November 2011

The Designer Bookbinders Competition, 2011

The J. Hewit & Sons Award for The Interesting Treatment of Leather

Winner - Paul Henry (Surrey, UK)

Book - 'The Songlines' by Bruce Chatwin

'The inspiration for the design came from using the idea of the "spot and dot" paintings of the Aborigines, which tell a story about journeys. I had some naturally tanned split hide with a slightly rough surface which was perfect for the sand , and the spots were inlaid from lots of different leather scraps in various sizes and colours, but I tried to use natural colours.'

'As the book was primary a tale of travel, the idea of a tacket journal seemed to fit very well as the binding structure, each two sections were sewn through the same paired stations, and through a loose leather spot as well to maintain the idea of the journeying tale.A protective card endpaper with an extra flap helps to keep the fore edge clean. The long strap on the journal binding is a very traditional closure and fitted in the idea of a book to be thrown into a back pack whilst walking in the Outback.'

'The bag was made from Aborigine printed fabric from Bathurst Island, sourced directly from a protective settlement and work place'

Our warm congratulations go to Paul. More examples of his beautiful work (and not only bindings!) can be found on his web site at

Trade Fairs

David, John and Roger hope to see our customers and friends on the 5th and 6th November at the Fine Press Book Association fair in Oxford or at the Dutch Bookbinding Fair in Leiden, Holland