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Sydney Bookbinding

Welcome to my Bookbinding Blog

The making of books, the teaching of bookbinding and the association with other bookbinders and book artists has become the focus and passion of my life. Bookbinding has many aspects and we debate a lot about the precise definitions of various aspects but, working with our hands within this discipline, challenging our skills and creativity is intriguing, frustrating and exciting.
Sydney Bookbinding
Sydney Bookbinding

Artists Book – I am Water


Have just finished my Artists Book about water entitled – I am Water.

It is quite gentle but I am aware of the importance of pure water to sustain our life and that of all living things. So I try to make a statement that encourages you to think of this concern in a quiet way.

We face difficult decisions about water and, as someone predicted, the next wars will be fought over water. I hope this does not happen as we all need water – every continent and person, every tree and food crop.

I tried to give it an Austalian flavour by showing our cliffs with water, that comes from the sea, raining and soaking down to feed the artesian waters. They are very important and need to stay pure in order to be a source of water for our dry continent.

I found poems that speak of water and its importance to us. They form part of the book – all hand written to keep the book looking very hand made.

The structure is a concertina with a fixed spine area. It is affectionately called a ‘Lamella’ binding after the lovely Italian lady that demonstrated it several years ago. I just love the way the pages open flat and the spine forms that interesting shape and pattern as it opens.

The watercolours are on watercolour paper of course and the covers Kangaroo leather patterned and painted.

Hope you enjoy these images and my thoughts.

Posted in My bindings |
Sydney Bookbinding

New book decoration


The latest development I have been working with, helped by my willing students, is a form of stitching/weaving or twining of thread into stiffened book cloth that decorate the spine as well as the covers.

We created the spine unit separately and attached this to a hollow backed text block.

The final covers were completed separately and attached as laminated boards.

One book is completed. Not only is it interesting to look at but the threads give a textural effect which we found very pleasant. We were all happy with the results


Posted in Bookbinding Classes |
Sydney Bookbinding

Paperbacks given a new life


These very damaged paperbacks came to be repaired and rebound into hard covers. Evidently the text is no longer available and is important to the owner.

As a hand bookbinder who enjoys to do special, individual bookbinding projects, I have rescued lots of paperbacks and enjoy to see them secure into hard covers and ready for reading.

It seems an expensive exercise when perhaps a new copy can be purchased but often they are out of print. One client told me, “this book changed my life when I was 18″ and he was a very mature gentleman, so the idea of purchasing a new copy was out of the question. Books do retain memory to many of us.

Hope you enjoy the resurrection of these books. Dare I say that a lot of the pages were needing repairs but tatty edges were removed by careful guillotine cutting. Luckily there was plenty of margin space to make this possible.

Posted in Rebinding and restoration work |
Sydney Bookbinding

Leather dying experiments


Over a couple of weeks my students experimented with some interesting leather dying techniques. Some I have been experimenting with for some time.

Results are always unexpected and often very interesting effects.

We all made small soft covered journals working on leather pieces the correct size and trying to reproduce one of the effects created during our experiments. Re-dying and reworking was possible and these notebooks were quite attractive and pleasant to handle.

Some of the processes were quite involved and one had to be patient but, over 3 sessions our notebooks were virtually made.

These booklets/journals would make interesting and unique gifts.

Posted in Custom Bookbinding |
Sydney Bookbinding

Television promotional book commission


A great project to be involved with. A unique commission to bind 15 books as promotional items for a proposed television series of a story based on the Snowy Mountain Hydro Scheme. We chose a rugged canvas book cloth and a quite elaborate stitching style for the spine.

It was a real privilege to read of this proposed production. The idea is fascinating, the setting spectacular and the historical information very interesting.

They now need to get the funding and then we can all look forward to a great show under the title of The Scheme

The photography in this presentation is stunning. Accurate to the actual place and time.

I love the variety of commissioned work that come my way and thank my clients for giving me time to design and create something that pleases both of us.


Posted in Custom Bookbinding |
Sydney Bookbinding