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Midori Kunikata-Cockram

professional bookbinder


Midori was born in Tokyo and graduated from the BA(Hons) Academy of Arts course at Joshibi University of Art and Design, Tokyo. She started learning fine binding in Tokyo and went on to gain a Diploma with Merit in Fine Bookbinding and Conservation at Guildford College of Technology in the UK. Since graduating she has given workshops, lectures and exhibitions in various countries. She opened the ‘Jade Bookbinding Studio’ in London 1997, concentrating on private tuition, commissioned and personal work.

Her work is held in public and private collections in the UK, USA, Europe and Japan. She was among 25 Distinguished winners in the Designer Bookbinders International Competition in 2017 at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. She was Elected as a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2007 and is also a member of The Society of Bookbinders and The Tokyo Bookbinding Club [Japan].

The Island – An Amsterdam Saga (version 1 of 2) by Geert Mak (Translator : Lis Waters)
Illustrated by Max Kisman
Stichting Handboekbinden (The Dutch Hand Bookbinding Foundation)
76 x 56.5 x 15 mm
Bound in 2017 Private Collection, USA

custom hardcover book binding

The binding is sewn using unsupported link-stitch with secondary sewing on a continuous linen board attachment. It is a full leather binding with leather onlays and gold tooling. Hand-sewn silk endbands. Edges are coloured with pastel.

Doublures and endpapers are hand drawn with pastel on mould-made paper. The book was made for the International Miniature Bookbinding Competition in The Hague. The design element is inspired by the impression of the long line of cars that built up in order to clear the island. The endpapers suggest the site of the bulldozers which flattened the island. The cover onlays represent the long row of vehicles seen from above.

The Illustrations of William Blake for Thornton’s Virgil by Ambrose Philips
Illustrated by William Blake
The Nonesuch Press, 1938
240 x 157 x 18 mm
Bound in 2012
Private Collection, UK

William Blake bookbinder
William Blake

The binding is in full leather with paper onlays of hand-dyed Japanese Gampi paper. It is sewn on an accordion guard of Kozo paper with secondary sewing and lined board attachment. I have used this construction because the book has only four sections. The head is coloured with acrylic ink. The endpapers are decorated with hand drawn lines using a Rotring pen and coloured with pastels.

I tried to design the binding in harmony with the illustrations – Blake’s personal vision of this quiet natural paradise. The cover design is representative of the first scene of The Eclogues. The poem starts with the conversation of two fellows under a beech canopy; the cupolas are representative of the two men surrounded by beech leaves.

Midwinter by Miriam Macgregor
Illustrated by Miriam Macgregor
Whittington Press, 2012
268 x 186 x 15 mm
Bound in 2014 Private Collection, UK


The binding is sewn using unsupported link stitch with secondary sewing on a continuous linen board attachment. It is a full leather binding with vellum inlays and leather onlays. On the front board are hand dyed paper inlays covered with transparent vellum. The end papers are hand-drawn paper onlays. All the engravings in this book are of subjects within walking distance of  Miriam Macgregor’s cottage. The design creates a tranquil feeling of Midwinter, harmonising with the engravings. The hand-dyed paper onlay describes the sombre winter- coloured plants, covered with transparent vellum, giving a more faded feeling. The hand-dyed leather onlays describe traces of delicate colour. The endpaper design is inspired by the pathway by the River Thames, where I often take a walk; a memory of leaves encased in ice.

The Island – An Amsterdam Saga (version 2 of 2) by Geert Mak (Translator: Lis Waters)
Illustrated by Max Kisman
Stichting Handboekbinden (The Dutch Hand bookbinding Foundation)
76 x 58 x 16 mm
Bound in 2020
Private Collection, USA

case bound book binding

The International Miniature Bookbinding Competition was held in The Hague, Netherlands in 2017 with all applicants receiving three unbound copies of the ‘The Island’ for the competition. I bound one for the competition with the second book bound at almost the same time and later exhibited in the UK. These two books have an identical design. This is the third book. Design elements of this binding is the state for cleaning the island which is the same as the other two books. However, I reversed the cover design and the endpaper design.

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
Chatto & Windus, London, 2015
240 x 167 x 40 mm
Bound in 2015
Author’s private collection
Bound for “The Booker Prize”

A Spool of Blue Thread

A Bradel binding using unsupported link-stitch with secondary sewing. Covered in full leather brown goatskin with blue linen thread and hand-dyed leather onlays. Coloured air-brushed edge decoration. Endpapers are hand-drawn lines on coloured Zerkall paper, using a white pencil.
The design for the binding is based on a conversation in chapter 10, about the colour of paint used to paint the porch swing and the title of the book. ‘Blue’ is studded through the whole story.
The Binding represents the house in Baltimore which related this family story. The endpapers are like an architect’s blueprint.

La Prose du Transsiberien Re-Creation by Blaise Cendrars
Illustrated by Sonia Delaunay
Two Hands Press by Kitty Maryatt, USA, 2018
365 x189 x 26 mm
Bound in 2019
Private Collection, USA

La Prose
La Prose bookbinding

The book was made for the touring exhibition ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous’. Twenty-two binders each made a design binding for this exhibition, using the La Prose du Transsibérien Re-Creation for the text block.
The length of the text sheet is approximately 2metres. I folded the sheet in a series of right-angles to form a triangular concertina.
The front and back boards are covered in dark brown goatskin with 2mm & 1mm strips of coloured leather onlays and gold-tooled leather circle inlays.
The design for this binding is based on the image one has from the window of a moving train as the scenery flashes by, moving in and out of focus. The colours are inspired by the colours found within the text block.