Against the Grain - Center for Bookbinding Arts
Center for Bookbinding Arts
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Classes are by request. We must have at least 4 students for most of the classes. Some classes are private lessons. Email us if you are interested in taking one or more of our classes!

To view a list of our current classes, click HERE
BOOK STRUCTURES

ACCORDION PHOTO ALBUM
This simple photo album has a hard cover and is tied closed with a ribbon. The nice difference about this book is that it's set up for horizontally shot images, a request from a student, and, I think, a great idea!

3 hours $35

BOOKBINDING I
This eight week course is your introduction to basic bookbinding using traditional methods. We will cover the history, tools and techniques of hand bookbinding. All materials such as paper, boards, adhesives and cloth will be discussed. Each project is designed, cut and assembled by you, starting with the simplest folded single sheet of paper and advancing on to complete a multiple signature hard bound book. In between you will complete at least two soft bound pamphlet stitched books, two types of hard bound accordion books, and a single section hard bound book. When you finish this class you will be able to make your own chapbooks, scrapbooks, journals, guest books, and you will have the basic knowledge to create other structures like those found in how-to books. Since this class is designed to impart information in an accumulative manner please be prepared to attend class regularly. I will provide the materials needed for the first class. We will discuss the materials list so you are clear on what you will need. Please feel free to call me with any questions.

24 hours $240 does not include materials

BOOKBINDING II
In this course you will devote yourself to mastering the round back case binding. We will delve into the mysteries of 3 types of endpaper construction, rounding, backing, forwarding (sounds like a truck driving course!), French and German hand sewn headbands, casing-in and half bound covers. Bookbinding I or its equivalent is the prerequisite for this class. Since this class is designed to impart information in an accumulative manner please be prepared to attend class regularly. You will receive a materials list upon sign-up.

24 hours $240 does not include materials

CONCERTINA PHOTO ALBUM
Concertina books are based on the accordion structure, but have multiple pamphlets sewn in separately. It has the ability to lie flat when opened, but can also stand and be viewed in the round or spread out horizontally. We'll make a book large enough to hold 4 x 6 photos. This is a fairly quick and easy binding that, along with it's variations, is useful for scrapbooks, journals, guest books, and photo albums..

4 hours $45

COPTIC STITCH BINDING
This ancient binding dates back to the 4th century. Coptic books open to lay flat and have multiple sections. The chain-like pattern sewn across the exposed spine also attaches the hard covers to the book block. This is a perfect binding for a journal.

3 hours $35

ETHIOPIAN BINDING
This is a wood covered book which dates back to 3rd century Africa. Another one of my favorites. It has multiple signatures, an exposed spine sewing that is done with 2 needles, and is non-adhesive. Sounds more difficult but it's actually easier than a Coptic binding! Come on! Let's pretend we're monks and bind our little scratchy wool robes off!

3 hours $35

FLAG BOOKS
This structure is somewhat of a pop-up and an accordion combined. Each accordion fold has a page or "flag" glued to one side or the other resulting in alternating sides of the flags showing at one time. This book is perfect for poetry, pictures or telling two stories at once.

3 hours $35

GIRDLE BOOK - 21st CENTURY STYLE
In the 14th century, the term "girdle" meant belt. The original structures were small devotional books or
ledger books that were protected by their all- inclusive covering, allowing hands free transport when
travelling. Dangling upside down from the belt, they were easy to lift up and read or record information.
Use your "girdle book" when you need a book to record in, but need your hands free!

6 hours $85

HARD BOUND FOLDER
Make a hard covered folder from decorative papers and book cloth. This version has 2 expanding pockets and a pen holder. Fantastic for presentations or for keeping all of your bookbinding notes!
3 hours $35

JACOB'S LADDER BOOK
Originally designed as a child's toy (based on a Chinese puzzle) made from wood or plastic in bygone days, this fascinating book is ideal for displaying your imagery in a sculptural way, or as a playful interactive novelty. The ladder panels serve as a great base for applied art. In class we will use collage applications to decorate the panels. Bring bits of collage material to incorporate with the other material which will be provided.

3 hours $35

JAPANESE 4-HOLE BINDINGS
In this class the traditional 4-hole stab binding and it's variations; the tortoise-shell, the hemp-leaf, and the kangxi, will be practiced. These books are soft bound, use no glue, and single, non-folded sheets of paper can be utilized for the text block. These elegant bindings are wonderful for small editions and chapbooks, and teachers find them especially useful in classroom projects.

4 hours $35

LONG STITCH
Learn to make a non-adhesive book that has multiple signatures sewn directly through the cover, creating a pattern of colored thread across the outside of the spine. This book would make a great travel journal as it is soft bound and therefore very light. It also has the ability to lay flat when opened, which makes it easy to write in. For a lovely finishing touch the back cover wraps around and up over the front cover with a bead and thread closure.

3 hours $35

MAKING BOOKCLOTH
Unhappy with the boring and plain bookcloth available? Want to add more pattern and color in your books? Then come learn how to change almost any type of cloth into bookcloth. If you have cloth you would like to transform, bring it to class along with a hair dryer if you have one. We will provide other cloth selections, plexiglass work areas, glue and backing paper. Plexiglass work surfaces will also be available for purchase.

3 hours $30

MINIATURE BOOKS
By definition, a miniature book does not exceed 3" tall x 3" wide x 3" thick. This class will deal with the fine points of scaling down and manipulation of materials so that a small book will open and close properly. Adapting a book for your own imagery, a gift book, a tree ornament or jewelry are just some of the applications of this small book structure.

