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

Book Arts Crash Course

When: Thursdays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; June 14 – July 5

Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville

Cost: $175

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

Learn the basics of bookbinding in this introductory class. Condensed from the typical semester-long class, this course covers the essentials in four weeks, allowing students to become familiar with the materials, tools, techniques and vocabulary of handmade books. Students will create their own books, starting with folded accordion structures and building towards intricate sewn books that can be used as journals, sketchbooks and photo albums. You will leave this class with an assortment of your own handbound books, and the skills and resources to continue binding at home. All materials provided. 


Secret Belgian Binding and Coptic Binding

Coptic binding

When: Thursdays; 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.; July 19 – August 9

Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville

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.


Suminagashi Paper Marbling Workshop

Suminagashi Paper Marbling Workshop

When: Saturday, June 23; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville

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. Dating back some 800 years, 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 deal of spontaneity, patterns form and are transferred to paper. 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.


Western Paper Marbling Workshop

Western paper marbling workshop

When: Saturday, July 28; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Where: Watkins College, 2298 Rosa Parks Blvd., Nashville

Cost: $175

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

In this introductory workshop, students will gain a basic understanding of the history, techniques, tools, and styles of European paper marbling. Students will experiment with free-form swirled patterns, and learn to create intricate classical patterns using combs and rakes to manipulate the pigments in a carrageenan bath. The patterns will then be transferred to paper, creating one-of-a-kind decorative sheets. Students will have plenty of time for experimentation, and they’ll leave with a collection of their own marbled papers, which can be using for bookbinding projects or displayed as works of art. All materials included.

  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.