During childhood years I was always interested in anything crafty. Many happy hours were spent sewing, making and furnishing dolls houses and getting underfoot in the wood workshop. Over the years I’ve experimented with many crafts including machine knitting, candle making and woodturning, which I still play with from time to time.
I have a wonderful Finnish Design Binder, Mia Leijonstedt, to thank for setting me off on my journey of discovery into the world of bookbinding in 2004. I discovered Mia's web page whilst searching for someone to bind some of my penguin and iceberg photographs, following a trip to Antarctica. How could one help but to immediately fall in love with Mia's gorgeous bindings. It intrigued me that she ran short courses and I thought ‘why not give it a go?' So I did and confess I have been hooked ever since and so began a course of independent study. After completing several courses with Mia before she moved to Dubai, a fellow student introduced me to John Jameson's monthly workshops, where soaked up John's endless guidance in all the techniques and skills required in any good bindery. For a short while I also joined Lori Sauer’s Salisbury Book Crafts group. For several years I helped out at Shepherds Bookbinders at their Daffodil Barn in Woodborough making diaries, journals and boxes and then teaching their workshops for Beginners. I helped to create the curriculum for the City & Guilds Bookbinding qualification when it was resurrected in 2014 and now teach levels 1 & 2. (level 3 is currently being developed)
As a keen member of the Society of Bookbinders I soak up all they have to offer and love nothing better than attending workshops and courses; swapping ideas and inspiration with other binders and artists and sharing my knowledge as skills with others. My current experiments involve all things paper, calligraphy, felting and machine embroidery and I am keen to develop the content as well as the binding.
My books are made with love using both modern and traditional techniques both for sale and for competition. I do not do any conservation or restoration work but will rebind old books in new covers.
They say every person could write a book. Well I say every person could bind a book! It is just so satisfying to create something, creating a book is amazing, captivating and addictive. Once you start you won't be able to stop.
I'm passionate about getting other people started on this wonderful craft, whether it is just to create your own notebooks, journals & albums or to set you on the path to becoming a fine binder or book restorer. Based at my studio in Devon, UK, I am available to teach traditional or more contemporary book structures whether just for fun or to get City & Guilds Design and Craft - Bookbinding Level 1 and/or Level 2 qualifications. Contact me to arrange the when and where.
I'm Diana Illingworth-Cook and I confess I'm an addict. Yes, I'm completely addicted to bookbinding and all things made with paper and I want to get you hooked too.
"Water" - Fused glass cover with silk waterfall.
Designer Bookbinders International Bookbinding Competition 2009 'Bound for Success' In Association with the Bodleian Library, Oxford, Great Britain
Not a prize winner, but selected as one of 125 entries for the touring exhibition Oxford, Boston, San Fransisco & New York
City & Guilds 730 – Further Education Teaching Certificate 1980
City & Guilds – Levels 1 & 2 Design & Craft, Bookbinding 2013