Education | SoB / DB Joint Workshops



2016-2017 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.

29-30 October 2016
Painting with Tengujo
Gabrielle Fox
4-5 March 2017
Gold Finishing
Stuart Brockman
5-6 November 2016
Kathy Abbot
18-19 March 2017
The Art of Paper Repair
Ann-Marie Miller
3-4 December 2016
Ethiopian Codex & Travelling Case
Michael Burke
22-23 April 2017
Creative Thinking
Faith Shannon

The 2016/17 programme has been organised by Alan Fitch and Claire Weaver.

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 about bookings, please contact Nesta Davies.
For all other enquiries and further information, please contact Alan Fitch.


Painting with Tengujo

Tutor: Gabrielle Fox
Dates: 29-30 October 2016
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: The Daffodil Barn, Woodborough, Nr Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5PF
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP10.00-15.00 materials payable on the day)

Traditional endpapers and doublures are often, at most, a compliment to the leather binding and its design. The exception to this are the Jansenist style bindings which are clean and undecorated outside with a surprise revealed once the book is opened.

One possibility is to wrap the design in leather over and onto the inside board and even continue onto the endpaper or first flyleaf.

‘Painting’ with Tengujo tissue is a lighter alternative to a full leather inside and outside binding.

Images and patterns can be created through a process of layering the very fine coloured tissue. Balancing the strength of fine handmade tissue can be a challenge, but this method gives the binder another avenue through which to explore either something quite different or a duplication of the binding’s leather design in Tengujo.

Gabrielle Fox, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a designer binder and book conservator. After studying bookbinding at Guildford College of Further & Higher Education she spent the 1980’s in Sussex running her own business and teaching bookbinding. In 1990 Gabrielle returned to the States and has continued traveling to teach and care for collections. Gabrielle is the author of The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books and Forty Years of Making Letterpress Books in a Small Community in Rural Kentucky.


Endbands: multicoloured & 'Manhattan' style

Tutor: Kathy Abbott
Dates: 5-6 November 2016
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: The Daffodil Barn, Woodborough, Nr Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5PF
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP6.00 materials payable on the day)

Hand-sewn end-bands form both a functional and decorative element to many types of binding.

On this two-day course, you will learn to sew a multicoloured head-band with a front bead and a ‘Manhattan’- style tail-band. Firstly, you will sew a blank book with sections of uneven lengths at the tail, before sewing the multi-coloured head-band. You will then learn how to cut an uneven core and sew a ‘Manhattan’-style tail-band. Previous experience of end-banding would be extremely advantageous!

A ‘Manhattan’ style end-band is required when your book has pages of uneven lengths – particularly on books with deckled edges. The name is taken from its resemblance to the Manhattan skyline.

Kathy Abbott served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding then gained an HND from the London College of Printing, London and a BA (Hons) degree in Bookbinding from Roehampton University. She teaches at the City Lit, London; West Dean College, Chichester and conducts many other workshops across the UK and overseas. She is a founder member of the group: Tomorrow's Past and is the author of Bookbinding: A step-by-step guide. Her work is held in both private and public collections, including The British Library, London, and her work is exhibited widely.


Ethiopian Codex & Travelling Case

Tutor: Michael Burke
Dates: 3-4 December 2016
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Stephen Conway (Bookbinders) Ltd., 5 Clare Road, Halifax, W. Yorks, HX1 2HX
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP40.00 materials payable on the day)

This traditional method of binding books in Ethiopia has survived relatively unchanged for over a thousand years. This workshop will yield a flexible non-adhesive book that opens fully. Wooden panels will be drilled and shaped to give smooth book boards. The signatures will be sewn with a linking chain stitch employing pairs of sewing stations, and the sewing will go directly into the boards to form the attachment.

Thongs will be added to the boards to secure the book's closure. The boards can also be covered in leather, and have braided leather endbands.

