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 leather-bound books.
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 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)
" West Dean College is an excellent venue with a real buzz, and it's full of like-minded people whether staff or students. It's not often that you attend a course where everyone is keen to get back into the studio after the evening meal to continue their work "
" The chance to be really focused, without distraction, the beautiful setting, and the chance to have the supervision of a really expert tutor "
" It's hard to pick just one 'best part' of my experience of West Dean. This is my fifth time on the same course, and I absolutely love my 'retreats' with you. The teaching staff have been first-rate and the equipment we have access to is superb. Overall though, it's the atmosphere of creative freedom, and the confidence this gives you to do your best work. Oh, and the food. Definitely the food. "
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.