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DB Lecture Day 2017
The next Designer Bookbinders Saturday Lecture Day will take place on Saturday 18th November 2017 in The Layton Room at St Bride Foundation.

The speakers will be Glenn Bartley, Dominic Riley, Angela James and John Hodgson. Full details here.


'Heroic Works' Exhibition opens in Birmingham

The 'Heroic Works' Exhibition of bindings from the 2017 DB International Competition opened at the Library of Birmingham on Wednesday 23 August and will run till Thursday 28 September.

Full details in the EXHIBITIONS section.


2018 DB Annual Bookbinding Competition
The set book for the 2018 competition has been chosen from the Folio Society’s Christmas catalogue. The Folio will release the titles of their publications to their members in mid-October this year and until then we aren’t able to let you know the details.

Otherwise the schedule for the competition remains the same and we expect the date for completion of entries will be 13th October 2018.



Designer Bookbinders International Competition - Prizewinners Announced

First prize winner Andrea Odametey

Full details and pictures of all the prizewinners in the 2017 competition are now available in the COMPETITION section.


The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme

Recruitment of the 2017 intake to The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme is now open. Full details can be seen here and application to this five-year hand bookbinding training programme is online via the Royal Collection Trust website.

Applications close on 18 June 2017 at 23:55 BST.


Martin Frost: Maker of the Year
We would like to congratulate foredge painter Martin Frost on receiving The Heritage Craft Association Maker of the Year Award. Martin is the only foredge painter still working in the UK, he was a speaker at the SoB conference in 2015 and has given lectures and demonstrations to Designer Bookbinders and the Society of Bookbinders.

The Heritage Crafts Association is the advocacy body for traditional heritage crafts. Working in partnership with Government and key agencies, it provides a focus for craftspeople, groups, societies and guilds, as well as individuals who care about the loss of traditional crafts skills. It aims to support heritage crafts through a range of means, including advice, networking, training and access to public and private funding.

Examples of Martin's work can be seen here.


Christopher Clarkson
It is with sadness that we must announce the death of Christopher Clarkson on 30th March.

Chris was a pre-eminent figure in the world of book and manuscript conservation and the history of bookbinding. His wide interests, extraordinary capacity for hard work, his thoroughness and endless curiosity, as well as his remarkable manual skills, gave him a stature in the field that it will be hard to equal. He worked at Sandy Cockerell's and was involved in the rescue of books following the Florence floods, amongst many other achievements. He taught and lectured in many countries across the world and will be remembered as an inspiring teacher and an unequalled source of knowledge. He will be greatly missed.


London Craft Week 2017
Plans for an expanded DB contribution to this year's event have been announced.

Full details here.


Royal Bindery Appointments

The Royal Collection Trust have announced two new appointments within the Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle:

Glenn Bartley commences as Bookbinder on 6 March 2017. He has been a professional bookbinder for over thirty years. Having studied at Guildford College he then worked for a bindery in Oxford for five years, and established his own bindery in Culham, Oxfordshire in 1991. Elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 1999, Glenn has exhibited his contemporary bookbindings worldwide. In 1996 he won the DB Silver Medal (Mansfield Medal) and in 2005 the SoB International Competition 1st Prize, Fine Binding category for professional binders. He has worked for clients from Oxford University to private collectors and institutions around the world as well as demonstrating and lecturing widely on traditional binding techniques.

Philippa Räder takes on the position of Head of the Royal Bindery with immediate effect. She has been a book conservator-restorer in various capacities for the Royal Collection since 2003 and is professionally accredited through the Institute of Conservation. A Cambridge graduate in English, Philippa trained in book and paper conservation at the Getty Research Institute, California and previously held positions at The Huntington Library, California and The National Archives (UK). She was elected Chair of the London & South Region of the Society of Bookbinders in February.


Designer Bookbinders Spring Meeting and AGM 2017
Designer Bookbinders is pleased to be holding its Spring Meeting and AGM on Saturday 8 April 2017 at 2.00pm at the Art Workers' Guild, Queen Square, London. The Spring Meeting is always an interesting day and we hope that many members will be able to attend. It is a free event so please make a note of it in your diary now.

Following the AGM we have the pleasure of welcoming Philippa Räder who will deliver a talk:

The Queen's Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme:
a pilot programme of a new five-year apprenticeship in hand bookbinding

Hand bookbinding forms an important part of national and international heritage. From the middle ages the recognised route to proficiency was the apprenticeship model of on-the-job training over several years, which survived essentially unchanged, apart from the addition of college attendance and formal examinations, until the mid-20th century. Since then the system has died out in the UK and, as the last generation of apprentice-trained practitioners retire and pass away, there is real danger of forever losing high-level skills & technical knowledge. A charitable partnership lead by Royal Collection Trust has established a new pilot scheme to address this problem with the first two apprentices taking up post in October 2016. The talk will report on progress so far as well as discuss future plans.

