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 Arthur is giving for other institutions.

To check availability and for booking please email:


Leather paring

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

Packed sewing

Sewing a late-medieval Gothic binding, a two-day workshop for the Society of Bookbinders – Western region, 21st-22nd April 2018.  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 practical workshop will focus on the sewing; you will explore how the relationship between the sewing, the boards and text-block effect the function. The two-day workshop will also include a talk on medieval binding structures.

Common book structures and how they degrade, 23rd May 2018, A seminar for West Dean College, held at The British Library.  This talk will look at the structural features of hand-made bookbindings from the printed era. Leaving aside fancy decoration and the printed word, Arthur will examine some common binding styles, concentrating on the specific materials and techniques used in their construction and the various reasons why they might degrade. 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.




Introduction to bookbinding, 23rd June 2018, £95.  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.



Introduction to bookbinding, 30th June 2018, £95.  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.

Springback leather binding – leather covering.

Society of Bookbinders Seminar, 30th Aug – 1st Sept 2018, Chester UK.  Arthur will be speaking about the principle forwarding techniques of springback bindings, from sewing the text-block to making and fitting the spring. He will share his experience of how springback are made, concentrating on the mechanical function of the book and appropriate choice of materials.


Springback binding

Springback binding, 10th – 14th Sept 2018 (5 days), £475.  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 

Non-adhesive, paper binding

Non-adhesive Paper Binding, 6th Oct 2018,  A workshop for The Southern Book Crafts Club, in Winchester. This simple paper structure was devised as a conservation binding for 17th century 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.

Please contact SBC for booking:

Parchment repair

Parchment Repair, 20th Oct 2018, £95 (+£25 materials fee).  This is a repeat of the popular workshop first run in November 2016. Aimed at professional and student book and paper conservators, it is a practical day looking at conservation techniques used to repair parchment. The workshop will concentrate on parchment repairs using new repair-parchment and gelatine based adhesives. The day will include the selection and preparation of repair-parchment and the preparation of two adhesives: warm liquid gelatine and a cold gelatine mousse. Some practical techniques used to apply repairs will also be covered.

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