SoB/DB Joint Workshops 2020-21

Ivan Salcedo
1 year ago
Society of Bookbinders > Education > SoB/DB Joint Workshops 2020-21

2020-2021 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.

DB/SOB Joint Workshops update

As you might imagine, the start of the Joint Workshop series has once again been affected by current restrictions and we’ve had  to cancel both Kathy Abbot’s workshop in February and Anne-Marie Miller’s in March. Sadly these are workshops rescheduled from the 19/20 series and we hope  that we will be able to re-offer these when we’re running smoothly again. To keep things simple any remaining course fees paid are being  refunded to students so if you have not already done so, please be sure to send your bank details including your banking name to me, .
This leaves us with a potential start in April with Ruth Brown’s 10-11th  workshop on dyeing and colouring cloth followed by Sue Doggett’s creative design weekend on 24/25th.We hope Sue’s workshop can be held at the Southern Bookcrafts Club in Winchester. At the moment Nesta and I are keeping optimistic and we will review the situation in March, if not before.  Hey ho!


Sarah Burns and Nesta Davies

SoB/DB Joint Workshops Organisers

Bookings are now open for the rest of the workshops.  At this point we are simply asking for ‘Expressions of Interest’ only. (Not for Emma’s or Kristine’s please.)

We’ve got  (fingers crossed) a great programme! Below is a reminder with a complete list of the 2021 workshops, which includes the three postponed from the 19/20 series. 

If you would like to express an interest in attending a workshop or workshops, please contact Sarah Burns with your full name, address and telephone number.  Please also state if you are a member or either DB or SoB, (SoB members please give your membership number) or 01643 841116.

(If you have already contacted us to ask to book a workshop, please would you reconfirm your interest to Sarah Burns with your full details to avoid any misunderstanding.)

As and when we know whether or not each workshop will go ahead, you’ll be asked if you wish to confirm your booking. 

We have varying maximum numbers for each workshop, dependent on social distancing requirements at the time of each workshop.

Workshop images and content is available on DB and SoB websites, and from Sarah Burns. 

Weekend workshop fees for DB or SoB members are £185 and non-members £205. 

The dates of the workshops are as follows:

Postponed – An Elegant method of Board Reattachment

Emma Fraser, Wellcome Collection, London

January 30-31st

Postponed – An Introduction to IslamicBinding


Kristine Rose-Beers, Bayntun Bindery, Bath

February 27-28th

Contemporary Paper Conservation Binding

Kathy Abbott, London Centre for Book Arts, 

February 20-21st   

Conservation Enclosures

Ann-Marie Miller, Southern Bookcrafts Club, Winchester

March 13-14th

Colour, Texture and Pattern on Book cloth

Ruth Brown, Leah Higgins’ Studio, Manchester

April 10-11th

Fill that Page! A bookbinder’s guide to creative design practice

Sue Doggett, Brighton Junction, Brighton

April 24-25th

Tooling for Beginners

Dieter Räder, Dragon Bindery, Highworth, nr. Swindon

May 15-16th

Full-leather Notebook

Tom McEwan, Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, Scotland

June 5-6th

Paper Cut Drum-Leaf Artists’ Book

Kip Perdue & Mark Cockram, Wurkshop, Barnes, London    

June 5-6th

An Elegant Method of Board Reattachment

Emma Fraser, London

30-31st January 2021


One of the most common problems the book conservator encounters are detached boards and consequently there are a variety of methods for their reattachment.  My method was designed for use on tight back bindings where one or more of the boards are detached but the spine and sewing is intact.  The method is relatively quick and provides a strong physical attachment without excessive interference with original material or the functionality of the binding.

During this workshop we will examine and discuss various methods of board reattachment, followed by a demonstration of my method.  Participants will then prepare the simple tools and materials needed before being guided step by step through the process on their own examples.

A knowledge of book structures and book conservation techniques is recommended for this ‘hands on’ workshop.

There will be a materials fee of £5 payable to Emma during the workshop.

