About MonkQuixote Press

Monk Quixote Press (originally Quixis Press) is a labour of love, and will probably take me the rest of my useful life to get to a point I am happy with the work that comes out of it.

I have always loved fiction, and books in particular. And when I say ‘books’ I mean the physical object. I love audiobooks, and I have worked in online publishing for most of my career, but it is the physical book that really makes my heart sing.

I have a long way to go, and a lot to learn. It took a while to get to this point, but I hope to become adept enough at printing and binding books that I might make a small contribution to the overall craft, or at least leave some physical objects behind as a legacy that might be considered beautiful, or at least ‘interesting’.

Tuition to date (excluding seminars and conferences):

  • Joe Dixon (@bookbindingjoe) at that cathedral of type St Brides started me on the journey making simple pamphlet books, flatbacks and a quarter bound leather book. I think the first evening course was in 2016.
  • Peter Smith had the misfortune to introduce me to wood engraving – something I am simply too clumsy for. But from here I ‘progressed’ to linocut, which is a much more forgiving.
  • I’ve done a couple of one-day letterpress courses – one at St Brides with Mick Clayton, and one at London Centre for Book Arts with Simon Goode. Letterpress (or rather working with tiny bits of type) is a bit of an acquired taste. I’ve yet to fully get the bug.
  • Mark Cockram (Studio 5 @markbookarts) taught me for three ‘terms’ in 2019. Mark is a wonderful English eccentric with a world and punk mindset. More importantly a superb binder and very good teacher.
  • Karen Hanmer introduced me to various leather decoration techniques via some occasionally surreal Zoom workshops ending at 1:30 am. I strongly recommend her history of the codex course, where over a few weeks you build a library / treasure trove of maquettes of binding styles from the past 1200 years or so. Great fun. And involves chisels.
  • As with many others, I lusted after Jeff Peachey tools so much i ended up doing a course with him. Another great fun course.
  • Arthur Green valiantly tried to get me to love a spokeshave.
  • I’ve bought and loved printed tutorials from Ben Elbel (Bookbinding Out of the Box)
  • Online I’ve completed courses by Eduardo Tarrico (strongly recommended if you speak Spanish or Portuguese) and Susana Dominguez (on Domestika).
  • I’ve also followed many (many) tutorials online, mainly by Darryn at DAS Bookbinding, or Sage Reynolds.
  • Advice is often sought and received from Glenn Malklin, Mark Cockram, and others on various Facebook groups. I also enjoy being part of the Society of Bookbinders Book Arts group monthly virtual meetups organised by Mal.
  • The library of instructional books grows at a lesser pace nowadays, but includes manuals from eleven countries or so.

The journey began when I started noticing various posts on one of my friend’s Facebook page, and curiosity led me to learn that he’d set up his own private press. Now, this friend is a trained typographer and designer, and so I shouldn’t have been surprised really, but it really struck a chord how he had chosen to set up a workshop and simply got on with it.

So a few years later, here I am. Thanks, Phil @MuttonsandNuts (Calf House Studios now).