Black Fox Bindery About Us

about.

Black Fox Bindery, based in North London, is owned and run by Nicky Oliver. She has combined her knowledge from an art education in illustration and surface design with professional bookbinding craft skills gained during 15 years of commercial experience to produce beautiful design bindings, boxes, limited editions and so much more.

She is an active member of both Society of Bookbinders and Designer Bookbinders. She is also a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders, UK organisations whose main goals are the maintenance and improvement of standards of design and craft in the book arts. She regularly enters National and International Competitions and has won several awards.

Her education began in surface design and illustration and progressed to bookbinding where she felt she could combine her creative techniques with a craft that she loves. 

She has over 15 years experience working in commercial binderies where she honed a range of skills that include bookbinding, box-making, labels and blocking, inlay and onlay work, full leather and small-run limited edition bindings.

Nicky specialises in the dyeing of her own leather for her design pieces, this aspect of her practice has enabled her to collaborate with other craftspeople. She welcomes the unity of different disciplines to create unique pieces of work. 

Black Fox Bindery also plays host to various bookbinding workshops from beginner taster classes to advanced decorative techniques. These workshops are either taught by her or a guest tutor. Keeping the craft of bookbinding alive is of great importance and the primary reason why Black Fox Bindery was established. 


EDUCATION & TRAINING


2015 – 1wk
Centro del bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland
Attended 1 week course: Gold Tooling Today – Edwin Heim

2014 – 1wk
Centro del bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland
Attended 1 week course: Books and boxes with magnetic closures – Nadine Werner               

2013 – 
Master Classes

Peter Jones 2 days Onlays, Inlays & Scarf Joints
David Sellars 2 days Approach to Design
Sue Doggett 2 days How do we ‘design’ for ‘design bindings’

2012
Master Classes

Stuart Brockman 3 day Fine Binding
Flora Ginn 2 day Gold Tooling

2010 – 2wks
Centro del bel Libro, Ascona, Switzerland

Attended 3 one week courses: Onlay & Inlay workshop; Slipcase & box making workshop, Books and Boxes with Magnetic closures workshop.

2003–2014
Studio 5 Bookbinding Studio, London

Various binding techniques, including finishing, leather dyeing, printing and relief work, onlay & inlay work, different box making styles

19992001
Higher National Diploma Bookbinding

London College of Printing (Part-time)

19992000
Shepherds Bindery

Attended evening classes in Gold Finishing

1995–1998
BA Graphic Design and Illustration

Bath Spa University College

1994–1995
National Diploma Foundation Studies in Art and Design

Yeovil College for Higher Education 


AWARDS & PRIZES


2016
Best Creative Binding Category
Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition

2015
Highly Commended – Maker of the Year
Heritage Craft Association

2014
Best Craft Binding Overall Category
Elizabeth Soutar Bookbinding Competition

Folio Society Second Prize Set Book
Designer Bookbinders Competition

2013
Distinguished Winner – Shakespeare Trophy
Designer Bookbinders International Competition

2012 
Friends of the John Rylands Library Prize for Finishing
Designer Bookbinders Competition

2010
First Prize Open Choice Book
Folio Society First Prize Set Book
Edgar Mansfield Silver Medal
Designer Bookbinders Competition

2009
Friends of the John Rylands Library Prize for Finishing
Designer Bookbinders Competition

2008
Folio Society Second Prize Set Book
Designer Bookbinders Competition

2001
P&S Engraving award for Gold Finishing
London College of Printing


PRESENTATIONS


2016
Two Tray Drop Back Box Masterclass
Society of Bookbinders East Anglia Region

2015
Leather Dyeing Techniques Demonstration Lecture 
SCK Czech Bookbinders Conference, Rosice in Brna.

Leather Dyeing Techniques Workshop
Box Making Workshop
Headbanding Workshop
Beginners Bookbinding Workshop

Book Conservation Services, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia

2014
Onlays & Inlays Masterclass
Society of Bookbinders, South West Region

Leather Dyeing Techniques Demonstration Lecture 
Society of Bookbinders Seminar, Cirencester

2013
Headbanding Masterclass 
Society of Bookbinders, North Wales & North West Region

Box-in-a-Box Masterclass
Designer Bookbinders & Society of Bookbinders Joint Workshops, London

2012
Box-in-a-Day Masterclass
Society of Bookbinders, London Region  

Leather Surface Decoration Masterclass 
Designer Bookbinders & Society of Bookbinders Joint Workshops, London (January & November)

2010
Lecture and demonstration “A Simple Approach to Creative Onlays” 
Society of Bookbinders Education and Training Seminar

2008
Headbanding Masterclass
Society of Bookbinders

2006
Leather Onlays Masterclass 
Society of Bookbinders, London Region