I recently taught a two-day bookmaking workshop at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center
, and I wanted to share a few photos from the class. Aside from casually teaching a few friends how to make some simple book structures, this was my first time teaching a class and everything went incredibly well.
Before the class, I talked my husband and our friend into being guinea pigs for me as I practiced teaching the four binding structures I was planning to teach in the class and got a feel for how long it would take my students to make their own books. I also cut down all of the bookboard, bookcloth, decorative paper, and leather ahead of time that we would need in the class. This was a smart move because it saved a ton of time during the actual class, and allowed us to dive right into the fun part without worrying too much about measurements.
I started off the first class with a little show-and-tell. I brought in my collection of handbound books, both made by myself and other bookbinders I admire (like erinzam
), to inspire my students about the possibilities of bookbinding.
Then we started creating ourselves by making two accordion books, while learning the basics of paper grain and folding and tearing paper. The first book was a structure similar to this style
, where the softcover books are assembled without adhesive or stitching. Next, we took it a step further and created a double concertina book with a hard cover, like this
Day two of the class focused on sewn structures. First we made a simple one-signature pamphlet book to get the sewing basics down. Then we made Italian long-stitch books with leather covers, which were certainly more complicated but also more rewarding when completed. You can see examples of my students' books in the photos directly above and below. I've heard from several students who have continued to make a few books since the class, including one who just learned the Coptic stitch! It was so much fun for me to introduce some new people to the world of handbound books.