Deborah is an internationally recognised designer bookbinder, trained by several of the greatest exponents of the classical English School of bookbinding. As Drew Heinz Book Conservator at the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, Deborah cared for a magnificent and varied collection of Coptic manuscripts and bindings, medieval illuminated manuscripts, early printed books, music manuscripts, autograph manuscripts and documents, and children’s books. She combined this work with fine binding, designing, teaching, lecturing, and consulting for major institutions and prominent private collectors. The latter included binding copies of President Kennedy’s note book for Jackie Kennedy Onassis to give to her children, and the rebinding of the 9th Century De re culinaria manuscript of Marcus Apicius for the New York Academy of Medicine.
Prior to this, and while training and then teaching in the British art school system, she found time to exhibit fine bindings, which led to her becoming a fellow of Designer Bookbinders. Moving to America, she equipped and ran a teaching studio in New York and worked for a book conservator part-time, before starting work at the Pierpoint Morgan Library in New York.
Her delight in brilliant leather colours is seen in her fine bindings, where juxtaposed inlays tell a story, or sombre leather backgrounds offset bright onlays. She is best known for her gold-tooled typographic designs of letters in different fonts and size, such as her bindings of Eric Gill’s Four Gospels and James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Deborah is now in private practice, and enjoys working for a wide range of clients and institutions. Her work includes fine bindings, pre-publication cover designs for publishers and the conservation of old and rare books.
Deborah advises librarians and collectors on topics including the best restoration and preservation methods, housing and climate control and is entrusted by major libraries and museums with the conservation of their priceless books. She is a lecturer on book conservation, fine binding, decorated papers, etc., to professional organisations, book clubs, publishers and educational institutions.