Designer Bookbinders Annual UK Bookbinding Competition 2017

Emily Dickinson: Selected Poems
Introduction by Lavinia Greenlaw

The Folio edition is 216x138mm, 160 pages. It is a beautifully presented collection that celebrates the radical style of a visionary American poet. Integrated wood engravings by Jane Lydbury draw on Dickinson’s love of nature.

The cost of the set book is £25 (to Members) and £30 for non-members to include packing, postage and entrance fee. To obtain a copy of the 2017 set book and entry details, please go to the DB website.

Every entrant must bind the set book but we welcome open-choice books and artist’s books. The closing date for entries will be October 14th 2017.

The Bookbinding Competition is sponsored by Designer Bookbinders and The Folio Society and is open to anyone resident in the UK with the exception of Fellows of Designer Bookbinders.

Holidays 2016/17

We are closed for all UK Bank/Public holidays.

The tannery will be closed between the following dates:





Close Friday 23rd December – open Tuesday 3rd January 2017


Easter. close Thursday 13th April – -open Wednesday 19th April

Spring. close Friday 276th May – open Monday 5th June

Summer. close Friday 21st July –  open Monday 7th August

Autumn. close Friday 20th October – open Monday 30th October

Christmas. close Friday 22nd December – -open Tuesday 2nd January 2018






La Vita nuova
bound by Bec Britain

Winner of the Harmatan Leather Prize at the 2016 Designer Bookbinders Annual Bookbinding Competititon.

With onlays, tooling and ink. The design reflects Dante’s evolving sense of the limitations of courtly love and its transition into sacred love. The nine bronze stars represent Dante and Beatrice who are both aged nine when they first meet.

Vacancy at Temple Bookbinders

A new, challenging and exciting role in hand bookbinding and gold finishing.

If you are a qualified hand bookbinder with experience we would love to hear from you. We have a vacancy at Temple Bookbinders of Oxford. Full time hours of 37.5 hours or part time hours Monday –Friday with flexibility around the 08 00 -16 30 business’ open hours.

We are privileged to be Royal Warrant holders to HM The Queen as Hand book binders. In early Spring 2017 we are moving the business to a purpose built, new building in Yarnton near Woodstock Oxford. With the opportunity of a new job, for the New Year, in a custom built new building.

Set in a beautiful Grade II listed historic farm setting; the new bindery will give you a chance to share in our traditional skills and bookbinding crafts. Improved infrastructure and travelling now e.g. with fewer traffic problems, (being 4 miles north of Oxford), the brand new Chiltern Rail Link at Parkway Oxford linking London Marylebone with Oxford; the Park and Ride too, makes travelling easier. The Woodstock bus route S3 passes the bindery along the Cassington Road. Public transport is not a problem.

Parking onsite is free and unrestricted too, so driving is easy. Yarnton is a small, pretty village offering a calm and pleasant working environment.

Please visit our website to explore all the traditional skills we offer our client base,

Call Ian or Pauline to arrange an informal interview, on 01865 451940 or if you have any queries email us on

Latitude, Longitude, Elevation

Where are you, where were you, where do you want to be – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, or in your imagination?

These three elements, latitude, longitude, elevation, are a set of coordinates that enable every location on the earth to be specified. Apply these elements to you own personal geography.

A juried book show in July & August 2016 at Valley Art Association gallery in Forest Grove, Oregon. Sponsored by The Focus on Book Arts Conference. This exhibit is open to book and paper artists.

• Artist books, sculptural books, book objects are welcome.
• All books should have been created within the past two years.
• Please, no books created as a class project in a teaching classroom situation.
• You may enter two books.
• All books will be available for the public to touch and handle. No books will be under glass.
• All books must be for sale. The gallery takes a 35% commission.

ENTRY FEE: $20.00 in US funds

Submission Deadline:     March 1, 2016
Acceptance Notifications:     April 1, 2016
Accepted books arrive between:     June 20-27. 2016

For complete entry information and forms or questions go to:

Suede splits

A selection of suede splits all from goatskins, in several colours are available for sale.

These will be on offer at the tannery stock room, and at trade fairs.

The Explorer Notebook


This book has been hand crafted in Wiltshire by Veterans working for the Wiltshire Barn Project. By buying this book you are contributing directly to the rehabilitation and well-being of Veterans, some of whom have only recently been evacuated from Afghanistan.

The Wiltshire Barn Project is a craft‑based training and employment charity for Veterans of all three Services. The Project is based in the Daffodil Barn near Pewsey, Wiltshire, and uses the therapeutic qualities of hand bookbinding to assist casualty rehabilitation and to develop employment opportunities.

Calf skin supplied by Harmatan.

