Sollas Bookbinding is a small artisan book binding studio in the Outer Hebrides.
The first time I saw a bookbindery from the inside was at the beginning of the summer of 1994. It was a small bookbinding workshop in Berlin. I asked whether I could help out and to my surprise the answer was yes and so I stayed for the summer, learning some of the basics of the craft. Since then I have deepened my knowledge by learning from Sylvia Juhl, a master book binder from Salzwedel in Germany. In 2004 I established my own workshop in Sollas, North Uist, in the Outer Hebrides.
The joy of bookbinding is the wide variety of work that fills every day in the studio:
- Books and boxes made to order and for sale
- One-to-one or group workshop tuition in different bookbinding and box making techniques
- Repair and rebinding of old and new books
- Bespoke commissions of books, boxes or presentation portfolios
- Elegant menu folders for restaurants, hotels and cafes
- Book kits with everything in them to make a book yourself
- Bespoke kids doodle books
I love living and working in Sollas and the patterns and colours of my surroundings here find their way into my work. And so does the way of life itself. As one of the islands of the Outer Hebrides, North Uist has many visitors during the summer months and a number of them love to explore their creativity during their stay. This gives me the chance to offer workshops to both adults and children which have become an integral part to the work I do as a bookbinder. Feel free to email me to arrange for group workshops or individual one-to-one tuition.
My books and boxes are made employing traditional bookbinding techniques which I love adhering to closely. I do however also want to give my work its very own style and feel. This I achieve through hand crafting the wax paper I then use to cover the objects I make. Many layers of ink, dyes and wax ensure a rich and deep texture which at times is evocative of sea, sand and rock patterns and at other times a mere aesthetic expression. This makes my books and boxes attractive and sturdy at the same time.
The use of quality cartridge paper for the book blocks makes the books ideal for sketching, taking notes or keeping thoughts.
The boxes make beautiful homes to jewellery, photographs, artist’s tools, letters and all kind of other treasures.
Each item is individually hand-crafted, making it an ideal ‘special’ gift. I am also very happy to make both books and boxes to order.