Welcome to the website of the Guild of Theophilus Ltd. We are a multi-media craft studio based in the historic city of Lincoln in England, working primarily in the book arts and allied crafts. We are fascinated with old books - their design, their smell and their material and it is a desire to learn more about them, that informs our craft work. From our studio we make a wide range of historically inspired books, including journals, notebooks and sketch books and a range of unique letterpress printed cards. We also make our own marbled and hand-decorated papers, which we use to bind our books and also sell by the sheet. In addition to that we produce high-quality beeswax candles, which we dip by hand, including tapers for use in Orthodox Christian worship. At the Guild of Theophilus we embrace an 'Arts and Crafts' spirit and the greater part of our work is undertaken using historic craft techniques, materials and methods and is grounded in solid historical research. Some of the outcomes of that research can be seen on our blog. One of our major objectives of our work is to share our learning with others and throughout the year we teach the crafts we practice through a range of courses and demonstrations. We do hope you like what you see on our website and many thanks for your interest.
The Guild of Theophilus was founded in 2013 by Dr Allan Barton FSA. Al is an Art and Architectural Historian by background and he received a PhD in History of Art from the University of York in 2004. Always interested in antiquarian books and book history, the Guild of Theophilus was born out of Al's curiosity about and enthusiasm for books, their structure, materials and aesthetics and a love of traditional craft and classic design. Mostly self taught and constantly learning, he has developed his historic bookbinding work over the last decade and has in recent years developed some skill in other allied crafts. An experienced lecturer, he is on a mission to infect other people with a passion for the crafts he loves. When he is not undertaking his craft work, Al continues to write about medieval art and architecture and it was in that capacity that he was elected as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2018.