Emma Fraser is an accredited Book and Archive Conservator.  She completed her MA Conservation at Camberwell in 1997 and in 2000 she joined the Book & Paper Conservation Studio at the University of Dundee. It is here where Emma first developed her method of board attachment and has been adapting it ever since.  In 2012 she set up the Book & Paper Studio, a small conservation practice based in the heart of Dundee.  The Studio regularly takes in interns and Emma has taught various workshops throughout the UK.

Booking opens 1stOctober 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE

An Introduction to Islamic Bindings

Kristine Rose-Beers, George Bayntun Bindery, Bath

 27-28th Feb 2021


This workshop will introduce the Islamic binding structure. Participants will make a model of an Islamic book, drawing on structural features from historic exemplars. Twined chevron-patterned endbands will be sewn, and various decoration techniques will be used to ornament the covers, including the application of gold.

Participants will look at the development and transmission of both structural and decorative features from Islamic to European binding traditions, and compare different structural elements such as cover-to-text-block attachment, types of board composition, the choice of text-block material, and the effect of each of these elements on the overall structure of the book.


Some experience of bookbinding would be useful. All materials can be supplied at cost (maximum £25) and participants will need to bring basic bookbinding tools.


Kristine Rose-Beers ACR is Head of Conservation at the Chester Beatty in Dublin, Ireland, and an accredited member of the Institute of Conservation (ICON). She graduated from the Conservation programme at Camberwell College of Arts, London in 2002 before beginning work at Cambridge University Library, where her fascination with Islamic manuscript material was cemented. In 2008 Kristine moved to Ireland to work at the Chester Beatty as book conservator for the Turkish collection, and in 2011 she was appointed Assistant Keeper (Conservator of Manuscripts and Printed Books) at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. After four years in Cambridge, Kristine’s passion for the unique Chester Beatty collections brought her back to Dublin.

Kristine has taught and lectured internationally and is a regular tutor at the Montefiascone Project in Italy. She is also a member of the Institute of Conservator-Restorers in Ireland (ICRI) and a member of the Board of Directors of The Islamic Manuscript Association (TIMA).

Booking opens 1st October 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: George Bayntun, Manvers Street, Bath BA1 1JW


Colour, Texture and Pattern on Book Cloth

Ruth Brown, Manchester

10-11th   April 2021

The cover is the reader’s first contact with a book and I really enjoy using my textile skills to try and create a covering that truly reflects the content of the book  On this course we will be using a wide range of techniques to make marks, texture and patterns on fabric which we will then convert to book cloth. We will experiment with mono-printing, screen printing and numerous ways of making marks on fabric, as well as playing with colour and tone. 

You will take home a range of sample pieces which can then be kept for reference when you create your own cover fabrics or can be used for small book projects.  All the techniques we will use can be done easily at home with a small set of equipment. If time permits, I will also demonstrate how to print on fabric with a standard inkjet printer.

There will be a materials charge for this workshop, tbc.

Ruth started making books as a way of using her unique fabrics and quickly became addicted! Her career as a textile artist, tutor and author has spanned 20 years, following a career in IT. She uses a wide range of techniques to create her designs, including various forms of dyeing, screen printing, batik, mono printing and printing with found objects. She has also written two books, ‘Digital Imagery on Fabric’ and ‘Cyanotypes on Fabric’ and is currently working on a third, yet to be titled … 

Booking opens 1st October 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: Urban Studio North, Eccles, Manchester

Fill that page! A bookbinder’s guide to creative design practice

Sue Doggett

Brighton, 24-25th April 2021


Dig out your paint boxes, coloured pencils, inks and messy materials for a weekend of practical, experimental creative work.  Explore how to approach that blank piece of paper and the beginnings of a design. This weekend course will give you a range of techniques to try out and will challenge you to fill that page. For those who wish to develop their paper into pages, there will be further discussion on how to take your 2D work into a number of simple book forms. The two days will include a series of demonstrations, practical creative exercises and plenty of guided workshop time. Sue will also talk about her own approach to creating artists’ books and bindings and how to build the content of a book, starting from scratch.

There will be a materials cost for the workshop of be approx. £8, payable to Sue on the day.

