The Bookbinders Collective – a London Design Festival highlight

September 27, 2012

On the last Friday of the London Design Festival, we welcomed the Bookbinders Collective, a group of professional bookbinders working at the top of their craft to produce exciting and innovative contemporary bookbindings, book arts and artists’ books.  Over 300 people dropped in to meet the group for an inspiring day of workshops and demonstrations and to view a display of their current work. Sessions were led by Mark Cockram, Kate Holland, Jo Bird and Midori Kunikata-Cockram, with other members of the collective also on hand to assist throughout. Mark Cockram kept visitors entertained over the course of the day as he demonstrated a disappearing spine bradel binding.  After his five hour marathon binding session, Mark commented that ‘I feel that we gained so much from the day, being able to meet and share our skills with such a diverse and enthusiastic audience’. In between demonstrations, attendees were also able to make their own book to take home. Midori Kunikata-Cockram showed visitors how to make their own beautiful Japanese bound notebook, Jo Bird demonstrated how to make simple single section books with plain covers, decorated with rubber stamps of her own design, whilst Kate Holland was on hand to help attendees make their own concertina binding. For more information on the Bookbinders Collective, please visit their website and blog. Collective member Hannah Brown is leading a workshop at the V&A on 18 October entitled ‘The Stitched Story: Leather Bound Notebook’, which is now open for booking. Throughout the London Design Festival 2012, the V&A have worked with leading designers to deliver a varied practical workshop programme.  In addition to bookbinding, attendees have made their own discarded paper brooches with jewellery designer Clara Breen, knitted bunting with textile designer Carol Meldrum, captured their ‘Boo face’ with Studio BOO, explored fashion designer Juliana Sissons‘ practice, produced beautiful stitched butterfly brooches with designer/maker Abigail Brown and even helped the A team escape from a bamboo forest with Aberrant Architecture.  We look forward to presenting another exciting workshop programme at next year’s London Design Festival.

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