In Parallel - three contemporary bookbinders

Kathy Abbott | Jen Lindsay | Tracey Rowledge

In Parallel reflects three individual responses to the aims of bookbinding: to protect the book and to enhance it.

Bookbinding is an unique artform, taking as its starting point a pre-existing object: the printed book.

The bookbinder’s response to its physical properties and to its literary content lies at the heart of bookbinding: it is the delicate balance between the practical and the aesthetic which defines their art.

Kathy Abbott

Kathy Abbott served a four-year apprenticeship in bookbinding and then gained an HND from the London College of Printing, followed by a BA (Hons) Bookbinding from Roehampton University. She is a partner of Benchmark Bindery, set up in 2009 with Tracey Rowledge. She teaches at the City Lit and West Dean College and conducts many workshops across the UK. She is 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.

Image of Hudibras

by Samuel Butler
Published in London, 1817
133 x 77 x 24mm
Bound 2010
A conservation binding in hand-coloured hand-made paper.
Photograpy by Prudence Cumings Associates Ltd

Image of Poems & Pieces 1911 to 1961

Poems & Pieces 1911 to 1961
by Frances Meynell
Published by Nonesuch Press (482 of 750), 1961
235 x 155 x 16mm
Bound 2011
Bound in chocolate brown goatskin with multi-coloured onlays.
Photograpy by Prudence Cumings Associates Ltd.

Jen Lindsay

Jen Lindsay is a bookbinder with extensive experience of teaching, lecturing and writing on bookbinding and the history of the book. After gaining a Certificate and Diploma in bookbinding at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts (1977-79) she worked as a freelance bookbinder and from1983 was bookbinding tutor at Roehampton Institute, London (now University of Roehampton). She was later (1994-2001) Programme Convener for the BA Calligraphy and the BA Bookbinding programmes at Roehampton. From 2001 to 2005 she was bookbinding tutor at The City Literary Institute, London. She is a founder member of the group Tomorrow's Past and in September 2009 her book, Fine Bookbinding: a technical guide, was published by The British Library and Oak Knoll Press.

Image of Kora & Ka

Kora & Ka
by HD (Hilda Doolittle)
Published by Bios Press, Berkeley, California, 1978. [Edition of 600]
200 x 95 x 9mm
Bound 2006
Semi-limp vellum binding with brush-painted title lettering by Sue Hufton.

Image of The Song of Roland

The Song of Roland
Unknown author: translated by Jessie Crosland from Oxford (Bodleian) MS Digby 23 (twelfth century)
Published in London: Chatto & Windus 1907
150 x 118 x 15mm
Bound 2007
Bound in alum-tawed goat with native-red onlays; rough gilt edges.

Tracey Rowledge

Tracey Rowledge’s practice is diverse: ranging across bookbinding, art and the applied arts. She has a BA Fine Art from Goldsmiths' College and a Diploma in Fine Bookbinding and Conservation from Guildford College of Further and Higher Education. Her work has been shown internationally and is held in various private and public collections.

Tracey is a partner in Benchmark Bindery with Kathy Abbott and she is a founding member of Tomorrow’s Past. She is also a founding member of the independent artists group 60|40, which was formed in 2008 with the ceramicist Clare Twomey and the silversmith David Clarke, to expand the environment and opportunities for the applied arts.

Image of Per Ardua MCMXIV - MCMXVIII

by Maurice Baring
Published by Seven Acres Press at Long Crendon 1924
174 x 250 x 13mm
Bound 2012
Bound in grey goatskin, rough edge gilt in Caplain gold leaf, sewn on a concertina with leather-jointed hand-coloured endpapers, rounded and backed and gold-tooled in Caplain gold leaf.
Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd

image of The Odyssey of Homer and The Battle of The Frogs and Mice

The Odyssey of Homer and The Battle of The Frogs and Mice [1807]
By Homer (translated by Alexander Pope)
78 x 127 x 29mm
Bound 2011
Bound in hand-coloured hand-made paper.
Photography by John Hammond

Further Information

Private View

29 September 2012, 4 - 7pm, contact the gallery on 01727 840043 for tickets


3 - 27 October 2012, Wednesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm or by appointment

Entry: Free

Download Invite

Location: Ian Rastrick Fine Art, 38 Holywell Hill, St Albans, Hertfordshire, AL1 1BU (View Google Map)