Posts Categorized: Book Arts

Bookbinding 101: Hardcover Books

Bookbinding is a traditional art form that uses a basic set of techniques and tools to transform paper, book board, thread and glue into unlimited variations of handmade movable structures. Handmade books, from blank journals to intricate artist books, depend on the same foundations skills and craftsmanship that has been tried and true for centuries and will be taught in this six-session survey of book arts.

In this class, you will create your own hand-sewn, hardcover books from scratch and build a fitted box to contain them. Three distinct and popular styles of binding will be taught that each boast attractive hand-sewn spines: keyhole case binding, classic stab binding, and the always-elegant Coptic binding. Students will then create a custom box with a fitted lid to house these three book projects and elevate the skills acquired throughout the class.

The goals of the class are to two-fold: First, this class will empower students with the essential technical skills and bookbinding vocabulary needed to continue making books for years. Second, through considering the relationship between content, materials, and structure, students will boost their creative practice.

Bookbinding Workshop: Quarter Leather Longstitch

The Quarter Leather Longstitch is a classy, elegant, and durable style of bookbinding. This binding style features a leather spine with a combination of long straight stitches and braided link stitches. In this workshop, you will make from scratch a hearty 6” x 9” book with hard covers and a 1” spine.

Students will learn about the properties of paper (like paper weight and paper grain), how to handle a variety of bookbinding tools (like bone folders, book board, glue, methylcellulose), and common book arts terminology. Our one-day bookbinding workshops are a great way for students with bookbinding experience to refresh or hone skills but also offer beginning students a taste of the art form.

Each student is asked to bring one large sheet of lightweight decorative paper to allow everyone to customize their book.