Covering both restoration of existing books and the creation of new bindings, this course is equally suitable for beginners and those with previous experience, since tuition is given according to individual needs. The course emphasises the traditional skills and techniques of hand binding and helps you develop a deeper insight into this rewarding craft.
Of all man’s enduring artefacts the bound book is surely one of the most enlightening, useful and pleasing. Its present accepted form and structure results from 2,000 years of evolution, which has imposed craft disciplines unknown to the reader but a source of fascination to the enquiring booklover. This workshop will introduce you to the foundations of good hand binding and repair, dwelling on the important ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’. Although essentially a practical course, the exploration of underlying objectives in fine work will be covered in our discussions.
Whether you are completely new to bookbinding or already have some experience, we suggest that you bring along a selection of possible projects on which to work during the course. Advice will then be given as to the most suitable items to attempt. Possible examples are:
- making plain paper books
- loose material suitable for binding
- bound books in need of repair (If in any doubt about an item bring it along for consideration!)
You can expect to receive instruction in various stages of producing a bound book:
- making up book sections
- preparation for and the technique of sewing
- making up endpapers and their attachment
- cutting the book with the use of plough and press
- rounding and backing the spine with the use of lying press
- cutting, making and attaching the cover
- slip cases and boxes
The aim is for everyone to leave on Friday with several finished items. If you would like to discuss the course content or a particular project further you may email the tutor direct on [email protected].
Tutor: Mark CockramMark Cockram is a full time bookbinder with over 40 years experience working with the book. Mark was elected Fellow of Designer Bookbinders in 2001, Brother of the Art Workers Guild in 2008 and more recently, in 2017, was the Faculty Fellow for the New York Centre for Book Arts. Marks diverse work can be found in National and International collections, both public and private around the world. He has recently been made a Special Research Fellow for the University of Shanghai Science and Technology College of Communication and Art Design.
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Before You Attend
What to Bring
All the materials to carry out this work will be available at the Centre, as will much of the equipment. You are, however, asked to try and provide the following items for your personal use:
- craft knife and blades
- sharp scissors
- steel rule and a pencil
- overalls or an apron
- a cutting mat if you have one
If you have any difficulty with these items, or any specialist materials, please let us know and we’ll try to help.