Philippa Räder is Senior Book Conservator-Restorer for the Royal Collection Trust, based in the Royal Bindery, Windsor Castle, where she has worked since 2003. Accredited through the Institute of Conservation (Icon), she trained initially in book and paper conservation for four years at the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, California, and has held positions at The Huntington Library, San Marino, California, and The National Archives in Kew. Throughout her career in institutional studios she has also maintained a private practice in bookbinding and letterpress commissions as well as book conservation-restoration.

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 16 April 2016
Matters arising
President's report
Secretary's report
Honorary Treasurer's report
Introduction of the Executive Committee 2017-2018
Any other business

The Spring Meeting will also include a Bring and Buy sale and some suppliers. If you have any tools, equipment, materials, books, etc. that you wish to sell, please make sure they are marked clearly with a price and your name.

The hall of the Art Workers' Guild will be open from 1.30pm and the meeting will close by 5.00pm. The hall must be cleared by 5.30pm.


Designer Bookbinders Masterclasses 2017
Booking is now open for the first of 2017's DB Masterclass series to be held at the St Bride Bindery, London.

Class size is restricted to 6 students so early booking is strongly recommended.

Further details can be found here.


Bindery Hire in London
It is now possible to hire the Guidecca Room bindery at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ.

The room is small but well lit and equipped with new benches, several nipping and finishing presses, a board chopper etc. and running water. There is space for up to 7 participants – depending on the type of work involved – and the room can be used for personal bookbinding projects or private tuition, subject to agreement.

Available week days and weekends.

The hire of the Guidecca Room and equipment is £130 per day (9.00am - 5.00pm).
Additional time is £30 per hour or part thereof.

If you would like more information or would like to book the bindery, please contact the DB Secretary, Wendy Hood.


Africa Boards

We are delighted that the collection has now sold for £40,000.
75% goes to the Ethiopian Heritage Fund; 25% to Designer Bookbinders.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the project. Special thanks to Hannah Brown who also made the presentation box.

It is hoped that the whole collection can be exhibited in the not too distant future.

At the Antiquarian Booksellers Fair in June 2011 Designer Bookbinders will be exhibiting something a bit different. 35 Fellows and Licentiates of the society have each designed and made a 255 x 180mm board based on the theme of Africa. These will be housed in a Tulip and Oak wooden presentation container made by Hannah Brown, and sold as a group in aid of The Ethiopian Heritage Fund.

These boards form a wonderful 'exhibition in a box' - a snapshot of the richly varied type of work being produced in the early 21st. Century by contemporary bookbinders.

This is a way of using our skills to help those less fortunate and also contribute to the preservation of some of the most wonderful objects in the world.

Modern bookbinding is flourishing and there are several stunning private and public collections around the world. This unique project could enhance one such. Here is an opportunity to purchase a dazzling selection of many different styles and techniques.

Lester Capon comments, "Having worked on some of the Ethiopian artifacts and witnessed the extremely difficult conditions in which the people live and work I tried to think of ways in which I could help. I was working on the objects half way up mountains and on my hands and knees on the bare earth, but, of course, I could come home afterwards to the luxury of my bindery and home.

"It was with some trepidation that I suggested this idea to my friends and colleagues in Designer Bookbinders, but they responded with great generosity, entering wholeheartedly into the spirit of the project and have created a wonderful object."

The container and boards will be exhibited and for sale at the London Antiquarian Book Fair in the Olympia Exhibition Centre, on the George Bayntun stand from 9th. - 11th June 2011. 75% of proceeds to The Ethiopian Heritage Fund. (registered charity no. 1110969 25% of proceeds to Designer Bookbinders (registered charity no. 282018)


Romilly's Tools: an incomplete set
Photographs by Verdi Yahooda
Limited edition of 500. All copies numbered.
Price £20 (plus p&p)

We are pleased to announce that we now have copies available of this remarkable collection of 65 black-and-white photographs of the bookbinding tools belonging to Romilly Saumarez Smith, together with an essay by Charles Saumarez Smith.

The photographs were taken in Romilly’s bindery in 1986, and the book brings together three sequences of images of the tools as positive and negative photographs. Some of these images were shown printed on a large scale and mounted on calico as an installation to complement a Designer Bookbinder's exhibition at Leighton House in 1986. Another set was shown at the Yale Centre for British Art in 2010.

The unusual treatment and use of light of the objects are magical, and the book would make a lovely Christmas present for bookbinders and photographers alike!

Available in the online shop and the members' shop.




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