Education | SoB / DB Joint Workshops



2017-2018 Programme

In conjunction with Designer Bookbinders the Society organises an annual series of weekend workshops. These workshops offer structured, intensive learning from established teachers and are designed to stress the ‘hands-on’ approach where students complete a structure or technique following demonstrations from the teacher. The size of each workshop is limited to allow students to benefit from individual attention.

23-24 September 2017
Tooling with Real Gold Foil
Dominic Riley
24-25 March 2018
Strapped-on Case in Fabric
Lori Sauer
18-19 November 2017
Make & Marble
a Photograph Album

Freya Scott
28-29 April 2018
According to Diderot

Abigail Bainbridge
3-4 February 2018
Surface Application Techniques for Fine Binding
Hannah Brown
30 June - 1 July 2018
Mastering Miniatures
Nesta Davies

The 2017/18 programme has been organised by Sarah Burnett-Moore.

For full details about each of the workshops, please choose from the tabs above.

Workshops usually take place on a Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm with suitable breaks.

The fee for each workshop is £150 plus a charge for materials provided by the tutor and payable ‘on the day’.

We hope you will be tempted – but please remember that the workshops tend to fill up very quickly, so sign up early to avoid disappointment.

For all enquiries and further information, please contact Sarah Burnett-Moore.


Tooling with Real Gold Foil: an alternative approach

Tutor: Dominic Riley
Dates: 23-24 September 2017
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Conway Bindery, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP50 materials payable on the day)

Over the past few years Dominic has been experimenting with alternative ways of working with gold using his adapted tool which allows for a free-form approach to design. In this workshop, we will execute a gold-tooled leather panel using the various techniques Dominic uses in his design binding work. We will begin by making our own free-form tool, made from brass – shaping the brass using files and sandpaper, and inserting the tool into a new handle.

Then we will sketch out a drawing for the panel and modify it until it becomes a concrete design (participants will be asked to come to the workshop with a few design ideas which will be worked up into a finished drawing). Dominic will demonstrate how to take the design and transfer it to card templates which are then used to tool the design onto the leather. He will lead participants step-by-step though the process of tooling each part of the design, using real gold foil. In addition to the card templates, other useful jigs are used to help execute the technique, which ensure accuracy as the completed design takes shape.

Dominic Riley has created over seventy design bindings so far, many using his adapted tool. He has won fifteen prizes in that time, including both first prizes and the Mansfield medal in the DB competition in 2007 and first prize in the second International Competition in 2013. His other time is spent restoring antiquarian books, lecturing for NADFAS, teaching, and organizing the SoB training Seminar. He spends part of the year in California, teaching summer school with Michael Burke at the San Francisco Center for the Book. He is also co-founder, with Clare Prince, of this series of workshops.


Make and Marble a Photograph Album

Tutor: Freya Scott
Dates: 18-19 November 2017
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: South-east London
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP20.00 materials payable on the day)

Marbled papers have long been a traditional bookbinding material, lending colour and pattern to covers and endpapers alike, and there is little more satisfying than using your own designs on your own books. 

On this two day course you will learn to make both traditional and contemporary style marbled papers and then use them to bind a photograph album. The album will be made using folded 'guards' (extra material inserted into the album to allow for the thickness of photographs to be stuck in) and will have a cloth spine and your own marbled covers. 

Students will need to wear old clothes/shoes they don't mind getting paint on, and/or an apron to this workshop.

Freya Scott is a bookbinder and photographer working out of her studio in South East London. She began her bookbinding career 8 years ago with Shepherds Bookbinders and has since worked for various binderies and institutions across the south of England. She currently runs her own business, and teaches various workshops in London and across the country. She is also principal instructor with Bound by Veterans, a charity that teaches bookbinding skills to sick and injured veterans as part of a rehabilitation process. 


Surface Application Techniques for Fine Bindings

Tutor: Hannah Brown
Dates: 3-4 February 2018
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Bradford-on-Avon
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP20.00 materials payable on the day)

You can create striking cover designs for bindings by adding 3D elements in combination with simple embroidery techniques. This workshop will teach you how to add attractive surface decoration to your leather, by adding sewn detail over coloured leather onlays.

For each of the fine bindings Hannah has made to date, she has made a sample book board. These are invaluable tools for practicing new techniques, working out colour combinations and are a brilliant physical record of each of her bindings. The aim of the weekend is to work on a leather-covered book board of your own, working to a design of your choice.

