OWL & LION - Legatoria Artigiana - Artisan Bindery



The Owl & Lion is a unique shop in the heart of Edinburgh City bringing together fine bookbinding, hand printing, letter press and creative teaching. We have an imaginative identity and skilled craftsmanship that stands apart from factory made books and artwork found on the high street.

Situated in the West Port area of Edinburgh, the shop is home to a working bookbindery & print studio where all of the shop items are made. Alongside the shop, we run the biggest selection of bookbinding classes in Scotland, covering every stage from beginner to those needing more expertise.

The classes are warm, inclusive and designed as a first step that allows the student to progress at a rate they are comfortable with. We teach an introduction class for beginners and from here there is the option for further learning in the field, for example, Leather Case Binding, 18th century Leather Binding, Fine Binding and Secret Belgian binding.

There are also smaller, shorter, but no less informative workshops, the Bind & Go classes, which are two hour done-in-one sessions that showcase different style of stitching, such as the Venetian journals (as seen on Kirstie Allsopp’s Handmade Britain shown on Channel 4), or the Japanese stab bindings.

In an age that has seen an upheaval of the physical book the Owl & Lion bindery is an inspirational addition to the craft that both harnesses the past and creates the future of the book.

Who are the Owl & Lion?


Isabelle Ting: Masterbookbinder
Owned by Florence-trained bookbinder Isabelle Ting, the Owl & Lion Bindery is the first bookbinding establishment to open in the city for decades. Isabelle offers bookbinding classes for all levels, as well as producing her own innovative ranges of hand-bound books. She has worked for clients such as the National Trust, the Museum of Scotland and Edinburgh College of Art.

Edward McGowan: Illustrator
Co-founded the Owl & Lion in 2007 and remained to this day as Managing Director as well as our resident illustrator. Edward has gone on to establish his own very successful illustration studio and you can find him at www.edwardmcgowan.com & www.parkopolo.eu

Ciara McDermott: Apprentice Bookbinder
Graduate from the Edinburgh College of Art, Ciara is the Owl & Lion one and only bookbinding apprentice. Having been personally trained by Isabelle for the past three years, she is ready to branch out and teach her own series of classes. Watch out for them in 2014!

Martin McBride: The Docile Dodo - Illustrator, Printmaker
Martin is our Artist-in-Residence and one man Dodo machine. See him in action making Tunnel Books, screen printing and all dodo-ness mayhem... you know you want one!

Daily news and events are posted on our blog