This is an excellent way to restore a favourite book as Stephen explains the process and works alongside you. It was really interesting learning about and trying out the techniques. Stephen was a very interested, friendly and patient tutor.
I had looked throughout the UK for a course on one to one tuition and can highly recommend this one. I had never been to Frome before and at lunchtime having a walk into town beside the river was a lovely break.
Overall, I really liked the bespoke flexibility which is excellent value for the money, having a professional bookbinder tutoring and working alongside you makes the day a special experience and you end up with your book bought back to life - very happy
Excellent teaching - Stephen told/showed me each stage and then let me complete the task. Renewed 2 dear old cookery books so they are now good for another 40 years.
(Much coffee and chocolate, nice little walk to town centre at lunchtime.)
I was bought a day long workshop session in book-binding with Stephen as a birthday present and came along with the intention of making a bespoke photograph album. Stephen provided great assistance throughout the whole process and I ended up taking home a lovely album which I can now fill with my best photographs.
His assistance and patience was second to none and the materials he provided were of the highest quality. Along with his guidance we chose the best colour scheme and design to suit my work. A very good and successful day.
I spent a day with Stephen creating a book with a leather binding. I had done a little bit of bookbinding before so was hoping to consolidate things I’d already learned how to do and learn some new skills. It was a very easy-going atmosphere in the studio and I liked that I could just ask whatever, whenever but then be a little bit left to get on with it - always feel awkward and liable to mess up when being observed. I appreciated the chance to learn a slightly different approach, not just slightly different method but a more positive and serendipitous way of working, learning from mistakes etc. I really enjoyed the day, 7 hours flew by and I was very happy with my book!
The book I chose to restore was an early C19th Shakespeare. I was amazed as Stephen helped me take it apart, preserving the beautiful leather and the endpapers. The work of restoration started with patiently stitching flaps to which to attach the covers. We rebuilt the spine and I finished by tooling the volume number on it with a punch. Despite being challenged by trying to draw a straight line with a pencil and ruler, and able to make a mess of any worksurface and get sticky fingerprints on anything, I am very pleased with the finished product.
There was a chance to observe the projects on which Stephen was working: the meticulous restoration of beautiful, and badly damaged, book and to look at the samples of materials he holds, including endpapers he has made himself.
Stephen is a patient and generous teacher: I suspect his experience working with children with special needs fitted him to work with me when I got frustrated with my efforts. He makes sure that you do the work yourself to solve each problem and never takes over, but guides you past each hump and makes sure it remains fun at all times. Highly recommended.
I approached Stephen with a sentimental favourite book to rebind and he suggested it might be a nice project to rebind it myself. Stephen has a great way of encouraging creativity in the process and has a great eye for what will work best with the document. I enjoyed every moment of working with him in his studio and watching his own work was incredibly inspiring. The whole process felt less like learning a process and more like exploring a sea of options and possibilities, with an able navigator at the helm. What began as a single book has grown to a small library of 15 and I look forward to binding some more in the near future.
My colleagues and I booked Stephen to come and do a book binding workshop for us at out school, so that we could get together and spend some quality time learning something new, purposeful and artistic. This opened our eyes to the beauty o book binding, such a traditional craft that can sometimes be given for granted. It was very nice to connect to the process of making a book from beginning to end, and I really enjoyed each one of the processes. Stephen held the space in a patient, professional, gentle way, giving clear instructions and individual support when needed. He had a great selection of different materials that could be used, and allowed us to explore different methods including Marbelling the paper, Stamping with an old press, Hand stitching the paper together... all of which was great fun! We all left with a stunning, unique, artistic and useful book that holds many beautiful memories. What I love about this course, is that it gave me the skills to be able to carry on at home. Stephen is also able to take you further, and help you to restore really old books. What an art! Thank you Stephen for this wonderful opportunity to learn to book bind. Many Thanks. Nereida
I bought a journal for my cousin's 30th birthday, hopping that this could come in handy for her to use daily even at work. So I decided to give the journal more sophisticated and antique look by bookbinding it for she was quite an artistic person. For choosing the cover of the journal, from his numerous collection, Stephen helped me to select an very old property document, which was handwritten in artistic legible script and with a lovely stamp on it. He also provided his aesthetic advice when I couldn't decide which part of the document I would like to use because it was so beautiful. Later on in each step, Stephen was like this: listened carefully to my needs and ideas and was very patient to guide me until I complete the whole process. The atmosphere in his studio was very relaxing and it was very pleasant to have his company for he is the man with lots of great stories. I enjoyed the bookbinding work a lot and was very satisfied with the work I'd done. Thank you Stephen!