Kathy Abbott served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding and then gained a Higher National Diploma from the London College of Printing, London (UK) followed by a BA (Hons) degree in Bookbinding from Roehampton University, Surrey (UK). She teaches advanced level Fine Binding at the City Lit, London and conducts bookbinding workshops across the UK and overseas. She is a partner in Benchmark Bindery, established in 2009 with Tracey Rowledge, a founder member of the group: Tomorrow’s Past and is the author of Bookbinding: A step-by-step guide, published by the Crowood Press in 2010.
Michael Burke studied Chemistry at Leeds University, going on to work in Occupational Health and Safety. He later moved to California and studied bookbinding with Dominic Riley and paper conservation with Karen Zukor. He now lives in the Lake District, where he teaches bookbinding. In recent years he has demonstrated at several Society of Bookbinders’ conferences, and taught many workshops for both SoB and Designer Bookbinders across the UK. He has presented at the Guild of Bookworkers Standards Seminar in the USA, and conducted teaching tours in Australia, New Zealand and Brazil. Last summer he taught at Montfiascone in Italy. Each year he teaches summer school at the San Francisco Center for the Book, and across the USA. Michael has a particular interest in the structures of ancient and medieval bindings, and has a Masters degree in the History of the Book from the University of London.
Nicky discovered bookbinding while studying for a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration (1996) and has pursued the craft ever since. After having worked for several years in various trade binderies she established her own business, Black Fox Bindery, London (2009). In 2010, Nicky was elected Licentiate of the Designer Bookbinders, UK. In the same year she won the ‘Silver Triple’: First prize Open Book; Folio Society first prize; and the Edgar Mansfield Silver Medal. She was elected a Fellow of the Designer Bookbinders in 2016. Many of her pieces are held in public collections including The John Ryland Library, Manchester, Elizabeth Soutar Library, Edinburgh, and The British Library, London, and private collections. Nicky has presented lectures and delivered workshops on various binding and decorative techniques in the UK, Europe, Australia and more recently the USA.
Philippa Räder is Head of the Royal Bindery at Windsor Castle, responsible for the preservation and conservation of books, manuscripts and archives within the Royal Collection and Royal Household, as well as the production of new fine binding work, primarily for presentation as state and other official gifts. Initially trained at the Getty Research Institute in California and subsequently holding positions at The Huntington Library, California and The National Archives (UK) before joining the staff of the Royal Collection, she is an Accredited Conservator-Restorer through the Institute of Conservation and a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation. Philippa also directs The Queen’s Bindery Apprenticeship Scheme: a pilot programme of a new five-year apprenticeship in hand bookbinding based in the Royal Bindery, funded and supported by a wide group of charities and institutions. In addition to regularly presenting at national and international conferences and seminars, she is Chairman of the London & South region of the Society of Bookbinders and co-founder of Book Camp residential summer bookbinding classes.
Dieter Räder has been binding books for the past 40 years. He started by serving a full apprenticeship in Germany, followed by a year teaching then employment as a bookbinder in Marseilles and Vienna. Arriving in the UK for a holiday in 1983, he decided to stay and worked in London for two years under the guidance of Robert Green, specialising in the restoration of antiquarian books and fine bindings. In the early 1990s he opened his own bindery in Somerset which he ran for over eighteen years. After a move back to London, Dieter was engaged in establishing and managing the new fine binding and restoration department of a commercial bindery in west London. Deciding to return to self-employment in the Wiltshire countryside in 2017, he opened Dragon Press Bindery Ltd, where he also hosts Book Camp and local workshops. Dieter’s clients for bookbinding and book restoration projects range from private collectors, booksellers and film producers (for props) to major university libraries, museums and the Royal Collection. He frequently teaches masterclasses and demonstrates at Society of Bookbinders educational and training seminars.
Dominic Riley is a bookbinder, lecturer and teacher. He studied Art History and English at Leeds University, and bookbinding at the London College of Printing. He lived for ten years in San Francisco, where he founded the bookbinding programme at the Center for the Book: he returns there each summer to teach. He has his bindery in the Lake District, from where he travels across the UK teaching and lecturing. He specializes in restoration and design binding, and has won many prizes in various competitions. He was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2008. His bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library, the Grolier Club in New York and the V&A. In 2013 he won first prize, the Sir Paul Getty Award, in the International Bookbinding Competition. Dominic co-founded both the SoB Seminar and the SoB/DB joint workshop series. He is President of the Society of Bookbinders.