The protective case is a shoulder bag made from leather. It has a long strap that allows the owner to keep the book ready to hand. This flexible yet sturdy case will be made from only three pieces of leather, sewn together with a strong thread. The simplicity of the case elegantly complements the beauty of the Ethiopian Codex.

Michael Burke studied bookbinding with Dominic Riley and paper conservation with Karen Zukor. He has taught and lectured at Society of Bookbinders conferences and seminars, and at Guild of Bookworkers meetings in the USA as well as teaching tours in Australia, New Zealand, and Brazil. Michael researches the structures of ancient and medieval bindings. He has a Masters degree in the History of the Book from the University of London.


Gold Finishing

Tutors: Stuart Brockman
Dates: 5-6 March 2017
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Willow Cottage, Steventon, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6AA
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP50.00 materials payable on the day)

The course will teach gold finishing using gold leaf to participants through demonstration followed by hands on practical sessions.

The basic skills of gold finishing will be covered from labels, to tooling spines and boards.

By the end of the weekend all participants will get the opportunity to tool a run up gilt spine. There will also be the opportunity to use pallets, type-holders, hand letters, line fillets and patterned rolls.

Suitable for people with a good knowledge and experience of bookbinding.

Stuart Brockman graduated from Imperial College London (BEng Mechanical Engineering, 1995), and joined his father James to train as a bookbinder. He was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2004. He continues to work with his father under the business name James and Stuart Brockman Ltd, where they specialise in Modern Fine Bindings and the restoration and conservation of manuscripts and early printed books. He has taught across Europe and North America and has Modern Fine bindings in collections worldwide.


The Art of Paper Repair

Tutor: Ann-Marie Miller
Dates: 18-19 March 2017
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: The Daffodil Barn Woodborough, Nr Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5PF
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP15.00 materials payable on the day)

Paper repair is an essential skill for anyone who repairs books, whether it’s working on the odd tear or more comprehensive work to enable rebinding. Participants will get an overview of the advantages and disadvantages of traditional paper repair techniques using Japanese and Western repair papers; and a lot more, including in situ repairs and also look at how to tone papers and get the best match possible.

Bring along projects that you are working to get advice and learn how to create beautiful repairs that are also structurally sound. Beginners will learn a repertoire of techniques, and for those with more experience there will be the opportunity to work with a wide range of materials and get specialist tuition to develop your skills.

Ann-Marie Miller is an accredited book and archives conservator based in London. She works for a broad range of institutional clients and private collectors from national museums to corporate archives. Previously, she worked for 7 years at the British Library, achieving accredited status in 2007. She attained a Post-graduate Diploma and Masters in Conservation at Camberwell College of Arts, after studying the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art.


Creative Thinking

Tutor: Faith Shannon
Dates: 22-23 April 2017
Times: 10.00am - 5.00pm
Venue: Courtyard Studios, 128 Harbour St, Irvine, Ayrshire, KA12 8PZ
Fee: GBP150.00 (plus GBP10.00-20.00 materials payable on the day)

How do you translate an unusual idea into a design that is achievable? This weekend will offer the opportunity for those attending to develop ways of not only coming up with ideas but also how to resolve them and turn them into bindings. Topics covered will include approaches, materials and appropriate ways of binding/covering.

Attendees will be encouraged to talk through ideas, which can often open up new, or different and un-thought of paths and directions.

Students will be asked to bring a book or two ready for covering and any materials they think might be appropriate, and don't forget paper can be as creative a material as any!

Faith Shannon studied for her NDD as an artist/painter with bookbinding as a subsidiary subject at Belfast College of Art. This was followed by six months at The Central School of Arts and Crafts, then Teacher Training at London University Goldsmith’s, followed by three years at The Royal College of Art majoring in Bookbinding under Peter Waters and Roger Powell. After working freelance and being employed in various teaching roles she eventually became head of the Bookbinding Department at Brighton College of Art. In 1987, along with her husband, she moved to Scotland and restored a partially ruined farmhouse, initially running residential courses in furniture design and making, and in bookbinding.


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