have many more lunches with him in the future! To the many Executive Committee members who have been in place over the years, you are a lovely bunch of people and I hope to see many of you at events in the future.
And finally to the many members around the world who have sent their wishes to me, Thank you, I have been touched by your sentiments. I received an absolutely amazing leaving present from the Fellows, Licentiates and Executive Committee and I would like to say the biggest 'Thank you' for this. You were generous beyond belief and I am a very happy girl!
With my very best wishes, Wendy.
I always loved making things with my hands and also loved books. Careers advice and the internet didn't exist then, so when at 18 I was told that I had to choose between costume design (unfunded), or literature (funded), I chose to study literature at university with the idea that I could carry on with textiles and making in my free time.
I went on rather randomly to a become a production co-ordinator at the BBC (a catch-all role and title that covered continuity, research, booking facilities, running the production office, et cetera, depending on the type of production). It was good fun and creative but also long hours and a lot of time away from home.
I moved on to a career in academic administration at the University of London which was busy and varied but had the benefit of free weekends and evenings. I came across bookbinding through evening classes at the wonderful City Lit. Among the many courses I took, taught by inspiring binders, I was lucky enough to study the City & Guilds in Bookbinding with Nesta Davies and Fine Binding with Kathy Abbott.
Having moved to Worcestershire last year to a house 'needing some renovation' with an overgrown garage in the garden I can convert into a workshop. I aim to bring my professional skills to the Secretary role to support the Society and on the creative side I hope to develop my binding and further my work in textiles.
I look forward to seeing you again, or to meeting you for the first time when life returns to normal, in the meantime please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Pippa Smith: Secretary, Designer Bookbinders
Box Your Book - an international competition
Full details can be found on their website.
Registration is now open. Entries need to be submitted during August 2021 to the Bodleian Library, Oxford, UK. The prizegiving ceremony and exhibition will take place at the Bodleian Library during June 2022.
Full details and a link to the registration form can be found on the International Competition page.
Stuart & Louise Brockman: Competition Organisers
A Tribute to Peter J Langley
Peter Langley was the legal advisor to the Clothworkers' Company for over 20 years prior to his retirement in 1999, but he continued as a Trustee and indulged his love of books by initiating a contemporary fine binding collection there. After discussions with DB, a highly forward- thinking and imaginative project was developed whereby DB Fellows were commissioned every year to bind books and texts from the Clothworkers' own library. From 2008 he chaired the Company's Collections and Archives Committee, and ever since the fine binding collection has grown to become an important and highly impressive showcase for 20th and 21st book craft. He also encouraged the Clothworkers to support DB not only through commissions but also by sponsoring 2 prizes at our UK Competition, supporting the Transferring Design project, and by providing key funding for the bursaries which DB gives to binders needing financial support to attend Masterclasses and Workshops.
The highlight of his tenure at the Clothworkers' Company was his instrumental role in the 'Chris Ofili - Dovecot tapestry' commission (2014-2017). He insisted on calling it so, in recognition of the Master Weavers who painstakingly wove the triptych, now hanging in the Clothworkers' Hall, from Ofili's small watercolour drawing.
Peter had an effortless ability to strike up a conversation and find common ground with everyone he met. Over many years and countless meetings with binders, conservators, makers and artists, he was never anything other than his warm jovial self, gesticulating wildly when something amused him, but importantly, making everyone feel welcome and valued. He will be deeply missed by his friends in DB, and our sympathy goes out to his wife Sue, his children, and his little 'collection' of grandchildren, as he so fondly referred to them.
DB/SoB Joint Workshop Bookings Update
We have agreed with the venues that Emma Fraser's workshop on Board Reattachment and Kristine Rose-Beers on Islamic Binding are to be postponed but we very much hope to include them in a following series.
Bookings are now open for the rest of the workshops. At this point we are simply asking for 'Expressions of Interest' only. (Not for Emma's or Kristine's, please.) We've got (fingers crossed) a great programme! Below is a reminder with a complete list of the 2021 workshops, which includes the three postponed from the 19/20 series.
If you would like to express an interest in attending a workshop or workshops, please contact Sarah Burns with your full name, address and telephone number. Please also state if you are a member or either DB or SoB, (SoB members please give your membership number) firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have already contacted us to ask to book a workshop, please would you reconfirm your interest to Sarah Burns with your full details to avoid any misunderstanding. As and when we know whether or not each workshop will go ahead, you'll be asked if you wish to confirm your booking.
We have varying maximum numbers for each workshop, dependent on social distancing requirements at the time of each workshop. Workshop images and content is available on DB and SoB websites, and from Sarah Burns.
Weekend workshop fees for DB or SoB members are £185 and non-members £205.
Contemporary Paper Conservation Binding
Colour, Texture and Pattern on Book Cloth
Fill that Page! A bookbinder's guide to creative design practice
Tooling for Beginners
Paper Cut Drum-Leaf Artists' Book
Full details here.
New Online Secondhand Antiquarian & Bookshop
Theoc is short for Theocsbury, the Anglo Saxon name for what is now Tewkesbury, where Lester is based.
Two New Honorary Fellows
DBUK Competition - update
Please contact us if you are struggling to work on your book or you feel that your entry will be jeopardised because of the current circumstances. We will then make a decision as to whether to postpone the competition or look at a virtual alternative.
DB International Bookbinding Competition 2021 - update
We know that there are some people who will have sourced or created their text, and maybe even started working on their binding, but with the current Covid-19 situation worldwide it would not be sensible, fair or maybe even possible to continue with the current planned timescale.
We plan to carry the registrations over unless binders wish us not to. Refunds of the Entry fee will be made if individuals wish.
All those registered will receive an email explaining the situation and giving you the opportunity to obtain a refund, and/or cancel your registration. If you haven't received an email by 1st April 2020, please email us at email@example.com
The Bodleian are working on their future exhibition and events programmes, which are inevitably being affected by many changes of plans. We will announce the new timescales as soon as we know them.
For those of you who have decided their text, or possibly started their bindings, we can assure you that the theme will remain the same, so please be assured that you haven't wasted your time and efforts.
We hope that this extended time will give you the opportunity to bind the best possible binding you can. We are still very excited about the prospect of a fantastic exhibition of the very best craftsmanship Bookbinding has to offer, in a World Famous setting. We look forward to experiencing this with you at some point in the future.
Any binders who are not currently registered, but would like to register for the re-scheduled 'A Gathering of Leaves', please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you informed of important dates, including when registration will re-open.
We are very sad to have to take this action, but know that you will understand. A lot of work has gone into the planning - we had several exciting venues to announce for the travelling exhibition, who we hope will still be on board for the re-launch!
For now, we wish you all good health at this very difficult time for everyone.
Stuart & Louise Brockman: Competition Organisers
New Honorary Fellow
Apart from running the bindery at the rear of the bookshop, thus helping to keep the tradition of fine binding alive Edward has been a huge supporter of DB and contemporary binding. He has commissioned many design bindings from a variety of binders for his own collection and helped to introduce other collectors, broadening the interest in our work.
He has not only donated generously to help fund various exhibitions but also helped in an essential and practical way with at least two major projects that we have undertaken. These would not have been anywhere near as successful without his input which is always given with the greatest good humour.