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Bloomsbury Jamboree 2021

November 27, 2021
by the gentle author


In gleeful collaboration with Tim Mainstone of Mainstone Press and Joe Pearson of Design for Today, I am hosting the BLOOMSBURY JAMBOREE, a two-day festival of books and print, illustration, talks and seasonal merriment on SATURDAY 11th & SUNDAY 12th DECEMBER from 11am until 5pm.

It takes place at the magnificent ART WORKERS GUILD, 6 Queens Sq, WC1, which was founded in 1884 by members of the Arts & Crafts movement including William Morris and C R Ashbee. These oak panelled rooms lined with oil paintings in a beautiful old house in Bloomsbury offer the ideal venue to celebrate our books, and the authors and artists who create them.

There will be book-signings and a programme of ticketed lectures and readings, as well as live music and entertainment for all ages, plus we have invited twenty friends to exhibit, including print and paper makers, small press publishers, toy makers, potters and craft workers.

Silhouette artist Matyas Selmeczi will be cutting silhouette portraits for free and Pia Matikka writing your name on a card in a her beautiful copperplate calligraphy.

Among many other makers – Jill Green will be selling her purses manufactured in Brick Lane – Spitalfields Artist, Robson Cezar, has made light-up wooden houses out of fruit boxes from Whitechapel Market – favourite illustrators Alice Pattullo & Marion Elliot will be selling their prints – Matilda Moreton will be showing her ceramics  – Sail Cargo London will be offering olive oil and other produce from small farmers in Portugal imported by sail power.

We need volunteers over the weekend – if you can help please email

Tomorrow I will publish the full programme of lectures and readings.


Art Workers Guild

Art Workers Guild

Art Workers Guild

Matyas Selmeczi will cut your portrait in silhouette (photo by Colin O’Brien)

Pia Matikka will write your name in copperplate (photo by Lucinda Douglas Menzies)

Wooden house made by Robson Cezar out of fruit boxes from Whitechapel Market

Hand bound notebooks from Judd St Papers

Aidan Saunders of Print Wagon will be demonstrating print techniques

Traditional Polish toys and folk art presented by Frank & Lusia

James Freemantle of St James Park Press

Toy Theatre by Clive Hicks-Jenkins published by Design for Today

Boutiques (shopfronts of twenties’ Paris) by Lucien Boucher published by Mainstone Press

Suede purse by Jill Green

Painted wooden decorations by Elizabeth Harbour

Bowls by Matilda Moreton

Autumn by Alice Pattullo


Wonder Cat by Marion Elliot

Sail Cargo London will be offering imports from small producers by sailing boat


11 Responses leave one →
  1. November 27, 2021

    Oh, how I would love to be there and browse around! If only I could come to London again …

    Love & Peace

  2. Bernie permalink
    November 27, 2021

    Achim got there before me! Exactly what I wanted to say!
    Bernie (in Glasgow)

  3. Ann V permalink
    November 27, 2021

    ….and me, I long to be in London again. Maybe next year, here’s hoping.

  4. November 27, 2021

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, I so regret that I will miss the Bloomsbury Jamboree next week. What a great collections of offerings, so original.

    I particularly liked the bowls by Matilda Moreton, the painted decorations by Elizabeth Harbour, and the traditional Polish toys and folk art by Frank & Lusia.

    William Morris would certainly be proud of this holiday event in the Art Workers Guild.

  5. November 27, 2021

    Throwing roses from the Hudson River Valley in New York — and may I add how much I have loved ordering from both Mainstone Press AND Design For Today. Although US customers can’t be at this luscious event — both of these companies are reliable mail order sources for the most beautiful books, prints, special small-press limited runs, etc. Check it out!

    And the holiday season begins………
    Stay safe all.

  6. Jill Wilson permalink
    November 27, 2021

    Yay!! Really pleased that this event is up and running again… There were lots of quirky things on sale last time, and interesting talks.

    Thoroughly recommended!

  7. Cherub permalink
    November 27, 2021

    How I would love to be there too. I have been to The Artworkers Guild years ago, such a beautiful building inside.

  8. Su C permalink
    November 27, 2021

    When we visit London, we stay in Gower Street, Bloomsbury. I’ve walked by 6 Queen Sq so many times wishing to go in. Lucky are those who can attend what looks to be an interesting art jamboree!

  9. Marnie permalink
    November 27, 2021

    Behind the plain green door is a hall of delights: Polish silhouette-crafter and fanciful ethnic toys and trinkets; delicately hand-painted ornaments; a young printer demonstrates his beautiful antique press, and on and on.

    My favorite is the handsome black cat accordionist in the red turkish cap–do I hear the faint notes of the mysterious Third Man Theme?

    My black rescue cat does not tolerate even one accessory, but she is the sweetest companion.

    Thanks, again, Gentle Author, for another column of stuff dreams are made of.

  10. Suzy permalink
    November 27, 2021

    Ahhh man. I read this with a full heart. It has been years now since I enjoyed a London Adventure. Next weekend’s shenanigans sound an Absolute Treat! What an exciting and seasonal and altogether magical event that will be. Enjoy! I’ll be there in spirit tbs.

  11. November 29, 2021

    So much talent; all in one place. Wish I could be there.

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