Designer Bookbinders Festival of Bookbinding at the Bodleian, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th July 2022

Designer Bookbinders and the Bodleian Library proudly present a Festival of Bookbinding on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th July 2022.

The festival of bookbinding will bring together lectures, demonstrations, practical book binding sessions, mini demonstrations and a trade stand to help celebrate the opening of the exhibition “A Gathering of Leaves – the fourth Designer Bookbinders International Competition 2022”. The Lectures and Demonstrations will take place in the lecture theatre of the Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Broad Street, Oxford. Tickets will be free, but do need to be booked. These can be booked here.

Tickets for the lectures can be found below the “Courses, masterclasses and Workshops” section, in the “Lectures and Talks” section. Please note – the tickets are not necessarily listed chronologically, so keep scrolling down if you are unable to find the event you are looking for.

The Bookbinding Workshops on Saturday are also free, but with tickets needing to be booked online. These are aimed at novice binders – both children and adults, so tell your friends who might be interested in an introduction to bookbinding session. Booking via the Bodleian website here.

Tickets for these workshops can be found in the top section – “Courses, Masterclasses and workshops”.

All ticketed events are free, but we welcome any donations to help cover costs – a donation can be added at the booking stage.

The Trade Stand and Mini Demonstrations on the Saturday will take place in the Blackwell Hall on Friday 8/7/22.

9:30 – 11:00am
Demonstration – Glenn Malkin
“An Introduction to Decorative Techniques in Contemporary Bookbinding”

To the casual observer, the methods used to create some of the designs in contemporary bindings may seem somewhat mysterious. In this practical demonstration Glenn will explore a range of techniques used in contemporary bookbinding to decorate leather or cloth covers, this will include airbrushing, spraying and sprinkling to add colour to designs. Leather onlay techniques will be demonstrated along with the use of impressed leather to create texture and pattern. Glenn will touch upon traditional gold tooling, and will look at tooling with carbon and perhaps a few other techniques on the way!

Glenn Malkin has been a professional binder for 15 years working from his bindery in East Yorkshire. He has won numerous national and international awards for his design bindings and was elected a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2022. Glenn also teaches bookbinding at short workshops and by individual tuition.


11:30 – 12:30pm
Lecture – Kate Holland
“British Bookbinding – Past, present and future”

An illustrated talk covering the greatest hits of bookbinding design in Britain from the 8th century until the present day and a look to the future of the craft of bookbinding in the digital age and the elevation of the finely bound book to revered art object based on interviews with international collectors, auction houses, dealers, binderies and institutions.

Kate is a multi award-winning artist bookbinder, a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders, a Master Artisan in the Homo Faber guide and a regular binder to the Booker prize. She teaches bookbinding at West Dean, Shepherds and through DB’s Transferring Design programme. Her current goal is to get a single UK college to offer a course in bookbinding.


1:30 – 3:00pm
Demonstration – Mark Cockram
Minimalist Flat-Tight Back Binding

A demonstration showing a minimalist flat-tight back binding, incorporating laminated board attachment to cloth covered boards. The demonstration includes applied mixed media, and a Drum leaf Text Block. This is an introduction to a combination artist’s book that explores traditional and contemporary aspects.

Discovering his passion for bookbinding and book arts whilst working in Paris in the late 1980s, Mark enrolled on the bookbinding course at Guildford College, graduating in 1992. Mark’s oeuvre is exploratory and diverse being exhibited internationally with work represented in public and private collections. Since being elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders, Mark has been a regular binder for The Booker Prize.


3:30 – 4:30pm
Lecture – Andrew Honey
“Gathering Leaves – some approaches to bookbinding in recent accessions to the Bodleian Library”

This lecture will explore recent accessions to the Bodleian and the often-playful ways that book artists have approached concepts of both books and book bindings – it will also consider the challenges that these may pose for research libraries and conservators.

Andrew Honey is a book conservator at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, responsible for major projects, research and teaching, and complex book conservation treatments. In 2020 Andrew was appointed Conservation Inspector to the Mappa Mundi Trust.


Saturday 9/7/22

10.15am – 3.30pm: Bookbinding Workshops – Four one hour long sessions @ 10.15am, 11.30am, 1.15pm & 2.30pm.
Led by Andrew Honey (Book Conservator at the Bodleian Library) – public participation sessions to bind the printed sheets and cover of a specially commissioned ABC of Bodley chapbook. Those taking part will fold the chapbook sheets and stitch them within a cover to make a pamphlet. Participants will also be able print a copy of the cover on one of the Bodleian printing presses.

These one hour long workshops will each take place in Blackwell Hall. Booking required. 10 people per class.


Trade stand
Christopher Shaw, Fellow of DB will be running a trade stand selling items of bookbinding equipment and materials – patterned papers, leather and tools. This will be open from mid-morning on the Saturday until the Festival closes. Come and stock up on decorative papers and other essential bookbinding items. The trade stand will take place in Blackwell Hall. Participants can drop in. No ticket or booking required.

10.15 – 11:45am
Demonstration – Glenn Bartley
Vellum Over Boards

A demonstration of how to cover a book with calf vellum (parchment)
Glenn Bartley is a professional bookbinder and gold finisher. He trained at Guildford and Oxford establishing his own workshop in Culham, Oxfordshire in 1991.

Winner of the 1996 DB Bookbinding Competition, Glenn was elected a Fellow of DB in 1999. He is currently Head of the Royal Bindery at Windsor Castle.


12:15 – 1.15pm
Lecture – Edward Bayntun-Coward
To bind, or not to bind.

An illustrated talk on the ethics, economics and efforts of rebinding books.
Edward Bayntun-Coward is the owner of George Bayntun, the bookshop and bindery established by his great-grandfather in Bath in 1894. He has been Chairman of the Bath Preservation Trust and five museums, including the Holburne.


1.15 – 3.30pm: Mini demonstrations
Members of Designer Bookbinders will demonstrate bookbinding and associated skills in these “Show and Tell” style mini-demonstrations. DB Fellow Lori Sauer will demonstrate using heavy attractive papers to make boxes for bindings that are a quick and appealing alternative to a solander box, DB Fellow Stuart Brockman will demonstrate Gold Finishing, Louise Brockman will be demonstrating Marbling techniques and newly elected Licentiate Ted Bennett will demonstrate some forwarding techniques and discuss some of the principles of book structure. These mini demonstrations are not ticketed and open to everyone.

This session will take place in Blackwell Hall. Participants can drop in. No ticket or booking required.
We really hope that the Festival is of interest to you, and hope to see you there!
Image shows the prizegiving in 2017 in Blackwell Hall, Weston Library, Oxford.