Christopher Clarkson was first sent to a London art college at the age of thirteen, in those days the teaching was still strongly influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement. The curriculum was dominated by painting, drawing, painting techniques & all the graphic reproductive methods. At seventeen his National Diploma was in Graphic Design – Writing and Illuminating, Letter Cutting. He entered the Royal College of Art, London (RCA), on the strength of his graphic, letter cutting, engraving & design. He swapped to ‘Fine Binding’ for his last two years & had to complete & display twelve bindings for his final diploma show (Figs 1, 2 & 3).
On graduating with an ARCA in 1964, Chris Clarkson worked on the restoration of early printed books and manuscripts at Douglas Cockerell & Son (Fig 4), Cambridge, run by Sydney M. Cockerell (Fig 5), and later with Roger Powell (Fig 6), Froxfield. He also taught graphic design, wood engraving, writing and illuminating, letter cutting and ‘fine’ bookbinding to diploma level at several leading art colleges.