I welcome commissions, please get in touch to discuss any bindings you have in mind.
Whether it’s a first edition bound in leather for your private library; a miniature book in a tiny box to give as a gift; a rebind of your favourite novel; a special present for family or friends; edition runs of multiple books; or a contemporary binding for the first publication of your own novel – I’d be happy to hear from you.
I specialise in creating bespoke pieces. Materials are carefully chosen to work in harmony with the content of the books, from hand-coloured endpapers through to the colour of gold leaf tooled on the book cover. Most of my fine bindings have made-to-fit wooden boxes created for them, in timber such as oak, tulipwood and teak.
I work methodically through the whole binding process, starting with ‘pulling’ the text block and carrying out paper repairs where required, right though to attaching the clasp onto the box in which the book is ultimately housed.
There are lots of factors to consider when pricing a binding. These include the size of the book, the complexity of the design, the materials you wish to use, the area of the cover the design spans and the type of container you want for the book. Everything is up for discussion.
As a guide, designed bindings start from £2,000. Get in touch with more details of what you’re looking for and I can give you an estimate. Alternatively, if you have a particular budget in mind, I can let you know what’s possible within that.
THE COMMISSIONING PROCESS
It’s helpful to meet in person to discuss design ideas for the project. If this isn’t possible, we can arrange an online meeting or a phone call. Once I have an idea of what could work for the binding based on the text block, your requirements and budget I move forward with initial design ideas.
Some clients choose not to view any of my design work to keep the final binding a surprise. Others choose to be involved throughout the process. It’s entirely up to you. If you don’t want to see any of the progress, I make sure nothing is posted on social media until after completion.
Once the design is signed off, I require a 1/3 deposit to continue with the work.
The first stage involves me making a sample board based on a small section of the final design, or, in the case of a miniature book, I’ll create a duplicate miniature. I produce these boards for each of my bindings to test out my design ideas, colour combinations and tooling marks. As well as having something tangible to show you in the early stages of the commission process, I also use these sample boards as a physical record of each of the bindings I’ve made.
Once the sample board is complete and I’m happy with the design, I start work on the actual binding. Once the final binding is complete, the full balance of payment is due on delivery.
I produce a step-by-step guide about the creation of each of my bespoke bindings. I aim to publish the blog soon after delivery of the binding, depending on the volume of other work at the time. I try to document each stage of the process with photographs, but some procedures require two hands, making this tricky! You can view past project on my blog page.
At present, the lead time for bindings is 12–18 months. I try and work on commissions in the order that they come in but if you have a strict deadline for your project do get in touch in case an opening becomes free.