Over the last few weeks we conducted a series of case studies with clients who bring ethical, localised manufacturing to the forefront of their businesses. This week we speak to Ira from London Centre for Book Arts, which he co-founded alongside artist Simon Goode in 2012. The centre offers artists and makers that are outside of education with access to studio space, equipment and workshops.
Could you tell me a bit about London Centre for Book Arts, and where the idea to build an open-access studio came from?
London Centre for Book Arts is an artist-run, open-access studio devoted to book arts and artist-led publishing. The studio was started by two artists, Simon Goode and Ira Yonemura. After years of collecting equipment and machinery, and raising funds, we moved into our 1700 sq.ft. studio in the autumn of 2012. Soon after we moved in, we opened up our studio to the community and began our programme of teaching the craft of bookbinding and printing to the public, becoming the first centre of its kind in the UK.
We run regular workshops and courses at the studio and off-site at schools, universities, galleries, museums, and other venues. All of the equipment and facilities at the Centre are accessible to the public through our membership programme. We try our hardest to keep access affordable, and membership is open to anyone, whether they are artists, designers, craftspeople, or someone just wanting to make a one-off book.
Why is collaborative, ethical and local manufacturing such an integral part of your business?
When you’re a small business, the best thing that you can do is to create these kind of networks with other similar organisations and businesses and work together. I think we’ve always had a feeling that working with other people is better than working alone.
What are you most proud of and what do you hope to achieve next?
We’re proud of still being around after five years. We’re proud of the wonderful community that we’ve built around the studio.
Last year, a book that we wrote was published by Pavilion Books (along with US and Spanish editions). Making Books: a guide to creating hand-crafted books by the London Centre for Book Arts is now in its 2nd edition, and we’re amazed by the reception we’ve had for it so far.
Your Experience With Stitched Boxes
What features do you love most about Stitchedboxes and our service?
The quality is great, and super reliable. It’s a great business to work with.
Would you recommend us to other businesses?
Yes. And we probably have!