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October 09, 2016
I had an exciting time with my bookbinding workshop groups at Artisan Community Art Studio this year. In the Spring I ran an Introductory course which was open to anyone who wanted to try their hand at making books, and then a Follow On course in the Autumn for returning students.
They learned to make several Japanese stab bindings, a few different ways to bind journals and notebooks, as well as some fascinating folded book forms - which proved to be the most popular by far, perhaps because they are at once familiar and extraordinary, almost like moving sculptures as much as they are books.
The names of bindings are often intriguing and invite exploration on that basis alone: Noble binding, Hemp Leaf; Turkish Map Fold; Quarter Cloth… where did these names come from and what do they signify? We learned a little of their cultural history and how they were originally employed, and how they're used today by contemporary makers and binders, with several examples on hand from my collection of artists books.
Some of the students had time to make books during the week inbetween our Thursday sessions, and this is often where their creativity took leaps into further territory. We gleefully admired a city sky-line cut out against an Accordion (Concertina) fold (the yellow and black book in the image above), a slip case covered with a repurposed map, the Tulip fold used for a new baby book, and one student - a miniaturist - made a Japanese Hemp Leaf stab stitch binding, an Accordion and a Turkish Map Fold book all 1/12th their original size - there's a 50p piece for scale!
So that's a taste of what my bookbinding groups made during 2016, and what you could be making in 2017 when I run further courses (details posted here).
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