4 hours $45

NON-ADHESIVE BINDINGS
Afraid of glue? Does PVA make you shudder? Then this is the class for you! We will make 3 bindings
that have not one drop of PVA to complete. Starting with a double pamphlet stitch, we'll move on to a
multiple sectioned button-hole stitch. This exposed spine sewing forms a linear patternat the head and
tail. The resulting visual effect is almost like a window looking into the center of the spine. We will finish
off with a variation of a long stitch book which includes two chain stitches across the spine, a very pretty
binding. All three have soft covers and lay flat when opened.

5 hours $60

RIBBON BOUND SINGLE SECTION
This hard-covered, single section binding is made graceful by the use of a ribbon to bind the book block to the covers. This easy to assemble book would make a great guest book, poetry journal or short trip journal.

3 hours $35

ROUND BACK BOOK WITH TOASTER BOX
What a fabulous box this is! The book fits inside a slipcase which is then inside a modified clamshell. Because of a cleverly placed ribbon, when the outer box is opened, the book rises out of the slipcase like a piece of toast out of a toaster! A very yummy piece of work. Sorry but there won't be time for detailed instruction this weekend, there will be too much time spent on the construction and mechanics of the box. Therefore previous round-back binding and box making experience is required.

16 hours $175 includes materials

ROUND BACK PHOTO ALBUM
In this workshop you will sew pages and spacers into signatures, round the spine, and case in the book block just like a regular hard bound book. This binding has a professional look and classic feel to it.

6 hours $65

SEWING ONTO TAPES
This multiple sectioned hard cover book is made distinct by sewing over straps or tapes that are exposed on the spine, then attached to the covers. This is yet another book that lies flat when opened.

3 hours $35

SOFT BOUND LEATHER JOURNAL
LOVE this book darling! This has a distinctively classic look. You could tell people you picked it up at a little shop on the Seine or while meandering through Milan. Or you could fess up and admit to making this kick butt book! It consists of multiple signatures directly bound onto the soft leather cover. It also has an over-wrapped foredge so love notes and those oh so private photos don't slip out, and a wrap around thong tie.

4 hours $45

VENETIAN, PALM AND FAN BOOKS
These different book structures are often utilized in artists book designs. The Venetian (as in blind) is an accordion type book and the palm, based on traditional palm leaf books from Southeast Asia, consists of several slat type pages. Both of these employ a cord or ribbon as the binding. The fan, also an early book form, is made up of many single "pages" bound at one point. Bring color photo copies, pictures or old magazines with lots of photos if you wish.

3 hours $35

WHIRLWIND BOOK
Create this visually stimulating book using very simple techniques. This project has four signatures that are pamphlet stitched into a doubled-up dos-a-dos soft cover binding and uses no glue. This book has the capability to lay flat or stand up into a 3-dimensional format that suggests circular motion. This binding's possibilities range from poetry to artist's books.

3 hours $30

BOX STRUCTURES

CIGAR BOX
Construct a classic cigar box with contemporary papers and book board giving it a new design approach.
These boxes make excellent containers for stationery, photos, letters, remote controls or just STUFF! This
is always a popular and fun class.

3 hours $35

CLAMSHELL or DROP-SPINE or SOLANDER BOX
Geez! Does this one have enough names or what? This is the box that looks like a book when closed. But when opened it lays flat and has two trays that are suitable for photo displays, presentations, prints or protecting antique plates or books.

4 hours $45

DOUBLE DRAWER BOX
Boxes, boxes, boxes. They are my weakness! In my quest to make more I've developed this new one. It has 2 drawers stacked one on top of the other and each drawer has a pull-tab for ease of opening. What a marvelous addition to the top of your dresser.

6 hours $65

JAPANESE SHIHO CHITSU BOX
This is my personal favorite to make. It's a traditional Japanese box originally used to house books and pamphlets. It is absolutely beautiful in it's form and function as it unfolds out completely flat and closes with a bone clasp.

4 hours $45

THE MAGIC BOX
YES, YES!! I'm finally teaching this fabulous box again! Taught to me by my box mentor Melissa Jay Craig in Chicago, she is the one responsible for my addiction to containers! This amazing box has 3 sections inside but only 1 or 2 can be accessed at a time. Come see the sample, my weak description does not do it justice. Bring a lunch. Previous boxmaking experience is required.

7 hours $85

PARTITIONED BOX
I fell in love with this box the first time I saw it. It's lovely, and kind of on the shallow side, with 3 inner partitions and a removable lid with sides. Partitioned boxes are great for organizing collections and can be utilized as shadow boxes. This box would be large enough to for most of your bookbinding tools, yet compact enough to carry with you. In fact it's what I use for my tools.

4 hours $50

ROUND BACK BOOK WITH TOASTER BOX
What a fabulous box this is! The book fits inside a slipcase which is then inside a modified clamshell. Because of a cleverly placed ribbon, when the outer box is opened, the book rises out of the slipcase like a piece of toast out of a toaster! A very yummy piece of work. Sorry but there won't be time for detailed instruction this weekend, there will be too much time spent on the construction and mechanics of the box. Therefore previous round-back binding and box making experience is required.

16 hours $175 includes materials

3-TIERED JEWELLERY BOX
Using beautiful decorative papers and book board we will construct a sensational diamond shaped box. When opened there are 3 tiers of trays that are attached to the inside in an alternating pattern. When closed the trays are hidden inside and it is secured with a clasp. This makes a wonderful box for jewellery, trinkets, office odds & ends, etc. When your friends see this box the oohs and ahhs are instantaneous!

5 hours $65

TOGGLE TOP BOX
Assemble a simple, yet elegant, square box. This box has a separate flat lid that has a toggle type handle attached. Makes a wonderful presentation for an enclosed gift, or just as a gift itself.

3 hours $35