Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Book Binding Workshop

Today I have been sharing a little bit of knowledge about book binding to a number of willing and inquisitive students in a full days workshop.

It started with a little bit of book deconstruction, removing the covers of a tidy little Penguin paperback, The Quest for Corvo, from the 1940s and showing the innards of the spine and how mass market books are put together with the sections, sewings and glue.

For me, book binding is all about precision! Precision measuring, precision marking, precision stabbing and precision sewing! This will leave you with a good looking book which will stand up to a bit of wear and tear and because you are in control of the amount of leaves you put in, what goes on the cover, how big the pages are - it can also be personalised to your own whim and fancy.

I trained as an apprentice with the great Mary Bartlett down at the Dartington Craft Education Centre who instilled a great sense of technical detail and discipline as well as allowing me and my ideas to breathe into whatever bookish form they took on. One of my favourite books on this subject is by the wonderful Kojiro Ikegami and if you fancy a bit more detail, head to Amazon for a copy, you will not be disappointed.

The ladies (Jill, Tracey, Ruby) learnt 3 styles of basic construction. We started with a square 5 hole Japanese stab binding, followed by a small 12 page concertina with personalised covers and then (Lily and Violet) arrived and by the end they all had a great little 5 hole pamphlet stitch with covers taken from an old book of stories for children. They looked super as a collection of 5 little mini notebooks.

I predict there will be several friends/relatives who may be receiving hand made books as gifts for the foreseeable future and I think that's no bad thing.

If anyone else wants some help or a workshop in book binding, just contact us at O&C HQ.


  1. We all had a fabulous day and have learnt some great new skills. Thank you for being so patient.

  2. I love this book! It is easy to follow and comprehensive.