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Laura West
Laura West

About Me

Personal Statement

Having a particular fascination and interest in historical book structure Laura's first commission, undertaken while still at university, was making facsimile medieval bindings for a permanent exhibit at The British Library. However later exhibition work has taken an increasingly contemporary and more personal approach to the interpretation of historic and emerging book structures. Some earlier and multi-cultural book forms such as coptic, palm leaf and bark books she has found readily lend themselves to work done using contemporary materials though Laura continues to gain inspiration for her designs from the traditional and indigenous structures of the past.
"I want to take the form and structure of the book and continue its evolution in the digital era. To inspire journalists, observers, artists and bloggers - the new generation of book lovers."
With her unique approach to bookbinding she continues to realise books that have the timeless appeal of the artefact, from the Bauhaus inspired retro-futurism of Vector, the ancient calm of Dune and its startlingly contemporary companion Kashgar, while stopping along the way to pay quiet homage to the elite of the Renaissance.
Laura's studio, The Isle of Skye Bindery, also welcomes a wide range of bookbinding jobs, from limited editions to one-off commissions. Working to archival standards she specialises in traditional and contemporary handbound books of all types especially wedding and event books, visitors' books and journals, spring-back ledgers, library-style, family histories, guest books, albums and display portfolios. All the books are made using archival or acid free papers, board and leather and are built to last a lifetime.
Laura has a background in teaching and holds workshops in bookbinding locally and at university level. Her supportive approach to teaching involves using comprehensive printed notes alongside step-by-step demonstrations. Participants find her workshops challenging but immensely rewarding and take away not only treasured books but also genuine skills in bookbinding to enable them to make many more.
In 2005 she was invited to join judges of the Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition at the National Library of Scotland and then to teach a workshop at the Library before the awards ceremony. Later in 2005 she won a Balvenie Artisan of the Year Award for the "Best use of a Traditional Skill of Craft".

Year Established: June 1999


Scholarship: Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust 2001 / / Silver Award: Craft Exhibitions Award Scheme at the Royal Highland Show 2002 / / Highly Commended: Scottish Gift of the Year; Made In Scotland 2003

Laura West
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Laura West
Laura West

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