Hannah will start by demonstrating a variety of different hand and machine stitches onto leather. Following this, there will be time to practice some of the techniques before starting to work on your own personal board. She will also demonstrate some simple metalworking skills to show how elements can be added to book covers.

Please note: This workshop is more suitable for binders with good leather paring skills.

Hannah Brown graduated with BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Crafts from Brighton University in 2004. After graduation she began learning bookbinding at evening classes, and now binds in her home studio. She quickly established herself as one of the UK's most prominent fine binders after winning first prize in the Designer Bookbinders competition in 2008. Due to her crafts background she is keen to incorporate alternative skills into her work including metalwork, textiles, printmaking and woodwork.


Strapped-on Case in Fabric

Tutors: Lori Sauer
Dates: 24-25 March 2018
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Beechingstoke, Pewsey
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP10.00 materials payable on the day)

The case for this binding is attached to the text-block without glue – a structure that Lori has devised and refined. In the process of its making, participants learn a simple form of stub binding, pare some leather and experiment with dyeing vellum. They will also make their own book cloth on the first morning. It’s a workshop showcasing a variety of techniques and you will come away with a fantastic, bespoke binding that is also conservation friendly.

Lori Sauer is a Fellow and the current President of Designer Bookbinders. She specialises in fine binding and in 2011 she founded BINDING re:DEFINED, a programme of workshops focused on alternative book structures. She runs a very lively open studio course in Salisbury, produces her own bespoke pieces, does book repair and loves to spend time walking every day with her dog.


Bookbinding According to Diderot

Tutor: Abigail Bainbridge
Dates: 28-29 April 2018
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: London Centre for Book Arts, E3
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP25.00 materials payable on the day)

Mid- to late-18th century France is marked by the appearance of descriptions of the art of bookbinding, giving for the first-time a thorough (if not always specific or accurate) description of the previously guarded trade secret. The style of the time was so prescriptive that the average binding is recognizable immediately: full brown calf, often sprinkled or with tree marbling, raised bands, panels tooled in gilt with centrepieces, corners, and stars, solid red or perhaps marbled blue edges, single core front bead endbands, French curl endpapers. Features less visible are the particular lacing patterns, parchment spine linings, and edges cut in boards. In this busy two day workshop we will bind a text of a manual describing this 18th century style using the techniques set forth, thus replicating this distinguished style. Participants will get an in depth look at the contemporary sources and the bindings themselves, and come away with a thorough understanding of this notable binding style in the context of its time.

Abigail Bainbridge is a book & paper conservator and co-owner of Bainbridge Conservation in London. She is the conservation science lecturer for the MA in book & paper conservation program at Camberwell College of Arts and is Associate Tutor in the book conservation department (MA, PGDip, GDip) at West Dean College. She regularly teaches at the London Centre for Book Arts and Women's Studio Workshop (US) and has taught other bookbinding, printing, and papermaking workshops around the US and UK. 


Mastering Miniatures

Tutor: Nesta Davies
Dates: 30 June - 1 July 2018
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Beechingstoke, Pewsey
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP10.00 materials payable on the day)

Discover the potential of 3 inches (76mm) or less!

On this exploratory weekend we’ll look at the history of miniature books from earliest examples  to contemporary collections, gathering both information and inspiration.  We’ll consider what tools might be best for working small and how we can adapt techniques. We’ll think about materials and what they are being asked to do within a miniature binding, and play with structures to find solutions for our ideas.

Whether you’d like to make a traditionally-bound miniature complete with gold tooling and silk doublures, create an individual artists’ book or just experiment with working on a small scale, this weekend will help you try out techniques and develop ideas  while you make your own miniature masterpiece.

Nesta Davies studied bookbinding at the London College of Printing (now Communication) and City Lit, London. She is a self-employed bookbinder, conservator and teacher and runs her own studio, Leafwork. She moved to Dorset in 2013 and has a garden studio where she teaches courses and looks at the view.  She has taught widely, for many years at City Lit, where she is also bookbinding and calligraphy tutor coordinator. From 2001 – 2012 she was commissioning editor of The New Bookbinder. She has books in collections in the UK and abroad (including the Neale Albert collection of miniature bindings).


Registration Form

Click on the icon below to view / download a PDF version of the Joint Workshops Registration Form that you can print out and fill in.

Registration Form