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At Dillington House in Somerset a number of bookbinding courses run throughout the year. Angela Sutton teaches three sessions, usually in March, June and November, lasting from Monday lunchtime to Friday lunchtime, which gives students two half and three full days when they may work on any project they wish.

This means that at any time one person may be working on gold tooling, another on paring leather and completing a leather binding, and yet another paper repair. Angela usually suggests a special subject which she demonstrates, and perhaps give an evening talk on, such as tooling, repair or leather work, and people can try this if they want to.

The studio at Dillington House

The great thing about the time at Dillington House is that you can concentrate totally on your work for the week. Students find they make good progress, as they are not trying to remember what they did the week before last, but are able to build on what they learn. You will also make good friends, and come back encouraged to continue to practise this wonderful but endangered craft.

Other courses take place in May, with Sarah Jarrett Kerr, and in September when we ask a visiting tutor to run a particular course; Dominic Riley has taught Cambridge panel binding on a full calf binding, Michael Burke has taught paper repair, and Di Illingworth Cook has concentrated on fastenings. Paul Johnson also comes to Dillington to teach his amazing book structures.

Dillington House grounds
Angela Sutton at work

Most students are at intermediate level and are filling gaps in their knowledge, and some will have done Sarah Jarrett Kerr's beginners' weekend course in January. However, if complete beginners want to join in I can accommodate them and take them through the stages of pulling, guarding, sewing and making a case-binding. If they have done this and want to progress to leather we can complete a quarter-leather binding, with 'made' endpapers and headbands, all within the week.

The studio is an excellent work space with good light, and well-equipped with presses, sewing frames and basic materials. We have the room to ourselves for the week, so projects and tools can be left overnight, and you may work in there any time you like. The food is excellent, the rooms are comfortable, and the surroundings of the house are idyllic; the gardens are extensive and there are a number of footpaths for walks in the park or through woods and farmland.

The picture below shows work done by students during the course in June 2018.

Students' achievements at Dillington House

Do come and join us so that Dillington House can continue to be a great centre for learning bookbinding at all levels. Click the image below for further information.

Click for Dillington House website

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