last update
01:02:19


News

Bernard Middleton MBE: 1924-2019

It is with profound sadness that DB has to announce that Bernard Middleton died on January 28th.

Bernard was born in London in 1924. He studied at the Central School of Arts & Crafts (London) and began his apprenticeship at the British Museum Bindery (1940-1948), while continuing his training at the London College of Printing. He served in the Royal Navy from 1943-1946. After two years as manager of Zaehnsdorf's, Bernard opened his own bookbinding establishment, specializing in fine book restoration.

Bernard was one of Britain's foremost book craftsmen and trade historians, lecturing and teaching in Europe, the US and South America. He was a Fellow and Honorary Fellow of DB, an Honorary Fellow of SoB and a former President of Designer Bookbinders. In 1986 he was awarded the MBE for services to bookbinding in 1986. His publications include A History of English Craft Bookbinding Technique (1963, 4th ed. 1996), The Restoration of Leather Bindings (1972, 4th ed. 2004) and Recollections: a life in bookbinding (2000).


top


Martin Frost MBE
Associate member Martin Frost has been awarded an MBE for services to foredge painting. Martin is the last practitioner of this highly specialised craft and received the Maker of the Year award from the Heritage Craft Association in 2017. He has given lectures and run classes in the UK and abroad and has done much to raise the profile of this endangered craft.


top


Philip Smith MBE: 1928 - 2018

It is with great sadness that Designer Bookbinders must report that Philip Smith died peacefully on 27th December 2018 at the age of 90.

Philip Smith MBE was born in 1928, and began his career in bookbinding and book art in 1949, graduating with First Class Honours at the Royal College of Art in London in 1954. From about 1959, when he developed the technique of feathered onlays with backparing, called 'maril', he consistently explored the potential of the physical form of the book as an alternative art medium. He added new terms to the vocabulary of bookbinding and was awarded patents for several new inventions, both visual and functional, as well as making innovations in structural and visual design. Having gained experience with binding and conservation work under the guidance of Sydney Cockerell, he became an advisor to the British Museum Team working in the Florence Flood aftermath of 1966-67. He worked as a creative book-artist independently from 1961, initiating the development of the Designer Bookbinders society from the Guild of Contemporary Bookbinders. He was President of Designer Bookbinders from 1977 to 1979 and was inaugural editor of The New Bookbinder, serving on the editorial board for 15 years. He was a Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the Society. He won numerous international gold and silver medals for his innovative work and in 2000 he was awarded an MBE for services to Art.

Philip is survived by his three children and five grandchildren. The funeral service will be held at St Margaret's church in Yatton Keynell, Wiltshire, with date to be announced. Further information about these arrangements will be sent to members who may wish to attend to pay their last respects.

In the meantime, the family would welcome any anecdotes or thoughts on their father and his life's work from friends and anyone else who might wish to contribute.


top


Situation Vacant
Designer Bookbinders is looking for someone to take on the role of Organiser of the Joint DB/SoB Workshops Programme from Sarah Burnett-Moore. This will be a joint role, shared between one DB and one SoB member to provide six individual weekend courses in bookbinding or related arts over the space of one academic year.

Sarah has been organising this very successful and varied workshop series over the last three years. We are looking to have someone new in place by September 2019 to start the planning phase, Sarah is hoping to already have a couple of tutors agreed to teach the 2020-2021 season before she steps down.

For further information see the job description here (PDF).

The current series of workshops can be viewed here.


top


DB Competition 2018


The prizewinners in the 2018 Designer Bookbinders Bookbinding Competition were announced at the Private View at the St Bride Foundation on 14th November. Full details plus images of all the winning bindings can be seen in the COMPETITION section.


top


MAUREEN DUKE BEM

It is with great sadness that Designer Bookbinders has to report the death of Maureen Duke. Maureen was a skilled practitioner and inspirational teacher of the crafts of Bookbinding, Conservation and Restoration for 70 years.

Maureen was made a Medallist of the Order of the British Empire (BEM) in the Queen's 2017 New Year Honours List, for life-long service to the teaching and propagation of the crafts of Bookbinding, Conservation and Restoration. She was also elected as Chair, President and one of the two Patrons of the Society of Bookbinders.

She had a profound influence on students and fellow craftsmen and women across the UK and around the world and continuously motivated the members of the SoB with energy, commitment and high distinction. She commanded the deepest respect for the vigour and enthusiasm with which she preserved, nurtured and interpreted her crafts for several generations of bookbinders and craftsmen.


top


Man Booker Prize 2018

The six bindings of this year's Man Booker Prize shortlist will be displayed at Bonhams, Montpelier St, London SW7 1HH from Wednesday 17th October for approximately two weeks in the main reception area.

To see all the bindings and read the binders' notes go to the Booker page in the Exhibitions section.


top


The Bookbinding Competition 2018


top


Faith Shannon: 24 February 1938 - 24 August 2018

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Faith Shannon died on August 24th, after a long illness. She had been in and out of hospital throughout the summer, always hoping to get back to her bindery to continue her work.

Those of us who knew her or had the privilege of being taught by her will remember her as an inspired and dedicated binder, always expecting the highest standards of herself and her students. She was an ambassador for bookbinding as well as a staunch supporter of Designer Bookbinders, and will be sadly missed by her friends, colleagues and family.

Faith was awarded an MBE in 1977 for services to bookbinding and was made an Honorary Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2013.

Rachel Ward-Sale


top


DB/SoB Joint Workshops


The 2018/19 programme of Joint Workshops is now available here. As ever, places are limited so don't delay if you would like to register!


top


 

   
Designer Bookbinders