Workshops & talks

Upcoming events…

Arthur has been teaching since 2012 and has lectured for organisations including the Society of Bookbinders, West Dean College of Arts and Conservation and (ICON) the Institute of Conservation. Workshops at Green’s Books are in small groups and give step-by-step tuition in various bookbinding and conservation techniques. Unless otherwise stated workshops are held at the studio near Malvern, and run from 10:00am to 4:30pm. Tea/coffee, handouts and materials are included in the fee unless otherwise specified.

To check availability and for booking please email: arthur@greensbooks.co.uk

Cancellation policy: on request, places will be rescheduled subject to availability and at the discretion of Green’s Books. Refunds are as follows: notice of one month or more  = 100% refund; notice of two weeks or more = 75% refund; and 1 week or more = 50% refund. In addition, a £10 fee will be applied to all cancellations.


Packed sewing

Sewing a late-medieval Gothic binding, 25th -26th April 2019. 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 14thand 17thcenturies, 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 and spine linings.

This two-day workshop will focus on the underlying structure of the binding and the relationship between the text-block, the sewing and the boards. The weekend will begin with a short talk on medieval wooden-board bindings, but will quickly move on to the practical. Students will work with a traditional sewing frame, sewing a model on double supports with packed sewing.

This event will be held at The National Library of Scotland and booking is through ICON


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Introduction to bookbinding, 11th May 2019, £100.  A fun and informative day which will introduce the subject of bookbinding; including tools & materials, terminology and a bit of the history too. You’ll make a simple single-section binding and have a go at hand printing a label. Suitable for all levels with no prior experience required.


Decorated paper by Nicky Oliver
Non-adhesive paper binding

Non-adhesive binding with decorated paper covers, 18th – 19th May 2019, £200.  A busy two-day hands-on workshop: Day one will be spent with award-winning bookbinder Nicky Oliver of Black Fox Bindery Nicky will introduce you to various decorative techniques such as relief printing, home-made stamp printing, ink work and collage – plus a bit more if time allows. At the end of the first day you will have a wonderful selection of unique papers to use for either covering material or endpapers. Day two students will make a non-adhesive limp paper binding with Arthur using their decorated papers. Limited to five students only – we expect this workshop to be very popular so book early.


Leather paring

Leather paring without the blood, sweat and tears, 1st June 2019, £100.  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 anyone struggling with leather paring.


French paring knife

Sharpening for bookbinders, 29 Jun 2019, £100 (+ £10 materials fee) Going back to first principles, this workshop will cover the theory of sharpening by hand. The focus of the day will be on sharpening paring knives, and will cover both straight edge but also rounded edge knives. Arthur will cover two popular systems of sharpening: Japanese water stones, and abrasive films on glass. Participants will receive clear instructions on how to get repeatable results and will also get an opportunity to make their own small lifting knife.


Understanding bookbindings, 22 Jul 2019 This one day seminar will be held at The British Library. It is aimed at librarians, archivists, volunteers, and anyone working with collections of historic bindings who would like to understand more about the books that they handle. Bookings can be made through West Dean College 


Non-adhesive paper binding

Non-adhesive paper binding, 14th Sept 2019 This workshop is being hosted by the North Wales and North West region of The Society of Bookbinders so please book through the Society.

This simple paper structure was devised as a conservation binding for 17thcentury printed paper pamphlets. The non-adhesive structure provides a robust covering but enables the leaves to be removed easily if needed. It is particularly well suited to slim books where sewing on cords wouldn’t be appropriate, and although devised with conservation in mind, could quite easily be decorated and turned into an artist’s book.  Arthur will provide step-by-step instructions and will discuss the importance of the materials provided. The workshop is suitable for all abilities.


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Introduction to bookbinding, 28 Sept 2019, £100.  A fun and informative day which will introduce the subject of bookbinding; including tools & materials, terminology and a bit of the history too. You’ll make a simple single-section binding and have a go at hand printing a label. Suitable for all levels with no prior experience required.


Japanese stitch binding

Japanese stab-binding workshop, 9th Nov 2019, £100. In this course you will learn the fundamentals of the ancient technique of Japanese stab binding; A versatile style of binding great for single pages with a myriad of beautiful stitching patterns available. We will focus on two of these to produce two books finished with different decorative stitching. Choose from a selection of traditional Japanese papers and reclaimed materials to create bespoke bindings. All tools and materials included but if you have any decorative papers or coloured threads of your own that you wish to incorporate please feel free to bring along to use. Suitable for all levels.

This workshop will be run by award winning bookbinder Mylyn McColl. Mylyn has been working as a professional bookbinder for over 10 years. She learnt the skill training in house at binderies across the UK and developed her fine binding skills studying with Mark Cockram and Kathy Abbott.  She has twice been awarded prizes in the DB annual competition. An active member in the bookbinding community she is currently co-organiser of the Society of Bookbinders International Competition and is on the Society’s London and South committee. She works in a small bindery in London and teaches the craft at a variety of venues and provides tuition from her home bindery. She is a tutor of various courses at the Bound by Veteran project at Shepherds Daffodil Barn in Wiltshire. She loves books, loves binding and loves sharing her skills and joy of the craft.


Leather paring

Leather paring without the blood, sweat and tears, 16th Nov 2019, £100.  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 anyone struggling with leather paring.

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