Have just spend a very satisfying couple of days in a workshop with seven other binders exploring a technique known as 'floating boards' - a technique, developed by the Belgian binder Edgar Claes, in which the boards are connected to the spine by cords (or tapes) alone. While this structure is inherently weaker than bindings with leather, cloth or paper hinges, it is well suited for use with clean cut or non-traditional (eg metal) boards. For those of us doing the workshop, it was an opportunity to fine-tune some skills and working methods that will be needed for a series of follow-up workshop on French 'laced-in' bindings that are planned for later in the year. The workshop was run by John Tonkin, one of Australia's finest design binders. It was great to be able to pick John's brains, catch up with old friends, make new friends, exchange ideas and talk about the sorts of things that only bookbinders find interesting.