Discover the fascinating craft of bookbinding. Beginners learn
every stage of making a book, from folding the paper into sections,
to gluing and case-making. Progress to a project such as a more
complex binding, repair a personal book or make a box. You may
choose to decorate and letter a book cover too. More experienced
binders will have the opportunity to renovate their own cloth and
On this course you will learn the fundamentals of bookbinding. The course is primarily led by the projects students wish to work on. Therefore, once the basics are understood and you have made up a new cloth case bound book, you can progress on to working on and repairing your own books and/or making new one bindings of your choice, guided by the tutor.
On the first evening there will be an introduction to the workshop and equipment, and a general talk on binding styles. This will be followed by a look at various books on bookbinding, most of which will be available from the College Library. There will also be examples of different styles of binding to view.
The following skills may be covered during the course, as applicable to individual projects or books brought:
• Grain direction of paper
• Folding of paper into sections
• Sewing on tapes or cords
• Making up endpapers
• Rounding and backing
• Case making
• Repairing paper tears and preparing broken and torn page sections for re-sewing
• Re-backing of cloth/leather bindings
• Repair of books
• Gold tooling
Techniques required will be demonstrated and talked through stage by stage. Much of the tuition will be on a one-to-one basis, as applicable to individual projects.
Beginners will commence by gathering leaves of paper into a book and by the end of day one will have mastered the techniques required to make a cloth case binding.
Once equipped with a working knowledge of the basics of bookbinding, you can then start work on your own book projects, which can include making and repairing books. Students are advised to work on non-valuable books.
Bookbinding is a wide subject and there are innumerable possibilities. Examples of Japanese style, Account book style, Flexible, Library style, various sewing methods, photo albums, scrap books and innovative new modifications in binding will be brought in and those wishing to make any of these styles up can do so. In addition to bookbinding you may choose to make a book box such as a flap over Japanese style box, portfolio case, clamshell box or slip case. If you wish you can learn to decorate your books with brass finishing tools and gold leaf and foil.
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.
Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.
From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).
Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.
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)
Marysa de Veer trained in bookbinding and conservation at Guildford College of Technology where she gained a Diploma with merit in 1992. Marysa holds a diploma in Chemistry for conservators from Hammersmith College and has won prizes in restoration as well as highly commended prize for designed bindings with both The Society of Bookbinders as well as Designer Bookbinders. She has attended inspirational innovative monthly bookbinding master classes at L'ecole du Vesinet, Paris. She has also been a judge for the British Print Industry Federation for their British Book Design Awards. She runs Otter Bookbinding Ltd which specialises in printing, binding, restoration and conservation of antiquarian books and bespoke one-off bookbinding.