cambridge contemporary crafts

Edel Hopkin

Edel completed a modern, informal apprenticeship in bookbinding in Cambridge, where learning was undertaken alongside long-established book craftsmen and conservators whose daily lives involve delving into the town’s unique libraries, both private and public.  This later-life career change began with teenage dabbling with traditional Italianate papers and was subsequently developed whilst living in Asia and working with the wonderful Japanese papers so readily available.

Bringing together ancient skills with contemporary crispness and an East meets West flavour, Edel now experiments with a variety of bindings and coverings – Coptic with Chiyogami, case-bound with traditional Cambridge-made Cockrell marbled papers, contemporary leathers with Chiyogami, traditional leather with Chinese fastenings.

Wherever possible, Edel uses local handmarbled paper which include Payhembury and some of the few remaining Cockerell papers. As well as making books, Edel also teaches classes where you can learn to make your own beautiful books so you will never again be short of a notebook or beautiful gift!

All books can be personalised with initials or titles and individual commissions are welcome. Also for more information on upcoming bookbinding classes  – please ask a member of staff.


The works illustrated below are intended to give you a taste of what the gallery has to offer, please email us on,uk or call us on 01223 361200 to find out which pieces are currently available.