Knowing I lov’d books, he furnish’d me from mine own library with volumes that I prize above my dukedom. The Tempest, 1, ii, 166
With Shakespeare as the inspiration for Designer Bookbinders 2nd International Competition, this lavish catalogue features contemporary design on the subject of the Great Bard from some of the best binders worldwide. A sister volume to the previous Bound for Success catalogue in 2009, it beautifully illustrates all 253 entries from this prestigious competition held again by Designer Bookbinders at the Bodleian Library, Oxford in 2013. This publication is not only a celebration of the prize-winners and a companion to the exhibition at the Bodleian Library, but also an invaluable record and impressive showcase of the creativity, skill and craftsmanship of a thriving bookbinding community throughout the world in the twenty-first century.
Jeanette Koch is an active member of Designer Bookbinders and currently serves on the Society's Executive Committee, as well as on the Editorial Board of The New Bookbinder.
Her work is held in private collections in the United Kingdom, Germany, USA and in the Alec Taylor Collection housed at The British Library.
Introduction to the book by Stephen Conway:
This year sees one of our most ambitious projects materialize, our second International Competition, after the success of our first International Competition, held in 2009 in collaboration with the Bodleian library, it was felt that the project should continue in the hope that it might become a regular feature in the Designer Bookbinders calendar.
As with anything the second time round, one has the benefit of hindsight. The first International Competition followed the same formal as our annual bookbinding competition and provided a set book In an effort to stimulate creativity and provide the binder with more freedom, it was felt that a themed competition might provide such a platform. It was but a short step in deciding to take the greatest of all national treasures, William Shakespeare, as the theme. Looking at the wide diversity of bindings in this catalogue, I’m sure you will agree that the right decision was made.
One of the most exciting things about an International Competition is the opportunity to see how bookbinders from all over the world respond to a given theme. This raises several questions, most interestingly, is there such a thing as a national identity and style? With worldwide travel now routine, and Internet access available to all, opportunities for development have never been easier. Does this mean that national styles and identities are slowly disappearing, or does this mean the creation of a new style, an international style?
Several binders from Europe and Southeast Asia are now resident in Britain and have become exhibiting members of Designer Bookbinders. This eclectic diversity of styles and influences has helped the Society to move in new and exciting directions. Preconceived ideas of what represents national bookbinding are, in the light of global development, being constantly challenged, and the prospect of global bookbinding takes us into exciting uncharted territory, no doubt raising as many questions as it answers.
Organizing an event such as this is a huge undertaking, particularly when one thinks about the logistics of exhibiting in several European venues, concluding with three venues in Japan. I would like to thank Jeanette Koch and Lester Capon for taking on this responsibility on behalf of Designer Bookbinders.
The Bodleian Library has also played a huge part in bringing this project to fruition, particularly the production of this wonderful catalogue and, of course, providing us with the opening venue for the touring exhibition.
On behalf of Designer Bookbinders, I would like to thank Richard Ovenden and
his staff, Madeline Slaven and her exhibition team, and Deborah Susman, Samuel Fanous, and all in their publications department. Their commitment and close eye to detail at all levels have contributed enormously to the success of this undertaking.
Our sincere thanks also go to the hard-working Judges, and to Maggs Bros for sponsoring again the silver prizes which go to the Distinguished winners.
Our thanks go especially to Mark Getty, whose continued generous sponsorship of the Competition, and support generally for the art of hand bookbinding, like his father Sir Paul Getty before him, has ensured such a wonderful exhibition.
Finally, I would like to congratulate the winners and, just as importantly, to thank all those binders who entered. I hope everyone enjoyed the experience and I look forward to meeting as many binders as possible over the coming months as the exhibition travels around the world. Stephen Conway, President of Designer Bookbinders
A follow-on to the successful Exhibition in 2009, this catalogue contains over 250 images of book-bindings that where entered in this competition by 253 bookbinders from 30 different countries. The theme or the competition was “Shakespeare” and the variety of different solutions is amazing. Bookbinders will love not only this book but the catalogue for the 2009 catalogue, Bound for Success too.
1st edition, 2013. hardback, 96pp, with over 250 illustrations, full colour throughout, 20 x 27.3cm