Growlygracepress's Blog


Everything I know about teaching bookbinding to students.
January 15, 2012, 10:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Last week I was teaching first year fine art students bookbinding. I had eight in the class and it ran from 10.00 to 4.00. Tuesday to Friday. It’s the third time I have ran this workshop and I know that it’s going to produce incredible work. This time was however went beyond my expectations.

When I first worked with the fine artists I was shocked by the chaotic conditions they worked in, really taken aback by it I now see this as very positive and productive but it does look alarming.

I start the class by getting the students to push the tables together and I empty out bags of materials, paper, boards, books and tools. I provide all the materials which is actually scrap that I have generated  the previous year. Because it’s scrap it allows the students to experiment.

I had advertised this workshop as “Anatomy of a Moleskine” I was going to use a use the eponymous notebook as the model of book we would sent out to make.

I showed one that I had made and pointed out what “makes” a moleskine notebook “work” and what makes it “fail” luckily there was a couple of students who were big fans of the stationary range and were very familiar.

Moleskine notebooks work for me because they get the size right, the rounded corners are great, the boards are snug, the ribbon is too short and the envelope / container thing at the back is not much use.

The first day of the workshop is used to get the students used to folding and sewing, using bone folders, waxing linen thread and making simple little pamphlets with three hole  then five hole pamphlet stitch, then we put a cover on it and then round the corners with a corner cutter all nice and easy stuff.

By the afternoon we move along to the main event which is case edition bookbinding sewing on to tapes.

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