Learn to bind your own books

I am a professional book artist who has taught bookbinding to more than 500 students of all ages. I regularly teach book arts classes through the Watkins College of Art 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: Summer 2019

Exploring Bindings with Exposed Tapes

Exposed tapes binding

When: Mondays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; June 3 – 24

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

Cost: $175

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

Expand your bookbinding skills in this course focused on exposed tapes bindings. The pages of these books will be sewn onto visible supports made from linen bookbinding tapes, ribbon, leather, or bookcloth. Students will make several books, experimenting with different sewing variations and options for attaching the covers, as well as closures and embellishments. Students will learn new techniques and have substantial time to personalize each project. The finished books can be used as journals, sketchbooks, and photo albums. All materials provided. 

Prerequisite: Completion of Introduction to Book Arts, one of my bookbinding workshops, or comparable book arts experience.

Handbound Leather Journals

When: Saturday, June 22; 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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

Cost: $125

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

Learn to bind a softcover leather book that can be used as a journal, a sketchbook, or a photo album. Using the Italian Longstitch style — a historical binding that dates to 14th Century Europe — each student will create a book with a leather cover that features decorative stitching on its spine, and pages that lay completely flat when open. Students will use leather for the book cover and have the option to include colorful handmade papers inside. You’ll leave this class with a completed book, and the skills and resources to continue binding at home. No previous bookbinding experience is required. All materials provided.

Secret Belgian Binding and Coptic Binding

Coptic binding

When: Wednesdays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; July 17 – August 7

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

Cost: $175

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. All materials provided.

Paper Marbling Intensive

paper marbling

When: Saturday, August 10 & Sunday, August 11; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

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

Cost: $350

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

This two-day workshop provides a hands-on introduction to all aspects of the marbling process. Students will learn to prime the paper with alum, prepare the carrageenan bath, and make traditional and contemporary patterns. Intricate designs are created by pulling combs and rakes through floating pigments, which are then transferred to paper, resulting in one-of-a-kind decorative sheets. There will be plenty of time for experimentation, and everyone will leave with a collection of their own marbled papers, which can be used for bookbinding projects or displayed as works of art. Because this is a two-day workshop, students will also have the opportunity to explore overmarbling, which is the process of layering several patterns on one sheet of paper to create fascinating overlapping designs. No previous experience is required. 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.