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.