Classes Offered

I hope you enjoy learning about the range of classes available. This is our basic programme and we occasionally add or offer one-off events. Sign up to our newsletter so that you don't miss out on any updates. If there is a class here that you would like to do but do not see on the calendar as yet, please let me know.   I can then use this information to plan my forthcoming events.

Case Bound Journal

 Make your own hard-backed case bound Journal, Album or Sketchbook (typically about 21cm square but you can specify your own size) and emboss it with a title or your name.
The class starts with a discussion on the materials and equipment to be used during the day. You then fold and sew your signatures using traditional sewing techniques and frames. Throughout the day your book builds in shape to the finished item which will have a 'rounded and backed' spine, headbands and ribbons as well as a hand-embossed title. A thrilling achievement in a day and a great gift if you can bear to put someone else's name on it! 
Combine this with the raised bands class for an extra special effect.
This class is suitable for beginners.
 Raised Bands Journal
 During this one day class we use a mixture of demonstration and practice to ensure that you finish the day with a completed quarter leather raised bands book.
We start with a pre-made book block. Then, combining ribbon, headbands and spine lining to strengthen the block with leather work to achieve the raised bands and 'marking out' to produce the quarter bound style, you finish up with a stunning book and skills that you can transfer home if you wish.
As a general rule, we use locally sourced hand marbled paper to compliment the leather. Payhembury Papers are international suppliers of beautiful marbled papers and are based in Pampisford.
The class is suitable for beginners and it is recommended but not essential that it is combined with the hard backed case bound journal (either the one day class or Beginning Bookbinding).           
 Box Making
Box making is an integral part of bookbinding and conservation and on this very busy day we aim to complete both a lined slipcase and a lidded box.  In order to achieve this we work to a specified size template and the boards are pre-cut for you. During a quiet part of the morning when your glued boxes are drying we demonstrate the measuring and cutting process.
Boxes are then covered and lined as appropriate.
Suitable for beginners.      
 Solander Box

 A solander (or clam shell) box is a book shaped case used for storing precious books, manuscripts, maps, prints, etc. It is named after the Swedish botanist who worked at the British Museum and travelled with Captain Cook. The story goes that he needed a safe way of storing and transporting his collection as he returned from his voyage(s) and so designed this air-tight box.
We start the day examining styles and examples of the box and its variations as well as looking at the materials and equipment to be used. Once the book board is cut to your chosen size you then progress to building the box before covering, lining and naming it.
Bring item(s) for storage up to 14cm x 21cm x 3cm and you will make a box to fit. Suitable for beginners. 
 Repairs/1 - Cloth Case
 Learn the basics of repairs to a cloth bound book where the end and title pages may be damaged along with the spine and board corners. We use a variety of cloth, papers and tissues as appropriate for the book to strengthen and reback the spine. Where possible we will also touch up or replace lettering. Designed for beginners.
 Repairs/2 - Paper and Pages
 During this one-day programme you learn the basics of paper and page repairs using a variety of papers and tissues. The morning starts with paste preparation and demonstration of a number of paper dying processes. This is followed by deconstruction of books (where necessary) in a safe and sympathetic fashion after which page and signature repairs can be done. We also practice repairs in-situ as well as learn how to fill holes and repair tears amongst other things.
Our aim is to prepare the book(s) ready for re-sewing. The class is taught through some demonstration but mainly through guided practice and participants are encouraged to bring along a number of books in need of page/paper repair. Designed for beginners.
Repairs/3 -Paperbacks
 Paperbacks are bound using a technique called 'perfect binding'. It is rarely perfect. In this workshop you will learn how to safely disbind the book and clean it ready for rebinding. You will also do minor page repair if necessary before replacing the text block in its newly-reinforced original covers.
This class is suitable for beginner and participants are encouraged to bring along at least one book to work on during the day.
 This 5-week series is designed to give you a comprehensive introduction to the basic skills of bookbinding. We complete four different structures - case bound, quarter bound, concertina and stab stitch - as well as a lined slipcase in which to store your 'prototype' collection. The styles are carefully chosen so that they each represent a finished project or can be ‘mixed and matched’ to provide a myriad of creative results ensuring you are never again short of a notebook or gift!
You finish with your own beautiful collection to use or to refer to as you practice your new skills.
All equipment and materials will be provided along with step-by-step demonstration and practice.  As far as possible, we use easily available tools and materials so that you can put your learning to immediate use but pre-prepared kits will be available should you wish to avail of them.

An alternative or addition to the more traditional books above, this 5-week programme explores four more beautiful and versatile structures as well as more advanced box-making.
Styles include long stitch, Islamic-style, Wrapper (suitable for use on old and damaged or new books), and Posh Paper (after the Dos Rapporte) all held together in a lined and lidded box
All equipment an materials will be provided along with step-by-step demonstration and practice. As far as possible, we use easily available tools and materials and pre-prepared kits will also be available. You will leave each class with your own unique book along with the skills and instructions to recreate the same project at home ensuring you are never again short of a notebook or gift!          
 Coptic Binding

The historic and beautiful 'coptic' binding is a very popular class.
The binding allows the book to lie perfectly flat and also to open to 360 degrees, making it popular amongst other things as a journal, travel book or artist sketch book. Also, the exposed spine stitching has enormous visual appeal.
During the day you will learn how to prepare the pages for binding as well as decide on your own personal decorative style for board covering before getting to grips with the stitching. You will also have creative input on the appearance of the spine itself.
Suitable for beginners.
 Single Page Loop Binding 

Most classes teach techniques for binding a number of sections of pages into a book but of course there is often the need to bind single pages too.

During this workshop you will learn how to stitch single pages into a decorative book form. This book lies flat when open and is popular amongst other things as a scrapbook or an artist portfolio. once you've done this class it will be possible to bind anything 2-dimentional into a book form -  tiles, slates, sheets of perspex or balsa wood; even paper!

Suitable for beginners.

 Japanese-style Album
This binding is one of the earliest 'book' shaped bindings dating back to China in the  century.  Today, these books are used as sketchbooks, notebooks and, with a little extra reinforcement, albums or scrapbooks. During this workshop you will learn one of the four stitch styles used in traditional Japanese bookbinding. These are beautiful structures to which you can add a variety of creative finishes. You can also design your own patterns!        
The traditional labelling  is a technique which can be transferred to other books.
Suitable for beginners.
"In bookbinding, a dos-à-dos binding (from the French meaning "back-to-back") is a binding structure in which two separate books are bound together such that the fore edge of one is adjacent to the spine of the other, with a shared lower board between them serving as the back cover of both. When shelved, the spine of the book to the right faces outward, while the spine of the book to the left faces the back of the shelf; the text of both works runs head-to-tail." (Straight from Wikipedia!)
In this workshop we will use pre-made book blocks and bind them in the dos-à-dos style.
Suitable for beginners and it is recommended but not essential that it is combined with the hard backed case bound journal (either the one day class or Beginning Bookbinding). My first dos-à-dos was used by new parents where each wrote their own memories for their baby.
Open Workshop
 If you have already attended one or more courses at the workshop you are welcome to come along (one Saturday a month) and use the space and facilities to work on your own project. Practice your Coptic binding, make use of the lettering machine, work on your leather paring skills... And don't forget our pre-made book blocks. Using some of these you could get a number of gift items prepared during the day. A tutor will be present to offer guidance and advice where, or if, necessary.

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