Sue creates hand-made books and bindings. Her creative interests include surface design, women’s history, sewing as drawing, memory, music, myth and the history of magic. She has recently investigated the relationship between C19th science, spiritualism and women’s suffrage and is currently interested in the history of weeds. Her books are primarily collage-based using text, found images, drawing, print and digital media and her bindings and books are made using traditional bookbinding techniques combined with messy, fluid mediums and non-traditional materials. Choice of materials is usually dictated by the conceptual basis of the work: paper, leather, textiles, drawing, illustration, painting, embroidery, metal, digital collage and calligraphy. She works with already existing texts, making fine bindings, and creates content for books which develop out of reading and research into themes of personal interest.
Sue gained a first class honours degree in Visual Studies and Art History from Oxford Brookes University in 1985 and an MA in Design from Brighton University in 1998. She received the World Craft Council Award for Contemporary Craft in 1994 and was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 1996. She has lectured in book arts at colleges including Camberwell College of Art, Cambridge School of Art, Croydon School of Art and North Bennet Street School, Boston, USA. She is currently co-ordinator for Bookbinding and Calligraphy courses at The City Lit in London, where she also teaches bookbinding and book arts. Sue’s work is represented in public collections in the UK, Europe and USA including: The Hyman Kreitman Research Library Tate Britain, The Folger Library, Washington DC and Yale University Library Special Collections. She exhibits regularly, most recently Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fine Bindings of La Prose du Transsibérien Re-creation at the San Francisco Center for the Book, On the Same Page – Page Turner at Jagged Art, London and with Designer Bookbinders at COLLECT International Art Fair. She was also Winner of the Bodleian Library Competition Redesigning the Medieval Book, which was exhibited in the Weston Library, Oxford.
Sue has been commissioning editor of ‘The New Bookbinder’, the international publication of Designer Bookbinders, since 2019 and has previously written articles for this journal (‘Re/reading Hamlet: The impact of research and contextualisation on the visual interpretation of a text’ and ‘In Remembrance of Things’) and for Bright Light Journal: Implicit Geographies UAL, London (‘The Contingent Tourist’). She lectures and runs workshops in the UK, Europe and the USA, most recently Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fine Bindings of La Prose du Transsibérien (Makers’ talk for NBSS, Boston), speaker at the Czech Society of Bookbinders’ Conference, Pilzen and speaker at the ‘Selected 18’ design conference in Bilbao.