Designer Bookbinders’ First International Competition

Designer Bookbinders is a British society of bookbinders and they just held their first international competition at the Bodleian Library. Entrants were asked to interpret the theme of water, a very relevant topic as fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce due to overuse, pollution, deforestation, and climate change.

A total of 117 books were exhibited, and you can see the prize-winning books here. My favourite is by George Kirkpatrick. It’s not watery-looking like most of the others but I think it best emphasizes the life-giving nature of water. The idea is that a drop of water lands on the arid-looking front cover, seeps through, and causes a sudden eruption of vegetative growth on the back, including a golden shoot which clasps the book together. Wonderful.

via @asteger


14 comments on “Designer Bookbinders’ First International Competition

  1. CarolA says:

    These are so beautiful! I am very tempted to take this up as a hobby when I retire. Well, at least it will be something to do with all those old books that occupy a big area of my house.
    I'll bet all these people are very popular with their family at Christmas time, what a lovely present to receive.

  2. Sylvia says:

    What an excellent idea for retirement! I hope you give in to temptation. 🙂

  3. wil says:

    Cool. I like George Kirkpatrick's best as well. I also like Jana Kaden's and Lore Hübotter's.

  4. Sylvia says:

    I liked Jana Kaden's too. It sort of reminds me of “One Morning in Maine.”

  5. Stefanie says:

    They are all so beautiful but I think I like Kirkpatrick's best too.

  6. George Kirkpatrick says:

    What a surprise !
    I had not now this was on here for the first time. Unfortunately after I made this binding I had a serious stroke and it has taken several years to learn how to read and write again. But I soon will be able to do more work Thank you .

    • Sylvia says:

      Hello George! I’m terribly sorry to hear about your stroke. I’m glad you are recovering and planning to return to your artwork. I hope to see more of your beautiful books! I really love the one you did on Water. It is so full of hope and appreciation of the gift of water. Thank you!

      • George Kirkpatrick says:

        What a delightful letter ! Thank you. I have done very well now and I can do most things but slowly. However I am glad to tell you that I have entered for the next competition for the International book. It has been judged but you won’t be see any of them until June this summer in the Bodleian. So you never know !
        Thank you

      • Sylvia says:

        That is good news! Good luck with the competition. I’ll keep an eye out for it this summer. Thanks for writing!

  7. George Kirkpatrick says:

    The exhibition will be open on the 11 June, Oxford. . . . . ! ! ! ? ? ? . . .

  8. George Kirkpatrick says:

    Well thank you. The exhibition in Oxford is now finish but it just about to the next one in London. You should be able to see the 25 prizes winners showing them in “Designer Bookbinders Internation Compentation 2013

    • Sylvia says:

      Thank you for letting me know. I love what you did with The Tempest. So lively and colourful! I’ll have to blog about it. Congratulations on being named a Distinguished Winner. 🙂

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