Sue Doggett is an artist who creates hand-made books and bindings. She gained a first class degree in Visual Studies and Art History from Oxford Brookes University, an MA in Design from Brighton University and was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 1996. Sue has lectured and led workshops in book arts in the UK, Europe and the USA and is currently editor of ‘The New Bookbinder’. Sue works to public and private commission including the Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Booking opens 1stOctober 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: Brighton Junction, 35 New England Street, Brighton,BN1 4GQ

Deluxe Full-Leather Notebook

Tom McEwan, Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine, Scotland

June 5-6th


This binding style was derived and adapted from an original, early Victorian pocket  notebook.  The structure has several interesting features, including laminated boards which are sculpted and shaped to create a faceted, angular appearance.   The page edges have a deckled/uncut finish and endpapers are of marbled paper typical of the period.

Endbands are leather over core.  The inclusion of raised bands, embossed and tooled boards finished with leather ties all contribute to a highly tactile, visually striking but elegant binding.

The materials charge for this workshop will be £15.00 per student, to be paid to Tom during the workshop.

Tom is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow College of Building and Printing.  He has won several bookbinding awards including the National Library of Scotland’s Soutar prize in 2006 &2007, the SoB John Coleman Award in 2011 and the Designer Bookbinders Mansfield Medal in 2012 & 2013. 

In 2014 he was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders. 

Examples of his work are held in public and private collections in the UK, Europe and USA.

Booking opens 1st October 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: Harbour Arts Centre, Harbour St, IrvineKA12 8PZ, Scotland

Beginning Tooling

Dieter Räder, Dragon Press Bindery, Swindon

15-16th May 2021

This workshop will teach participants the fundamental techniques of hand tooling on leather. Suitable for those with no experience, it also offers a thorough refresher course for anyone wanting to gain confidence in their finishing.

Starting with practice boards and dummy bookblocks, we will go step-by-step through the stages of preparation, blind tooling and tooling with gold leaf, including design ideas and tips. The use of foils and various alternative materials will also be touched upon. While focusing on working with hand tools, type holders will be briefly introduced if wished.

Participants are welcome to bring along any binding projects requiring tooling for discussion and advice.

There will be a materials fee per student of £25 payable to Dieter during the workshop. This includes leather-covered practice panels and a dummy bookblock as well as gold, etc. 

Dieter Räder was apprentice-trained in Germany. Following employment in Marseilles and Vienna, he moved to London in 1983 and spent two years working under the guidance of Robert Green. He then ran his own bindery in Somerset for some 20 years before establishing and managing the new fine binding and restoration department of a west London commercial bindery. In 2017, Dieter opened Dragon Press Bindery in Wiltshire, where he specialises in the restoration of antiquarian books and fine binding commissions as well as teaching. Dieter’s clients range from private collectors, booksellers and film producers (for props) to university libraries, national collections and museums.

Booking opens 1st October 2020. Information to follow. 

Venue address: Dragon Press Bindery, Highworth, Swindon SN6 7PP

Registration Form


Registration Form

Will be updated soon –


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.

Terms and Conditions

  1. Registration will only take place on receipt of full course fees
  2. The fee does not include local accommodation or travel
  3. A charge for materials will be payable on the day
  4. Participants from overseas. It is possible to pay online by PayPal. Please contact the team first to confirm that a place is available on the workshop by emailing:
  5. Full details of the venue and a list of equipment and tools to bring will be sent out nearer the time
  6. Cancellation policy If you cancel your booking up to 30 days prior to the workshop you will get a refund minus a 25% administration fee Cancellation within 30 days will incur a 50% administration fee However, you are able to send a proxy with no administration fee In the event of a cancellation the first person on the waiting list for a given workshop will be offered a place
  7. The organisers reserve the right to change the location and date of the workshop or to cancel the workshop, in which case you will be offered a full refund or, if you choose, a place on any re-scheduled workshop
  8. By registering, you accept that none of the Society of Bookbinders, Designer Bookbinders, the organisers, the landlords of the premises where the workshops take place, nor the workshop leaders accept any liability for loss, damage, personal injury or consequential damages