Make your own sketchbook and portfolio with Kate Holland

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: S2D11781

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Places available

About this course

Learn to make a hardback multi-section sketchbook and a traditional artist's portfolio for holding flat works from scratch.

Course Description

This is a practical course covering most of the basic traditional bookbinding techniques, tools and materials.

The sketchbook you will make is approximately A4 and the quality heavyweight paper is handsewn meaning that the pages will lie flat for sketching. Step-by-step you will be carefully guided through the various stages: we will start by folding and slitting paper ready for sewing, then stitching these sections together to form the book block, tipping on endpapers, making a hard cover using traditional bookcloth and decorative papers, before finally casing in to complete the book.

The traditional artist’s portfolio is a timeless design featuring a flexible spine and three flaps and ties to secure and protect your precious work. The folder will comfortably secure up to 30 sheets of heavyweight A3 paper.

All the techniques covered can be easily replicated once home to continue your bookbinding journey.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • On this course the tutor will supply all of the materials including paper, bookcloth, board, decorative paper, ties.

What students need to bring

  • An apron and stout footwear for the workshop. All tools will be provided but if you have bone folder, metal rule, scissors, scalpel, cobblers knife you may bring them.
  • A pencil case with pencil and rubber would also be handy.
Wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. Safety boots, if specified.


Kate Holland

Kate Holland studied bookbinding at London College of Printing and is a multi award-winning artist 
bookbinder, specialising in contemporary fine bindings to commission or for exhibition. She uses traditional materials and techniques to produce a unique, modern binding that reflects the text, illustrations and typeface of the book. 


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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