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The fire at St Michael’s Studios last year was a turning point for them. When they found themselves without a studio, it forced them to look elsewhere for premises albeit, they thought, to use temporarily. They had always talked about opening a shop and had had their eye on 29a West Allington, with its high, Georgian windows and elegant staircase. It had once served as a tailor’s shop and it looked to be a perfect place for their work. The owner was keen on a permanent let and once the couple were through the door they knew it was for them. Late last November ink & page opened to the public. Now their handmade notebooks and cards sit among the work of other local makers, such as prints, glass and pottery. Up the elegant spiral staircase is David’s book-binding workshop. David’s decision to become a bookbinder was one of those light-bulb moments. He grew up in Kent and left school to work in the orchards where, despite having ‘green fingers’, he realised he wasn’t destined for a life among the apples; he left after six years. One weekend, while walking on Portland (still one of his favourite places for inspiration) with his older sister, Judy, the thought struck him that he would become a bookbinder. He took himself off to a course in Bristol and, after graduating, moved to Exeter, taken there by

his love of the sea and boats. He found work at Exeter’s Maritime Museum with David Goddard. ‘He became a great friend,’ says David, ‘and offered me a corner of the museum to practise my bookbinding when I wasn’t helping out with the boats.’ It was the late 1980s and that was David’s first bindery. Like David, Kim also came to Dorset and left again. ‘I first arrived in Bridport in the early ‘80s,’ she explains. ‘I stayed with two local artists, met friendly and creative people and spent a lot of time on the beach.’ Her study as an artist took her to university in Exeter where her first child, Ella (who, incidentally, is now also a Bridport-based practising artist) was born. It was Ella who discovered David quietly working in his studio at the boatyard, where Kim had opened a small gallery. Ella used her cupid’s bow and it wasn’t long before Kim and David became a couple. They decided to return to Dorset to live in Symondsbury, where David set up his bookbinding business in the old Post Office and Kim went on to establish the Symondsbury Apple Project, running courses and encouraging people to use and care for their fruit trees. Says Kim, ‘Bridport impressed me so much when I first visited that, six years later, when I wanted to relocate, I came back to stay.’ > bridporttimes.co.uk | 47

Profile for Sherborne & Bridport Times

Bridport Times March 2019  

Featuring Kim and David Squirrell of Ink on Page + What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Bod...

Bridport Times March 2019  

Featuring Kim and David Squirrell of Ink on Page + What's On, Arts & Culture, History, Wild Dorset, Outdoors, Archaeology, Food & Drink, Bod...