Exploring the combination of the uncommon and unexpected


Bound by Cooksey is the Washington, USA based bookbinding studio of artist and craftsmen Gabby Cooksey.


This is the story of Gabby Cooksey.

Right out of high school in 2010 I went to college at Columbus College of Art and Design. I did very well there and it was a great school, but I knew college just wasn't right for me. I wanted to be doing what I wanted right then and there, not four years down the line. So I spent most of time at the Columbus Metropolitan Library and happened upon a book about books.

It had gilding, leather, beautiful designs, and I said, "This is exactly what I want to do." 

So in 2011, I went to American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, CO. My first bookbinding teacher was Don Glaister. Then I attended North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA from 2012-2014 and graduated from their bookbinding program.

I am a trained traditional bookbinder with experience in book conservation.

I knew I wanted to work under someone once I finished NBSS because I still felt like there were important things to learn about running a bindery. I contacted Don Glaister and after initially thinking there wouldn't be enough work for an apprentice, he responded with his wife, Suzanne Moore, that they came across some work that they could use me for.

In February of 2014, I flew to Washington state, took a ferry to Vashon Island and the rest is really history.

I started in June of 2014, working on Don's Edgar Allen Poe edition and Suzanne's "Zero" edition book. Since then I have also began working at Springtide Press for Jessica Spring in Tacoma, WA.

When asked, why I do what I do it is really because I love it. There is nothing quite like holding a physical book, especially when the person who made it has spent so much time lovingly putting it together. Craft is important to show where I have come from (past binders), and the design is important because that's where I'm headed (myself as an artist).

I design books in a peculiar and unexpected way that makes it enticing to hold/open. I think of my books as art that you can use.

I hope other people feel this too when they interact with my work. I want them to pick my books up and wonder, “What the heck??” in the nicest way possible. I add hidden items, bones, feathers, teeth, and odd leather to my bindings because I want people to get close up and hold it.

I want them to open the book up because of the cover I put on it.



Here are some of my recent endeavors



Running my own studio, Bound by Cooksey

Teaches mini workshops and assists in workshops for PSBA

Studio Assistant to Don Glaister and Suzanne Moore. Vashon Island, WA. 2014 - present.

Studio Assistant to Jessica Spring at Springtide Press. Tacoma, WA. 2014- present.

Classes I've Instructed

University of Washington at Tacoma

  • Pamphlet stitch book and an Accordion book. Nov 2016

PSBA (Puget Sound Book Artists)

  •  Variations on the Accordion book. June 2016
  • Cross Structure Binding. April 2016
  • Crown Binding. March 2016
  • Back to Back Accordion. February 2016
  • Dos a Dos binding. December 2015

Classes I've Assisted

PSBA (Puget Sound Book Artists)

Competitions & Exhibitions

It's Alive! Minnesota Center for the Books. August - October 2016 to Present.

Bridging the Water. University of the West of England. Bristol, England. July - August 2016. 

6th Annual Puget Sound Book Artist Exhibition. Tacoma, WA. 2016

5th Annual Puget Sound Book Artist Exhibition. Tacoma, WA 2015.

Won the Collins Memorial Library Award for Monsters and Beasts. 

Student and Alumni Exhibition. Boston, MA. May 2013 and May 2014.

Fantasy and Nonsense. Shown at the University of Utah's J. Willard Marriott Library. Sept-Nov. 2012

The Helen Warren Degolyer Triennial Competition for American Bookbinders. July 2012

Professional Affiliations

Training & Education


North Bennet Street School. Boston, MA. 2012 - 2014.  
Instructors: Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley

Montefiascone Conservation Project. Montefiascone, Italy. 

  • Recreating the Medieval Pigment with Cheryl Porter. 1 week
  • The Syriac Book with Caroline Checkley-Scott and John Mumford. 1 week
  • Mamluk Binding with Kristine Rose and Alison Ohta. 1 week
  • Gothic Binding with Jim Bloxam and Shaun Thompson. 1 week

American Academy of Bookbinding. Telluride, CO. 2011- 2012

  • The Book as Art: Images+ Handwriting+ Exposed Sewing with Laura Wait. 1 week. 2011
  • Fundamentals of Fine Binding with Don Glaister. 4 weeks. 2011 and 2012
  • Paste Paper with Suzanne Moore. 3 days. 2011
  • Content to Concept to Object with Don Glaister and Suzanne Moore. 1 week. 2011
  • Intermediate/Advanced Fine Binding with Monique Lallier. 4 weeks. 2011 and 2012
  • Forwarding and Covering with Don Etherington. 2 weeks . 2011
  • Basics in Paper Conservation with Renate Mesmer. 1 week. 2012
  • Sewing Structures with Renate Mesmer. 1 week. 2012
  • Designing the Design in Design Binding with Don Glaister. 1 week. 2012
  • Finishing with Don Etherington. 2 weeks. 2012