After a childhood fascination with all things book, I studied Design History and Bookbinding at Brighton University, and have now been a bookbinder for more than 25 years. I make sketchbooks, notebooks, journals, visitors books and albums using handmade, watercolour and pattern papers, leather, vellum and linen. Each book is bound by hand in my studio in Somerset, using traditional bookbinding techniques and archival materials.
As well as making books for sale and to commission, I repair books, and work with a team of book conservators on library conservation projects. I like simplicity in both form and design, so that the beautiful, natural materials I use can speak for themselves. I try to make books that feel calm and subtle, enlivened by areas of colour, pattern or texture.
The tactile nature of a book is also important to me, there is something magical about the feel of a book in your hands and the movement of the turning pages. I often make ‘limp’ bindings – where the cover is made from handmade paper or leather, with the pages attached directly by sewing onto linen tapes, or with longstitch techniques. These are based on mediaeval book structures, which I feel have a wonderful simplicity and yet function perfectly. These books are very tactile and sit beautifully in your hand.
Larger and more substantial books are made using traditional case binding techniques, although I often make the spine and boards separately for a contemporary feel. I also enjoy the sculptural qualities of concertina book forms.
Commissioning a piece of work is really exciting – it is a chance to have something made especially for you and an opportunity to really engage in the creative process.
Perhaps you need accessories to go with a particular outfit or a piece of furniture to fit a specific space in your home. We can work with you to design something truly unique. You’ll be able to discuss your ideas, likes and dislikes with the Maker and together create a piece of craft, handmade for you.
This is just a first step, so don't worry, there’ll be plenty of chances to discuss details before finalising a commission.