The Designer Bookbinders/Society of Bookbinders Joint Workshops began when the two societies discussed the need to provide high-quality training and workshops in bookbinding subjects following the closure of many college courses in recent years. It seemed a sensible idea for Designer Bookbinders and The Society of Bookbinders to pool their efforts and expertise into a joint society venture rather than for each society to go it alone, and so in 2004 the first series of four workshops were set up by co-founders, Clare Prince (representing Designer Bookbinders) and Dominic Riley (representing The Society of Bookbinders).
Since then, a series of six weekend workshops have been held every year at different locations around the country and have covered a range of topics from traditional techniques to innovative structures. Tutors have included many Fellows of Designer Bookbinders, respected book restorers, and a few well-known bookbinders from overseas. From the feedback we received in those early days, it appeared that participants not only enjoyed the excellent teaching at the workshops, but also the opportunity to exchange skills and experience with fellow binders over the weekend and to make new contacts and friends. The joint enterprise has also helped to build a closer working relationship between the two societies and promote the craft of bookbinding more widely.
Clare Prince and Dominic Riley continued to organize and run the workshops for seven years until the end of the 2010/11 series when George Davidson kindly offered to take over. He was succeeded by Alan Fitch and Claire Weaver, then followed by Sarah Burnett-Moore, and the workshops are currently being organized by Nesta Davies and Sarah Burns.