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Stuart Brockman

Stuart Brockman


Stuart was born in 1972 and was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2004. He has a BEng Hons degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

He has taught and lectured in UK, Chile, USA, Iceland, Finland and Canada and has judged bookbinding competitions in the UK and USA. He organised the Society of Bookbinders International Competition from 2003–2009 and is currently organising the Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2022 in association with The Bodleian Libraries and Mark Getty.

Stuart has fine bindings in collections worldwide including the British Library, National Library of Scotland, National Library of Wales, The Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University USA and in many Private collections. Stuart set up and ran a bindery in Santiago, Chile working on a private collection between 2000-2003. He has worked with his father James Brockman since 1995 and they now co-run the family bookbinding business – James and Stuart Brockman Ltd. working mainly on early printed books and manuscripts. Stuart has worked on numerous manuscripts including early European & Islamic manuscripts; Audubon, First Edition of Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and The Kelmscott Chaucer.

Stuart specialises in modern designer bindings using traditional materials such as gold, leather & vellum, but has also used materials less often associated with bindings such as glass and he has exhibited these bindings worldwide. He accepts commissions of modern fine bindings as well as repair and conservation of books from private collections and institutions.

Stuart is the current President of Designer Bookbinders and was elected into the role in 2023.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Manuscript Draft Lyrics by Freddie Mercury c.1974
Private Collection
Bound 2023

Louise Brockman marbled doublures; yellow Japanese tissue flyleaves; gilt edges; double multicoloured endbands; cushioned boards laced on; 14 glass panels; yellow and black Harmatan goatskin; gold tooling and lettering; polished perspex domes; polished black goatskin onlays.  Book housed in velvet lined quarter leather box.
This was bound as a blank book then the pages removed to allow the addition of the 15 manuscript pages.  The manuscript was attached with very thin acid free paper guards which are removable.  The design depicts two iconic Freddie Mercury poses in front of glass panels representing light emitting from the two polished perspex domes.  The black goatskin at the tail represents a stage and is lettered in the font used for the Bohemian Rhapsody single.  The back board has Mongolian Rhapsody crossed through as this was the original title for the song.  The endleaves have an iconic image of Freddie printed on them, the use of this was kindly granted by Pati Rock.

Across East African Glaciers by Dr. Hans Meyer
George Philip & Son, London, 1891
#16 of 50 printed on Japanese Vellum
Bound 2023

Red suede flyleaves; black calf edge-to-edge doublures; gilt edges; double multicoloured endbands; cushioned laced on boards; green Harmatan goatskin with red and black polished Hewit’s calf and white vellum onlays; gold tooling and lettering; velvet lined quarter leather box.
The design and colours chosen represent Kilimanjaro and the points of a compass.

– I Want To Spend The Rest Of My Life Everywhere, With Everyone, One To One, Always, Forever, Now. by Damien Hirst
Booth–Clibborn Editions, London, 1997
Bound 2013

The concept of the binding was inspired by three Damien Hirst quotes from within the text of this book:
“The steel and glass cases came from a fear of everything in life being fragile……”
“Science for All, Books for All”
“Once you go beyond the limits of a piece of paper, it’s easy”
As a binder I agree entirely with the first two quotes, the third however less so, as this book is the most complex binding I have ever done.

The use of metals and glass are representative of some of the works of Damien Hirst – Tanks of Formaldehyde. The angled red lines at head and tail represent the roof line and the square tooled sections represent the windows of the Newport Street Gallery. The circles represent Hirst’s use of dots and the lines crossing at the centre of each board represent the lines of reflection used for his Kaleidoscope works. The book contains many pop ups, fold out and cut through sections (which inspired the cut out/glass sections of the boards), as well as many geometric shapes, circles, grids etc.

The binding had marbled endpapers, stainless steel double hinges, inset glass panels, double endbands, calf onlays and gold and palladium tooling and lettering.

– Hamlet by Shakespeare
Illustrated by Edward Gordon Craig
Cranach Presse, Weimar, Germany, 1930
Bound 2009
Private UK Collection

Whilst not strictly a binding, this box was made to house a copy of this spectacular book. The design takes images from the binding itself that are reproduced in ink and then covered in transparent vellum. There is a gold tooled black Morocco label to the spine.

– The Tower by WB Yeats
MacMillan, 1928
Bound 2020
Binding: 198mm x 150mm x 32mm
Box: 500mm x 360mm x 100mm
Private UK Collection

This commission was bound with my father James as a collaboration. It consists of a binding housed within an oversized box mounted on a granite base. The binding has gilt edges all round (red gold was used to suit the metal). The boards are made up of specially tarnished laminated brass sheets silver-soldered to brass hinge tubes. The book is sewn on four stainless steel rings which form part of the hinge when assembled. The brass has been embossed to provide irregularity to give a similar feel to bricks/stone.

The black overframe is specially machined beading that has been assembled and held in place with adhesive and brass pins. The endpapers are a specially made Louise Brockman black and silver marbled paper. The box is made from stone veneer over an MDF form with inset glass panels. Again the over frame was fabricated and attached with adhesive and brass pins. The book sits in a velvet lined recess and is removed from the box by sliding the brass/painted flag at the top. This spring-loaded catch pushes the book forward. The box is mounted on solid granite for stability.

– India Love Poems by Tambimuttu
Illustrations by John Piper
Rampant Lions Press, 1977
Bound 2020
Currently for sale via Blackwells Rare Book Shop

Louise Brockman marbled endleaves made up; edges of leaves gilt on the deckle; book sewn on six linen tapes; spine glued and shaped; laminated cushioned boards laced on; multi-coloured double endbands sewn; spine lined with unbleached cotton and acid free paper hollow; book covered in red and blue French Levant with black goatskin strips; boards stabilised and filled in; design applied with gold tooling and lettering; black goatskin edging added to turn ins; book pasted down not sure what this means.. Binding housed in a velvet lined black quarter leather box.

The design and colour scheme reflect the flowing nature and style of the Piper images within the book. The shapes created within the design represent the female form, a common theme throughout the book.

– Together and Alone by Christopher Whitfield
Illustrated by John O’Conner
The Golden Cockerel Press, 1945
Bound 2013
Copy 195 of an edition of 500
253mm x 166mm x 20mm
Current Provenance: Private UK Collection

The book has Louise Brockman marbled endpapers and is sewn on four linen tapes. The boards are attached using a tongue and split board arrangement and incorporate a supported French groove. All edges are gilt. The book is covered in transparent vellum over a black and white geometric watercolour design. There are red goatskin onlays and the book is lettered in palladium leaf.

The design shows a geometric pattern that was designed in keeping with the woodcuts from the book itself. The lettering is spaced appropriately for the two words – close together for “together” and far apart for “alone”.

– Do Well and Prosper
This was a privately printed edition and this particular copy was presented to the author from his family on a significant birthday, bound 2020.

This book was bound as a fine binding with laced on boards and covered in full dark blue goatskin. The use of a traditional looking style was appropriate for the author who was presented with this binding. The tooling is carried out in palladium, which is harder to use than gold due to its lower ductility and conductivity. It was housed in a wood and silver box made by Rod Kelly.


Email: StuBrockman@aol.com
Website: https://brockmanbookbinders.org
Instagram: @stuartbrockman
Facebook: @brockmanbookbinders
Accept Commissions: Yes