Available from:
The Wiltshire Barn Project, SN9 5PF
Tel: 01672 851979
Registered Charity No 1149583

Harmatan and Oakridge Leathers Representation at Trade Fairs


Cologne Bookbinders Trade Fair. Engelshof, Oberstrasse 96. D-51149 Cologne.

2017 to be confirmed.



Society of Bookbinders.


University of Keele 3rd August until Saturday 5th August.

Further details  can be found at

Regional Meetings.

London Region. Kelly Street Congregational Meeting Rooms. Kentish Town, London Saturday 3rd December 2016.

East Anglian Region. Linton Village Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire. Saturday 28th January 2018.



The Guild of Bookworkers, Standards of Excellence Conference

24th – 29th October 2017. Tacoma, Washington State. Hotel Murano

  More information:



Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th November 2016 St. Pieterkerk, Leiden, The Netherlands

Bookbinding, calligraphy, printing, paper-makers, demonstrations.




Sunday 9th April2017

‘t bauhaus, St.Niklaas, near Antwerp

More information:

Dorset bookbinder selected by Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden in her campaign to buy British this Christmas.

Dragons’ Den investor Deborah Meaden aims to buy her Christmas presents from British businesses this year and is using Twitter to tell the world which she thinks is the best.

In her take on the Twelve Days of Christmas, each evening Deborah selects a British manufacturer to promote to her 35,000 plus Twitter followers in her ‘Twelve Tweets of Christmas’ project. Her criteria is top quality British made goods that would make ideal Christmas presents.

Deborah’s Seventh Tweet of Christmas on the 12th of December went to local bookbinder Susan Green of Susan Green Books, for “very stylish hand bound books and journals”.

From her home studio in Colehill near Wimborne in Dorset, Susan combines quality materials, traditional skills and designs both historical and contemporary to make a variety of books to suit a range of budgets and tastes, including guestbooks, notebooks, travel journals and miniatures.

Susan’s most recent commission was for the Donmar Warehouse theatre in the West End who required a guestbook in their corporate colours, using a 15th century binding known as Longstitch with Linkstitch.

Susan believes that whilst her attention to detail and quality materials set her apart from the rest, she is keen to point out that it’s worth buying hand made notebooks because they last a lifetime, plus Susan offers a refill service.

“Deborah is a great champion of small businesses, and a well known and well respected business figure in Britain, so it’s beyond wonderful to be included in her ‘buy British, help jobs’ campaign on Twitter this Christmas”, says Susan, who uses Twitter daily to keep in touch with her customers and other Dorset businesses.

Goat accused of robbery

Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted robbery.

Vigilantes seized the black and white goat, saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into an animal to escape after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

A spokeman for police in the eastern state of Kwara said: ‘The goat is in our custody. Vigilantes saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. One escaped while the other turned into a goat’.

Daily Mail, saturday 25/01/2009. Also reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Delivery Times

Please allow up to 28 days from date of placing order for delivery.

A good amount of stock is kept at the tannery, but for larger orders/quantities please allow sufficient time!

Many of our leathers are made to order – especially upholstery skins, Kaduna, Morocco grain and Katsina.

The 3 Grades of Fine Leather

All of the goatskins in the Harmatan Fine Leather range are selected, tanned in Sumac and dyed in to our vast range of colours. When ‘finished’ the skins are then sorted/selected into the 3 selling grades.

Grade 1. Every single part of the skin is usable with no marks. These skins are now virtually impossible to find in Northern Nigeria due to the increased use of barbed wire (the animals sratch/itch themselves against wire,tree stumps anything !).

Grade 2. Small number of naturally occuring marks mainly towards the outside edges of the skins. They are suitable for full binding work etc.

Grade 3. An even greater number of natural marks and scratches but still very usable for small full binding, half or quarter style bindings. If you wish to give us a cut size or provide us with a template we will probably be able to find a skin from this selection and save yourself some money.

Please do remember that all our skins bought via ‘Fair Trade’ in Northern Nigeria are all free range!

The animals do roam freely most of the time (except when fields are planted, or not harvested). Leather is a natural product, therefore it bears natural characteristics such as grain variation, growth and bush marks and when seen on the finished product indicate that it is a totally natural grain and not a machine embossed one!

Leather Thinning/Splitting Services .

Harmatan – GB £100 per hour ex VAT. Minimum charge time 1/2 hour.

No liability will be accepted for any damage, thickness variation, inability to split due to tannage irregularities on leather not produced by Harmatan Ltd.

Hohenforst Splitting Co
152-4 W.Fulton Street
tel:518 725 0012

Yves Orbach
132, rue R.Vandeveldestraat
B-1030 Brussels
tel: 02 242 5789.

Shepherds Bookbindery Ltd
Units 107/108
30,Great Guildford Street
tel: 0207 620 0060