Bookbinder Workshop

Get Organised: Make a ‘Perpetual’ Knitting Workbook

How did you become interested in bookbinding?
After many years working in the print & graphic design industry my interests in lettering led me to take evening classes in calligraphy, which led to an invitation to join a unique honours degree programme in Calligraphy & Bookbinding. I was hooked on the books!

Can you explain a little about the process of bookbinding?
Any structure that is designed to present printed or blank sheets of paper comes under ‘bookbinding’. This could be simple concertina books or large ledgers. Book structures span all of recorded history and many cultures. Most of what I do involves ‘sewing’ and ‘glueing’ various papers, boards, cloth and leather.

Do you have connections with the fbre community?
I used to knit and so know something about the scraps of paper, patterns and tension samples that accumulate in a knitting bag. However, besides designing a nice workbook to keep things organised, my bindery makes leather buttons from the offcuts used in my bookbinding. These work well with woollen textiles, knitting, and tweeds.

Tell us about life on Skye…
I have been living and working on Skye for nearly twenty years. The greatest challenge for me as a bookbinder has been to locate my workshop in buildings which are temperature controlled. Paper and card are very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Thus the bindery is now located in a modern insulated suburban house. Skye is lovely, but I am usually working too hard to get out to see much of the landscape.

What inspires you in your work?
Since most of my work is to commission, I often work with designers with their own vision for fullflling a client’s brief. I try to create real structures that look good, but ultimately function beautifully.

What are you looking forward to most at Loch Ness Knit Fest?

Teaching is my other passion and I have taught hundreds (if not thousands) of students in many aspects of bookbinding. The Knitting Workbooks is a quickly made practical structure which is designed to be used again and again. Some knitters have a wide variety of other hand skills and so this should be a fun way to share other hand skills with them. On the other hand, at each of my workshops there have been ‘husbands’ who have wanted to make one of these as a special gift for their knitting-mad spouses.

Also as a FREEBIE to all going to the Lock Ness Knit Fest, here is a link to our DETAIL site that will provide all with blank A4 forms (foldable into A5 booklets) to help to organise their knitting projects – on paper at least. They will have to take the class if they wish to make the hardcover workbook that holds these pages. The link isĀ