Learn to bind your own books

I am a professional book artist who has taught bookbinding to more than 400 students of all ages. I regularly teach book arts classes through the Watkins College community education department in Nashville, Tennessee. 

I have also taught bookbinding workshops at the Nashville Public Library, Austin Peay State University, Cheekwood Botanical Garden, The Skillery, the University School of Nashville, and the Shenandoah Valley Art Center. I've volunteered to lead workshops with non-profit groups such as Thistle Farms and Casa Azafran.

French link stitch bookbinding workshop in Nashville, Tennessee taught by Katie Gonzalez.

Upcoming classes: Spring 2019

Miniature Exposed-Spine Bindings

Crossed-structure binding

When: Mondays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; February 4 – April 1

Where: Watkins College of Art, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN

Cost: $285

To Register: Call (615) 383-4848 or sign up online 

This sewing-focused course will add eight binding styles to your repertoire. You’ll make a cohesive set of books, each one with a different decorative binding. The covers will be made from Cave Paper, a beautiful and sturdy handmade paper, and the books will be sewn with colorful waxed linen thread. Each book will be approximately 3" x 5” — perfect as a pocket-sized sketchbook or journal. Book structures will include the buttonhole binding, crossed-structure binding, diamond binding, and five variations of the long stitch. You’ll also explore ways to embellish the bindings with gathered stitches and weaving, and you’ll experiment with closures such as buttons, tabs, and wraps. Open to all skill levels. All materials provided.


Secret Belgian Binding and Coptic Binding

Coptic binding

When: Wednesdays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; February 6 – 27

Where: Watkins College of Art, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN

Cost: $145

To Register: Call (615) 383-4848 or sign up online 

Learn to make two hardcover books with distinctive stitching patterns and functional structures – perfect for sketching, journaling, or displaying photos. Students will first learn the Secret Belgian Binding, a style with an unusual history and fascinating covers that swivel around the spine of the book. Then, students will learn the popular Coptic Binding, which will be sewn with multiple needles, resulting in a beautiful two-color woven binding. Students will personalize their books by choosing from a variety of unique handmade papers and colorful thread. Open to all skill levels. 


Book Arts Open Studio

When: Wednesdays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; March 6 – 27

Where: Watkins College of Art, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN

Cost: $145

To Register: Call (615) 383-4848 or sign up online 

This class is designed for students with previous bookbinding experience who want to work on the handmade books of their choice under the guidance of a knowledgeable bookbinder. Make time for your creative practice with access to bookbinding tools, materials, and equipment. Come prepared the first week with an idea of what you’d like to work on, whether it’s designing a special project or completing an unfinished work from another class. Some supplies provided, but students are invited to bring additional materials based on their individual projects; unique supply lists will be discussed the first night of class. 


Suminagashi Paper Marbling Workshop

Suminagashi Paper Marbling Workshop

When: Saturday, April 6; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Where: Watkins College of Art, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN

Cost: $150

To Register: Call (615) 383-4848 or sign up online 

Create a collection of decorated papers using the meditative method of suminagashi marbling. This Japanese technique floats ink pigments atop a liquid bath. With gentle manipulations — such as blowing across the surface of the water — and a good bit of spontaneity, patterns form and transfer to paper. Students will also explore overmarbling, which is the process of layering several marbled patterns on one sheet of paper to create fascinating overlapping designs. In this one-day workshop, you’ll create dozens of colorful sheets that can be used for bookmaking projects, greeting cards, gift wrap, and other paper arts. All materials provided.

  Student Testimonials

Katie is a skilled, friendly instructor. She is generous in sharing her talents and her skills abound. She has the important ability to break instruction down into smaller steps so students can follow and produce beautiful and interesting books. I highly recommend her classes to others.”

”Katie is marvelous at demonstrating and teaching.”

”I love the way Katie Gonzalez teaches. Her approach is genuine and non-threatening. Her passion shows in each book she shares. It is a treat to take one of her classes!”

”Hand-making books is such a unique and fun activity! Katie Gonzalez made it so easy with her organized environment and well thought-out lesson as she engaged us in each step, one at a time.”

”Katie Gonzalez is an excellent instructor and leads you through bookbinding with her extensive knowledge, helpful hints and endless encouragement. Her classes are the best and always fun.