Unfortunately, we don't have anything scheduled.
Send us an email or give us a call at (302) 454-1411 to express your interest or schedule for a group.
One day, one book workshop
7 working hours + lunch, all materials included : $120
Why take this workshop?
If you’ve got an empty day and energy to burn, start here. This workshop covers all of the elements in making a classic handsewn book: from handpainting the decorative paper used to wrap the hardcover, to folding and sewing the sheets to form the text block, to combining all those elements together. Choosing papers for endsheets, adding a ribbon marker, colorful endbands, and bookcloth for the spine, all add wonderful personal touches to the end result.
These books make great journals for a writer or a sketchbook for an artist. Things that are handmade are all the better if they are handmade by you. Even if your first book has a few hiccups in it, this workshop will be a jump-start to anyone who wants to develop their skills.
A great workshop for a group of friends, it also makes a great gift from a supportive partner or parents. Handmade books make great gifts and keepsakes. If you are really industrious, you can sell them through online stores such as Etsy.com, community craft shows or your own website.
What kind of book will we make?
This workshop covers the skills, tools and materials needed to assemble a traditional handsewn, hardback book. Begin by making a few quick sheets of bookmaker's pastepaper to wrap your cover; fold, gather, punch and sew a text block using the classic long stitch; prepare the spine; grab a bite of lunch; then assemble a hard cover using your own pastepaper design, case in your text block and take your book home.
Above is a book we made in our workshop, which we used as a thank you gift for a friend's hospitality.
How about dealing with younger participants?
While younger participants may need extra assistance with measuring, punching and cutting, we don't cut any corners with them. In our experience they are quite capable of producing a comparable result to most any adult participant. The book becomes a true book only in the last few mintues of the workshop. And that sense of total accomplishment will erupt into a burst of jubilation from bookmakers of any age.
This workshop is a great way for anyone to learn handskills which are being lost in this age of 'texting.' We've had great results with younger participants as you can see from two 10-year olds and a 12-year old in the photo below.
Will I be able to do this on my own after the workshop?
Skill comes from practice, so it is very important that you start your next book soon after the workshop. After the workshop you'll take away sample sewing cards to help you remember how to tie the knots and the correct sewing sequence. For your own books you'll need to gather a few tools and materials which are easily accessible on the web or local stores. It might take making a handful of books to get totally comfortable, but once you've got it into your head, the process becomes logical and easy to tweak.
This sewing style, coupled with alternate materials (papers, bookcloth, ribbons, etc.), can provide a wonderful variety to the look of books, all essentially made with the same process.
For this workshop
- No prerequisite
- Ages 9 to adult
- Wear comfortable shoes & work clothes
- We would like at least 3 registered people to offer this workshop
- Bring a camera and notebook to record the experience
Below are examples of typical books made during this workshop, including the pastepaper used to wrap the bookboard covers.
- Demonstration of painting pastepaper
- Hands-on use of combs, rollers and stamps to make original pastepaper designs
- Quick clean up as we go
- Techniques for folding paper and assembling a text block with endsheets
- Use of a book cradle and awl for punching a text block
- Handsewing a text block with linen thread in the classic bookbinder’s long stitch
- Reinforce and glue the spine
- Add decorative endbands and a ribbon bookmark
- Assemble a hard cover using your pastepaper and a bookcloth-covered spine
- Case in your handsewn text block inside your custom decorative hard cover