We are so excited to have Joe Dixon joining our teaching team with his bookbinding classes at our West Hampstead shop. Joe is a London-based bookbinding tutor, book restorer and producer of bespoke hand bound products. Read on to find out more about Joe and his upcoming classes!
Q: How did you first discover your love for bookbinding and who taught you the art?
A: I studied art at University and afterwards started to work at a fine paper shop, it also sold bookbinding materials. I got the bug and simply taught myself from books, making a lot of mistakes along the way. In the ten years I have been teaching bookbinding I have been able to meet some fantastic binders and learn from them along the way. I find bookbinding very creative as I feel it is a fine balance of both construction and design.
Q: What are your preferred materials to work with and why?
A: The huge selection of decorative papers available now means you can create some beautiful bindings at a very reasonable price. I enjoy finding different patterns and designs to use in my own bindings and workshops. The most rewarding material would be leather as it is difficult to work with but gives the book a great feel and look.
Q: We are really looking forward to your upcoming classes. Tell us a bit about what students can expect.
A: Students will leave with the skills needed to create their own small single signature hard back binding with a quarter bound cover using cloth and decorative paper. All steps are completed by the students including sewing, trimming and gluing all materials. Notes will be sent out via email after the course.
Q: What is your favourite book you have worked on and why?
A: I have been able to restore a great deal of fantastic binding over the year and it been a privilege to handle some of these books. I have recently worked on a first edition of Lord of the Rings which was a great project to work on.
Q: What one craft tool could you not live without?
A: I use a teflon folder which is used in the same way as a traditional bone folder, but does not burnish and is non stick. Such a brilliant tool to work with.
Q: Describe your style in 5 words.
A: Simple, Affective, Bold, Contemporary, Traditional