Workshops & talks

Upcoming events…

Workshops are in small groups and give step-by-step tuition in various bookbinding and conservation techniques, and (unless otherwise stated) are held at the studio in Oxfordshire and run from 9:30am to 4:30pm. Tea/coffee, handouts and materials are included in the fee unless otherwise specified. Also listed here are various upcoming workshops/talks/lectures for other institutions.

To check availability and for booking please email:


Packed sewing

Sewing a late-medieval Gothic binding, a workshop for the Society of Bookbinders – Birmingham region, 11th November The key structural features of Gothic bindings are the rounded spine and the strong sewing supports laced into the outer face of shaped wooden boards. Gothic bindings were produced in Europe between the 14th and 17th centuries, a period which saw the introduction of the printing press, and a dramatic increase in output. Commercial workshops now overshadowed monastic production and standards of binding started to alter accordingly. However, books were still hand sewn and bound between wooden boards, and relied on strong materials and a well-balanced structure rather than excessive glue.

This workshop will focus on the structure of the binding and the relationship between the text-block, the sewing and the boards. The day will begin with a short look at some examples of medieval binding structures to put things into context, but will quickly move on to sewing a model which will then be laced onto pre-prepared boards. The supports will then be pack-sewn using bent needles.

Springback binding

‘The problem with springback bindings’ A talk for the Society of Bookbinders – London region, 10th January 2018 This talk will concentrate on the mechanics and forwarding of a springback binding, including: folding and sewing, spine linings, and the spring and lever.

Lapped paper case-binding

Lapped paper case-binding – with paste paper covers, 19th-21st Jan 2018 (3 days), £285. Tutor: Arthur Green. Lapped paper case-bindings were common in Germany in the 18th and 19th century and were an atractive solution to increased demand for cheap books. There are, of course, infinite variants on this style; however, many surviving books have structurally similarities: sewn on cords; minimal or no spine linings; endpapers hooked around the first and last sections; rounded and backed spines and coloured edges; a three-piece lapped paper case and paste paper covers with a paper spine label.

This in-depth three-day course will take you through all of the operations necessary in making one of these bindings, from making your own paste papers to sewing the book. This busy course is suitable for all abilities, but will require a good level of dexterity.

Medieval wooden-board bookbinding structures: Ethiopian, Anglo-Saxon, Romanesque and Gothic.

‘Medieval Bookbinding Structures’ A lecture for the Society of bookbinders – Midland Region, 27th Jan 1:00pm-4:00pm This informal talk will look at four key binding styles: Ethiopian, Anglo-saxon, Romanesque and Gothic. With the aid of models Arthur will illustrate the way in which these medieval books were constructed and the mechanics of how they worked; as well as exploring what a modern bookbinder or conservator might learn from them. The evening will conclude with a short demonstration of the technique used to sew an Ethiopian binding.


Introduction to bookbinding, 3rd Feb 2018, £95. Tutor: Arthur Green. A fun and informative day which will introduce the subject of bookbinding including tools & materials, terminology and a bit of the history too. You will  get to make a simple single-section binding and have a go at hand printing a label. Suitable for all levels with no prior experience required.

Leather paring

Leather paring without the blood, sweat and tears, 14th April 2018, £95. Tutor: Arthur Green.

Leather paring is a discipline which often intimidates and can take many years to master but with a systematic approach this need not be the case. This one-day hands-on workshop will introduce safe and effective working methods for paring bookbinding leathers by hand. The course will cover edge-paring, working with a spoke-shave, and thinning down leather with a Scharffix. The course also includes some basic tool selection, maintenance and sharpening. Suitable for beginners and those with basic experience.

Springback binding

Springback binding, summer 2018 – date TBC – please ask for details (5 days), £475. Tutor: Arthur Green. Patented in 1799 by John & Joseph Williams the springback soon became a popular style of stationery binding because of its robust covers and ability to open flat. They survive in vast numbers in our libraries and archives, however few are familiar with how they are bound. On this five day course you will learn all of the operations that go into making this unique binding, from folding sheets and sewing the text-block, to making the spring and lever, and then on to the split-boards and finally covering. With step-by-step guidance this workshop is suitable for all abilities. Arthur has published a number of articles on the subject: see ‘Publications’ tab.

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