Making books, simple bookbinding for creative practitioners with Tracey Bush

Bookbinding and paper marbling

Ref: SLW11458

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About this course

Combine text and image to create an artist's book. Explore a range of simple book formats and hand binding techniques, such as case-binding. Ideal if you have loose imagery on paper to transform into book form.

Course Description

Enjoy exploring ways of creating a unique book. Ideal if you have lots of imagery on paper, for example your own drawings, writing, prints, patterns, and photographs, and wish to now transform this material into book form.

You will explore a range of simple book formats. The tutor will demonstrate a range of different book structures and hand binding techniques, including a pamphlet book, a concertina book and Japanese styles. General studio bindery practice is also discussed. In the introductory session, there will be a handling session of the tutor’s collection of artists’ books, pamphlets, sketchbooks and blank book forms and an introduction to making, covering grain direction and making origami books

By the end of the course, you should have produced samples of different simple book forms, as well as completed a more considered individual book. You will also gain an awareness of some contemporary artists’ books.


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


  • Each student will be provided with:
  • Individual pot of bookbinding PVA glue
  • Individual pot of starch paste.
  • A bookbinding needle and thread, beeswax.
  • Paper, cotton rag paper, board and cloth sufficient for the production of the set books.

What students need to bring

  • Materials to aid the development of the book you wish to create
  • Images: photos, drawings paintings on paper, small prints, paper ephemera
  • It is suggested that you bring a retracting blade Stanley knife for cutting paper and small amounts of board. Please do not bring a snap off craft knife or knife with a fixed blade.
  • It is also useful to bring a good quality set square, small good quality ruler, mechanical pencil and good quality scissors. The following materials are also useful if you have them: a notebook, pencils, pens, special paper or board, special fabric scraps, an apron, and ribbon, cordage or string that you may wish to use as a tie.
  • Please wear covered footwear in this workshop.

Available to buy

  • Available from shop:
  • Various papers including cartridge paper, watercolour papers and Khadi papers.
  • Bone folders, book cloth, bone folders and much more.
  • Available from tutor:
  • The following items will also be available for use during the course: bone folders, bradawls, small scissors, bookbinding needles.
Please wear appropriate clothing/aprons for the workshop or studio, this includes stout covered footwear i.e. no open-toes or sandals. You may need safety boots, if specified above.


Tracey Bush

Tracey Bush trained as an illustrator, and successfully freelanced for many years. She has produced a series of books, which have been acquired by the Yale Centre for British Art, Tate Britain and the Marvin Sackner Collection of Concrete Poetry. In 2014 Tracey was commissioned to create the large scale 'Ports of the World' butterfly box, which is installed on the P&O cruise ship, Britannia.


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

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